'The Mail is an irony-free zone'

The Daily Mail’s back pages seem to have started highlighting young footballers who should be playing for England, but the articles are a bit odd to say the least as Football365’s Mediawatch has pointed out for the last two days. It started yesterday with this:

The Daily Mail are on fine form this morning.

Page 85 announces, in evocative language designed to appeal to the people that still think World War II is still going on; ‘Mainz Man Who Was Allowed To Escape By England’.

The man in question is 20-year-old Lewis Holtby, the kid who those bemoaning the state of youth development in England have decided is Zidane, Garrincha and Di Stefano rolled into one.

Scribe Michael Walker writes: ‘Holtby’s father, Chris, is English. Even though Holtby is Germany’s Under-21 captain, that should have made ears prick at the Football Association before now.’

Mediawatch wonders why The Mail is getting so worked up about this.

Lewis Holtby was born in Germany, has lived all his life in Germany, plays his club football in Germany having been brought through the German system, captains Germany’s Under 21 team and wants to play for Germany. Quite why there should even be discussion about spiriting him away to play for England is a mystery.

A quick confession, before The Mail’s lawyers find out our phone number – that last paragraph was taken entirely from a column written by Mail chief sports writer Martin Samuel on September 28.

Samuel went on to write: ‘Holtby is German and it would be outrageous to attempt to poach him now. In many ways, pursuit of Holtby by the Football Association would be more of an insult than the ultimately fruitless dance around Arteta.’

Well, quite.

As The Mail is an irony-free zone, they no doubt saw no problem with the piece on the page facing the Holtby nonsense, which was headlined ‘Give Our Kids A Chance’.

And today the Mail was at it again:

The Daily Mail’s campaign for the future of English football continues apace.

This morning, they are outraged at the downright negligence of the FA with regards to a kid called Eric Dier. No, us neither.

Dier is a 16-year-old English kid currently playing in Portugal after his parents moved there to work on Euro 2004.

And scribe Alex Kay is baffled as to why emissaries haven’t been sent abroad to butter up this lad: ‘The only problem is that no-one from the FA has ever been in touch with Dier. He must be worth a look.’

Dier has played twice for the Sporting Lisbon under-19s, and has thus far got nowhere near the first team. The only reason the Mail – or anyone, really – has even heard of Dier is because made a recent appearance in an Umbro advert.

As usual even if you are not interested in Football the Mediawatch page of Football365 is well worth reading for examples of terrible journalism and much more.

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