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England Under Attack?

What is it with the British press eh?

It’s World Cup year, we’ve got a squad capable – if not of actually winning it, at least of giving it a good shot – and they seem to be slowly picking our players off one-by-one in their best efforts to derail the campaign before it’s even underway.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no intentions of defending John Terry as a person and I think his sordid little affair was anything but private when it involved an England team-mate, I just think the press coverage in this country is designed to do the maximum amount of damage not just to him, but to our national team as a whole, because this doesn’t stop at John Terry.  The usually camera-shy Wayne Bridge – by default – will probably think himself lucky if he so much as gets to pee in private between now and the summer and with Ashley Cole not even certain to be fit in time now, Bridge will have a higher profile still.

Talking of Ashley Cole, this week has seen the tabloids releasing stories about naughty pictures he’d taken on his phone and allegedly sent to a glamour model eight months ago. Again, like the John Terry affair that happened a bloody long time before it hit the headlines, it’s all a little coincidental really.  As coincidental as the Chelsea captain being ‘set-up’ by the News of the World with those stadium tours back in December?  – incidentally, just a couple of months after he’d signed an exclusive deal for a column with their rivals over at The Sun.  Hardly surprising Terry felt the need to place a ‘super-injunction’ order on them once they’d got wind of his latest indiscretion then.

It’s no secret the British tabloids have a ‘build them up to knock them down’ ethos, particularly when it comes to football, and Ashley Cole should certainly have known better after they’d exposed his ‘private life’ last year.  John Terry, on the other hand, had clearly been lulled into a false sense of security because before he agreed a column with The Sun, he could do no wrong as far as the rags were concerned. He’d have done well to have remembered Beckham’s crucifixion at the pens of the press though. And even England manager’s aren’t safe from skeletons being dragged out of closets when the timing’s right so Capello had better have nothing more than a few mothballs in his.

That is what they seem to do after all isn’t it? Make sure the meatier headlines coincide with the big tournaments? Maximum effect, maximum sales, whilst these paragons of virtue relentlessly cast judgment on the ‘sins’ of those they’d once hailed the nations heroes. Because as if we didn’t need further proof of that, having made sure John Terry’s affair not only put him and Wayne Bridge under public scrutiny but also left Fabio Capello with no other choice than to ask Rio Ferdinand to step-up as England captain, the hacks immediately went to work uncovering a bit of pre-marital naughtiness he’d been involved god knows how long ago.

No doubt there’ll be an edgy player or two waiting to see if they’re part of the media’s latest bit of gossip as the weeks go by. Still, what’s a little unrest and disruption in the national team’s World Cup preparations as long as the public get their daily quota of sensationalist crap?



Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


February 2010
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