England had not even started their 2012 Euro campaign before the pundits, columnists and hacks had me tearing my hair out.
First there was the at times embarrasing talking up of Harry Redknapp as 'the people's choice' for England manager despite not a single person I know wanting him to be the national boss. In fact, some Spurs fans I know didn't even want him to be their manager next season.
Then came Riogate. Journalists and experts lined up to criticise Roy Hodgson's decision to call up Liverpool's Martin Kelly instead of Rio Ferdinand - ignoring both the obvious and the fact that Ferdinand's own manager had questioned whether he was up to the toil of such regular football.
The obvious being that Kelly has not been called up directly instead of Ferdinand. Hodgson has simply moved Phil Jones from back up right back to central defensive cover. Kelly is now cover for Glenn Johnson.
To most observers that was obvious but, despite the fact not one pundit would welcome Ferdinand as an plausible international right back, the press conveniently overlooked the fairly logical move in favour of some cheap headlines about John Terry and Ferdinand.
Thank goodness then for The Mirror's Brian Reade who, writing last week, said, "Martin Kelly (who, unlike Ferdinand was on standby and played against Norway) was brought in as cover for Glenn Johnson, allowing 20-year-old Phil Jones to move to his more customary central defensive position in place of the injured Gary Cahill."
Brian Reade, I salute you.
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