tabloids are at their jingoistic best this morning as we count down to England's last 16 clash with Germany in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
along with the Daily Mirror's, front page features a picture of the Germany
squad in a caged safari van overlooking, you guessed it, three lions - with the
headline: "Germans terrified of 3 lions".
long did the photographer wait to get that snap?
page is no less subtle with a snapshot of that famous Deutschland 1-5 England scoreboard from Munich in 2001: "Look at this and do it
again", demands the headline.
Injured England captain
Rio Ferdinand writes exclusively for The Sun and, predictably, has backed
Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney to run riot.
"The Germany game is where Wazza can do the
business," says Rio, who has also hit
back at Franz Beckenbauer, insisting his comments will "come back to
war" roars the Daily Star's front page. "We will fight jeering
Jerries on the pitches". Rooney, pictured fists up in fighting mode, has
vowed to deliver the killer blow himself.
is no more diplomatic as you turn the pages: "Mixed master race"
shouts page five, in regard to Germany's
Mirror's back page screams "Don't panic" - Dad's Army's
Lance-Corporal Jack Jones would be proud - with keeper David James insisting
England can do the job in 90 minutes and avoid a dreaded penalty shoot-out.
Mail - which also features a series of pictures mocking Fabio Capello's
animated antics on the bench - Daily Express and Daily Star's back pages also
lead with David James' promise.
runs an apology from World Cup icon Beckenbauer, who has said sorry after
slamming "kick and rush" England.
my words were over the top," said Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup as a
player in 1974 and again as coach in 1990, when West
Germany beat England on penalties in the
Speaking of which. "Time
to wipe away the tears?" asks the front page of The Independent's sports
section alongside that iconic picture of a weeping Paul Gascoigne. "How England's
current generation were inspired by Italia '90, Gazza and that penalty
Inside England's current players offer their memories
of the tournament, while former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon believes Germany's
defence is their weakness.
Guardian is also full of optimism:
"'We are a better team than Germany and we will beat them' -
Klinsmann believes the Premier League shaped his country's new philosophy, while
reporter Dominic Fifield highlights Ashley Cole's battle with Philipp Lahm as
the key clash.
The Game supplement is the only paper not to lead with England's crunch match, instead offering the
take rough with the smooth".
however, it's all England,
with football correspondent Oliver Kay insisting it's "Now or never for
the 'golden generation'".
newspapers are doing their utmost to hype the atmosphere before the match then
their German counterparts are certainly playing their part as well.
for victory", roars Bild. And what are they?
1. Lukas Podolski must shoot more.
2. Miroslav Klose must not just
wait for high balls.
3. Marcell Jansen must close down
the left-hand side.
4. Sami Khedira must block Frank
Lampard's forward runs. He has experience against the English after
stopping Craig Gardner at the European Under-21 Championships.
5. Manuel Neuer must use his fists
6. Arne Friedrich must focus on
defending against Wayne Rooney.
7. Injured Bastian Schweinsteiger
must grit his teeth and play.
8. The fast Phillip Lahm must
9. Joachim Low must outwit Fabio
10. Mesut Ozil must create more
goals from his opportunities.
11. We [Germany] need to only reach a
penalty shoot-out [with an obligatory picture of Gareth Southgate's Euro
1996 spot-kick miss].
of the Daily Mail also features the best of the headlines in Germany.
get England's little girls",
crows BZ of Berlin, "England,
we'll thrash you, because Rooney can't score", announces Bild and "England
declares football war on us", says the Berliner Kurier.
- Wayne Rooney