When we talk about international media during the world cup, in most countries they play their part to support and back their country throughout the tournament but there are none in the World that is as determined as the English media to ruin their team’s hopes at the World cup. Sometimes it becomes so redundant that it seems like their sole purpose in their life is to bring their country down and Russia 2018 saw nothing different.

It started with Raheem Sterling being targeted for a tattoo of all reasons, but it looks like the English team has put that behind them and grown stronger as a team after the incident. The 180-degree turn that they have taken following the defeat to Belgium has been nothing short of exasperating. Wins over Tunisia and Panama, particularly the 6-1 demolition of the latter, had the country and the national media, bouncing. Comparisons to the teams from Euro 96 and Italia 90 before it was plentiful, with predictions that this England side could go far abundant.

The rotated side performed very poorly and the cohesive, attractive football that the three lions played in the first two games seemed to have disappeared and instead, we saw the boring meaningless side of England. And the media finally saw their opening. First came the criticism for Jordan Pickford who failed to deny Adnan Janujaz from inside the box and this gave the media the perfect opportunity to justify the criticism they had made at the Everton number one even before the tournament even began.

It does not matter that former goalkeepers, including some of the best ever like Neville Southall, have explained why they are wrong to criticise Pickford. They have explained why he did not dive in the wrong manner, why his height does not matter and why he is so highly regarded at club level and that being the reason for him being England’s number one.

They always find a scapegoat and this time it’s been Pickford since day 1. The same can be said about Southgate who the media loved. They loved his free speaking nature and his team’s free-flowing football but the loss against Belgium completely turned the tables. They now say he got it all wrong. The media wanted him to play his starting eleven and top the group not keeping in mind that we would have had to face the likes of Brazil in that pool. But that, however, wasn’t the point of rotation. The changes that were made by Southgate were to ensure his key players get some rest before they face Columbia and as a result, they will all be raring to go come Tuesday.

But the English media refuse to accept it.

Their shutters are down and they will refuse to accept it even if they are provided with evidence stating that they are wrong. But in truth, we really shouldn’t be so surprised. The media have shown their true faces in the past and have only continued to do so. And should England fail to deliver this summer, they have their claws sharpened in preparation to get at Southgate and his men.

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