Euro Zone: Lineker falls foul of the UK press yet again over Lampard gag

BBC presenter makes a ‘savage’ balding jibe at the former Chelsea man, says the UK Daily Mail

Gary Lineker once again fell foul of the UK press after his joke at Frank Lampard's expense. Photograph: Ian Walton/PA Wire

First, Gary Lineker wore a T-shirt from his own Next range on the BBC, then he had a chuckle at the Scotland manager’s less than bubbly demeanour, referring to Steve Clarke’s, eh, “energy and enthusiasm”. Alas, we have a “third SCANDAL”, according to GB News.

What’s he done now? Well, he made a gag about the large screen at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin blocking the crowd’s view of the BBC studio which overlooks it. “No one wants to see the back of your head these days, do they Frank,” he said to the Lampard man.

This, said the Daily Mail, was a “SAVAGE”, “brutal and unprovoked” balding jibe at Lampard, while GB News found a body language expert to interpret Lampard’s response to this savagery. (No, really). “You’ll see his blink rate triple,” he said, “it’s a combination of anger and surprise. You can see a micro expression of surprise and then his eyebrows come together.”

Later, speaking on his podcast, Lineker said he meant the fans wouldn’t want to see the backs of any of the BBC panel’s heads, but “it came out a bit wrong”. He would, he said, apologise to Lampard. The Tower of London would be too good for the fella. (The world? Gone mad.)

Ossie’s game of the tournament

This is just a wild guess, but there’s a fair chance that Ossie Ardiles won’t be picking Wednesday’s 8.0pm game as his match of the tournament. “Scotland vs Switzerland. What a terrible, terrible game it was,” he tweeted. “How can two teams play so bad? No idea going forward. Pele, immortal words: Football is the beautiful game ... you must be joking. What an embarrassment. The comments on TV, if anything, even worse!”

He later apologised “if it was perceived like [I was] having a go at Scotland”, the pushback having been quite intense. Mind you, some of it was a touch unconnected to his thoughts on the game, eg “How did your managerial career in England go?” Tsk.

Bellingham who?
England midfielder Jude Bellingham. Photograph: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP via Getty Images

We can all, of course, understand the excitement about Jude Bellingham and his very evident talent, but one particular reporter possibly overestimated how fixated the world outside England is about the fella. Speaking to Germany’s Niclas Füllkrug immediately – immediately! – after the hosts’ 2-0 win over Hungary on Wednesday.

Reporter: “How impressed have you been with Jude Bellingham?”

Füllkrug: “Impressed me not.”

Quote of the day

“Deep fry your pizza, we’re gonna deep fry your pizza.” – A group of chanting Scottish fans in Cologne on spotting an Italian. As threats go, that one was vicious.

Number of the day: 114

That’s how many Euro 2024 players earn their keep in England, 18 per cent of the total number at the tournament. Italy are next with 17 per cent.

Word of Mouth

“We are dressed in Giorgio Armani and Giorgio Armani is world famous. So, we go there with the same suit, try and be true to our identity and play the same way. We need to try and play our own game in our best clothes, but we are ready to get our suits dirty if required.” – Luciano Spalletti previewing his nation’s game against Spain as only an Italian manager could.

“He’s a poor man’s Roy Keane.” – Kevin Doyle pays tribute to Declan Rice.

“I wouldn’t mind England winning it, but my problem is I live in England and English people are unbearable at the best of times. If they win this then I’m moving to Shetland because it would be extra unbearable.” – Gordon Strachan on his fear that it’s coming home.