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What the Media Says

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Stones earns Beckenbauer comparison

LEADER: John Stones should don the England armband according to sections of the media.

LEADER: John Stones should don the England armband according to sections of the media.

England’s 0-0 draw in Ljubljana dominates this morning’s paper talk and it’s John Stones who is the focus of the media’s attention as far as City are concerned.

Slovenia certainly tested the Three Lions defensively, but it was an impressive showing from the Blue, who’s been singled out for praise in various news outlets today.

‘The Beckenbauer of Barnsley’ is the title the Daily Star’s Jeremy Cross has bestowed on the youngster, who he believes should be England captain.

In a report covering last night’s performance, as well as his development since his move to Manchester, the Star’s Chief Sports Writer explains: “Stones has added more to his game since working under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. He’s not afraid to deal with the muck and nettles. Hoof it when he has to.

“Professional football might be awash with cash, but there is a reason Guardiola decided to spend the thick end of £50m on Stones in the summer.

“The best manager in the business recognised in Stones someone capable of being groomed into the best defender in the business.

In other news: Gareth Barry honoured by Guinness World Records

“The revered Spanish coach has likened Stones to Gerard Pique, Barcelona’s Rolls Royce of a defender who has won every major honour in the game.

“Guardiola’s faith in Stones was the ultimate compliment to someone who has learned how to brush aside flak like he deals with rival strikers.”

It’s a similar story over at the Telegraph, where Jason Burt was equally as impressed by the 22-year-old’s international showing.

Described as “an oasis of calm”, Stones is the centre half the national team have been missing according to Burt, who, like Cross, appreciates the Blues boss’ influence.

He writes: “If nothing else playing under Pep Guardiola has given him the surge of confidence and belief and the coaching education to make the step up as he constantly wants to step forward.

“Bitter experience has also taught him when to, as he termed it, “put it into Row Z”, and he did just that with a thumping, no-nonsense clearance as England came under yet more pressure in that first-half.”

That's all your paper talk today. Later on we'll be looking at who's topping the assist charts and we'll have full coverage of Manchester City Women's Champions League tie against Zvezda.

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