Friday, 18 April 2008


It's one of the most frequently-asked questions, and it doesn't have an easy answer. But it always helps to keep a diary. That has come in handy for the national press this week. Unusually, we have had a midweek without Premier League matches, Cup replays, Champions League or Internationals. So most of the papers booked reporters on flights to Lesotho. Not that they have suddenly acquired a fascination for football in that African nation. The attraction was that the England coach Fabio Capello was there on a trip organised by the FA. Accompanying Capello meant the writers could gain much better access to the England coach than usual. And so it proved.

On Tuesday, Paul Joyce of the Daily Express filled three pages with Fabio's thoughts on Wayne Rooney (he doesn't take as many chances as he should), John Terry (he's not nailed-on to return as England captain) and players failing to turn up for England squads (they'll be banned from the squad in future. Can't see that one working). Today there was more, with Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail filing a moving piece about youngsters diagnosed with AIDS.

A week without football is always a challenge, but knowing it was coming, and finding an alternative source of copy, paid off.

1 comment:

Ian Baker said...

I don't believe this was a particularly good story. Lazy nationals looking at PA advanced diaries and all sending journalists at great expense for average story potential at best.

Life exists outside of the big four and the national team:

1. Leeds United - will they get their points deducted?
2. Rotherham United - will they go under?
3. Aldershot Town - promoted to the Football League. How will they fair?
4. The Championship - how exciting is this league? Who is best placed for promotion and can they survive?

These stories have had next to no coverage in the nationals but the fact that Wayne Rooney may well be captain at some stage for England has got pages of coverage.