Week in Headlines: Roo are you kidding Wayne? and England’s trash bang dollop performance left Fabio Capello as the Fool Monte

Perhaps inevitably Fabio Capello was one bad result away from a lashing from the tabloids and Tuesday’s uninspiring snooze fest against Montenegro gave the red tops such an opportunity.

The match reminded England fans of a summer of football they’d rather forget, as a lack of creativity and urgency against a less well regarded, but organised side stumped the Three Lions.

The return of Premier League football had given fans an opportunity to put this all behind them and revel in the sunnier stance of their club sides. Unless of course you’re a Liverpool fan.

This is the week that was in headlines.

Having guided England to qualifying victories over Switzerland and Bulgaria the tabloids had put the misery of the nation’s football abilities on one side, but within comfortable arms reach for when the team inevitably began to stutter. Following England’s abject performance against Montenegro The Sun were gifted the opportunity of using a pun in the perfect context, having squeezed it into headlines all week in various different situations associated with Tuesday’s game.

Abject. Disappointing. Wretched. Inadequate. Dismal. All words used by the press to describe England’s home display against the bottom seed in their group, but The Sun wanted something with a greater impact and went for an onomatopoeic crash bang & dollop, as seemingly they felt that’s the sound that the teams display made. Either that or it was bring your child to work day on Wednesday.

From an English perspective there really was very little to fill the highlights reel, as Montenegro manfully stifled many of the host’s meek attacks. There was such a lack of talking points that all The Daily Mail could muster was a reference to Villa winger Ashley Young diving and England stumbling through the game.


Had he played against England, Roma and Montenegro striker Mirko Vucinic would have undoubtedly been a threat to the home defence, having already found the net against Wales and Switzerland. His insistence on celebrating his goal against the Swiss by running towards the crowd with his shorts on his head earned him notoriety and The Daily Mirror was clearly impressed and/or fearful of his threat to give him the tabloid honour of an alliterative headline.

The international break was kind to England in comparison to the fortunes of the other home nations, in particular fellow group whatever inhabitants Wales, who were hammered 4-1 in Switzerland, prompting much of the coverage to feature forlorn looking Welsh players trudging from the pitch. The Metro though seemingly hates misery and preferred to wallow in a delicious jammy pun.

International action wasn’t limited to the football pitch this week as PM David Cameron did his best to promote England as part of the nations bid to land the 2018 World Cup. Sepp Blatter reportedly left the meeting pleased with what he heard leading The Sun to claim that the man from Downing Street could be the number 10 that England have been looking for.


Having been the subject of front-page tabloid gossip thanks to his off the pitch scoring Wayne Rooney would have been keenly advised to keep his head down and let his performances on the pitch speak for themselves. However, perhaps in an attempt to hide his poor performance against Montenegro, he disagreed with the patriarch Alex Ferguson by refuting his claim that he was injured. Excited by the prospect of a bust-up between the pair The Daily Mirror gleefully stoked the fire.

Nigel de Jong surely owes Wayne Rooney a great debt of gratitude for taking some of the tabloid sting out of his tackle that resulted in Hatem ben Arfa breaking his leg. Thankfully though for City’s bruiser he has an ally in Blackpool funnyman and manager Ian Holloway and despite The Daily Mirror’s inclination, neither has any association with the dead singer, but the opportunity of a pun was clearly too good to pass up.

At the start of the week it appeared that Liverpool would finally be rid of their bumbling owners and would welcome in the progressive owner of the New York Red Sox. However multiple legal scuffles mean that they now have more court injunctions than wins this season and the situation seems far from clear. How Liverpool fans must long for the heady heights of the weeks birth when The Daily Star and everyone else was sure of a deal after the American owners lost their court battle to cling onto power.

The Guardian’s excellent Fiver Blog though seems to have grown weary with the continual saga of the club’s sale and instead chose to focus on a comment made by Lady In Red’s pintsize singer Chris De Burgh who may or may not have been taking a break from entertaining befuddled bingo players in Borris-in-Ossory parish hall when he made the comments.

Tags: England, Manchester United

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