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Paper Monitor

11:51 UK time, Monday, 11 June 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The entente cordiale comes under pressure in today's tabloids.

Ahead of this afternoon's Euro 2012 "le crunch" between England and France, hostilities are renewed in the pages of the Sun.

The paper gleefully recounts how it flashed up a St George flag onto the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe at the weekend in a "cheeky" stunt that "caught the French defence napping".

There is more stirring stuff from England captain Steven Gerrard's press conference in Donetsk. When a "mickey-taking" French journalist asks how England can consider itself a serious football nation having not won a major tournament since 1966, the paper's depiction of his response is like something from Henry V.

"England skipper Gerrard then followed the historic example of the English archers at Agincourt who flicked a communal V-sign at their French counterparts on that famous day in 1415."

It was all something to do with showing your bow-drawing finger apparently, "fingers the French normally cut off when they took prisoners." Mmm, it's all so like international football in 2012.

The Daily Mirror worries it might be a bit hot for the players in Donetsk but consoles itself with the thought that there will be three times as many England as France fans. "Phew Are Ya!" goes the headline with the obligatory photo of fans dressed as crusaders. They just don't make chain mail like they used to though, do they?

The Daily Star gets down to brass tacks. "No sex till we beat France - oui can do, it says Roy." Apparently the WAGs are on standby to "join fun" if "our boys" get the right result.

Meanwhile some proper reportage in the Times and Paper Monitor's appreciation of David Brown continues unabated. The "fan in a van" has driven from Paris in his lumbering Fiat Aventura but finds himself stuck on the Ukrainian border. The van's rental agreement is insufficient to allow him to bring it in, an official tells him. "No entry. You take van back to the car park and walk through the border."

But an hour later as if by miracle - well actually thanks to paying the standard bribe - another official tells him. "You are going to have a very happy day. Only for the football, never come again."

Paper Monitor can almost hear the irony-laced dialogue. "Welcome to Ukraine, Mr Bond. We hope you have a pleasant stay."

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