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Musings on the England World Cup Campaign

June 28, 2010

England’s exit from the WORLD CUP 2010 is, in so many ways, ineffably tragic; clearly comparable in reality to a natural disaster in which many people have died. What will happen to our once great nation now that Rooney is rubbish? Will we ever recover from the goal that was but wasn’t? Probably not. It’s an awful, squalid time of mourning which will no doubt spiral downwards until we are all just running round the streets – our minds and clothes long gone – simply screaming, “Pass it to Rooney!”, “Hit it Frankie!”, “Well up Terry!” (in reference to a header, in case you were wondering).

In fact, England’s departure from the tournament was so distressing for some people that they felt as though Fabio Capello had in some way relied directly upon them, that they’d completely failed him. Take ITV reporter Gabriel Clarke who, with a dramatic change between third and first person, illustrated his deep nonsensical feeling of personal culpability, saying, “Fabio Capello has said he will not be resigning, but made it clear that he would be discussing his future with the Football Association to see if they still have confidence in me or not…” It’s ok Gabriel, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.

Things began to get even weirder when Fabio Capello decided to conduct Steven Gerrard’s post match interview himself – perhaps already realising he needs a different career path…

The mentality of the England football team is often staggeringly incongruous with itself; at first they’re all like, “Woah, come on! Let’s try and bloody win this stupid thing!” and then they saunter brazenly onto the pitch and are more like, “This thing is so rubs, I don’t even want to win it’s so lame” And so they leg it around trying to make it look like they’re doing something, when actually they’re just running past each other whispering brief conversations about all the girls they have/will have sex with in the coming week.

The biggest disappointment was though, a certain Liverpudlian named Wayne Rooney. There’s a strange feeling of nostalgia one gets when thinking about that glorious old time when Rooney used pull on an England shirt and flirt audaciously with the back of the net. Now however, he’s playing so hard to get that he’s forgotten its phone number. I have a theory about Rooney’s relative no show at this world cup. Watching him, with the sound of a thousand Vuvuzelas droning on relentlessly in the background, reminded me of a story I once read regarding Wayne’s sleeping habits. It was reported, in the ahem, “mail online“, that Rooney can only get to sleep with the hoover on in the backgorund and, failing that, he puts Coleen’s hairdryer on full blast.  Once in possession of that snippet of information, Rooney’s borderline narcoleptic performances begin to make a lot of sense when considering the oppressive buzzing of African horns. The good news is that the next major international tournament, the European Championships in 2012, are being held in Poland and Ukraine where, to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a strong culture of horn blowing and so will allow Rooney to remain fully awake. Basically, it’s 100% guaranteed that England will take home the trophy in 2012 – so in conclusion, chin up yeah?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2010 2:30 pm

    The reality is – and as a long-time England fan it pains me to say it – that we aren’t very good. We’re quite good, yes. But world-beaters? No way.

    In the last ten major tournaments, we have failed to qualify twice and failed to escape the group on two other occasions. In the other six, we have won just three of nine knockout games – all against relatively average sides (Ecuador in 2006, Denmark in 2002, Spain (who back then were mediocre) in 1996). That’s really not the record of a very good team, is it?

    Capello made mistakes, but the reality is that the one common factor in our recent disappointments is the squad itself. It’s time the ‘Golden Generation’ stopped blaming everyone else and took a long, hard look in the mirror.

    Here are my thoughts on the topic: http://thearmchairsportsfan.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/something-is-rotten-in-the-state-of-england/

    • June 28, 2010 3:14 pm

      An interesting read, and certainly some very valid points. I have long since suspected that the players we have are simply not good enough. The gulf in difference of ability between players in the squad is vast. Rooney compared to Upson, or Lampard compared to Heskey for example. And whilst we do have a handful of very talented players, it’s difficult for them to perform whilst surrounded by mediocre ones, given that they are used to performing amongst a team full of world class players at club level (perhaps in some cases making them look better than they actually are).

      Also, you can take a long hard look in the mirror, but what can you possibly do if you realise you’re actually just a bit shit?

      Another point I would make is to do with playing abroad. Antithetical to the argument that the premiership is too flooded with international players, making opportunity for youngsters here scarce, I would say look at the other national teams and how many of their players do not actually play in their native leagues or have spent time outside of them (although admittedly, Germany (and Spain to an extent) are a distinct exception to this rule). There seems a reluctance for young English players to go ply their trade elsewhere, gather experience, and come back stronger.

      • June 28, 2010 3:43 pm

        Your point about insularity is an interesting one. England was one of only three countries whose entire squad of 23 plays in their domestic league (Italy and, interestingly, Germany are the others).

        How many English teenagers would have done what Cesc Fabregas did and move to a foreign country at 16? You can probably count them on the fingers of, well, your feet(!)

        Of course, in recent years economics has been a key barrier to moving abroad, with there being more money in England than other countries. But that doesn’t explain why there were so few English players abroad in the pre-Premier League era, when our game was hardly awash with cash (in particular during the post-Heysel period when we were banned from Europe).

        Fundamentally, I fear young English players are a little bit too comfortable at home, whereas a year or two abroad can do wonders for a youngster’s footballing and personal development. After all, if it’s good enough for Steve McClaren …

  2. Susan Boyle permalink
    July 3, 2010 11:46 am

    JOKE TIME:

    The England football team went to visit a South African orphanage while they were there during the world cup. “It’s nice to bring a smile to kids who have no hope whatsoever” said six-year old Kefentse Omboto.

    ***

    All future England matches have been moved to the Gay Adult Channel. Apparently the sight of 11 arseholes getting hammered for 90 minutes was far too explicit for ITV

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