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Get the effigy ready

May 29th, 2006 by · No Comments · Features, Football

Douglas Adam’s once described the tiniest feeling that something, somewhere, has gone terribly wrong as an ‘Ely’. He called the confirmation of that disaster a ‘Wembley’. How perfect.

So who has been responsible for the odd Wembley that has dogged England? Who can we blame for all our failings football-wise? To make this article more than three words long, we have discounted the F.A. as a contender in all categories.

In 1998 a young David Beckham was hung drawn and quartered at a special ceremony held at the Tower of London. An emergency law had been passed in parliament after he had been sent off against Argentina.

The popular newspaper, The Mirror, had encouraged its readership to vilify the player for his perceived stupidity by printing a dartboard with a picture of the player in the middle.

The new Labour government, keen to cash in on it’s recent election victory, decided to show how it was in touch with the people and had Beckham arrested and sent to the Tower, the first British citizen held at the Tower since Norman Baillie-Stewart [who himself was jailed for pretending to be an English centre forward, when in fact, he was a German defender].

After a swift trial [The F.A. moving faster than ever before], found him guilty. Unfortunately, the Jonny Foreigner who got him sent off, soon revealed he had tried to get the young man found guilty. His testimony came to late to save David.

In 1986, the reason for our Wembley was named as Diego Maradona. This suited us down to the ground; as he was also a foreigner who did something that we would never, ever do, [huh? Ed.], he cheated.

Just 5 years earlier our armed forces had recovered the world’s most remote sheep farm from Argentina. Diego, with one flick of his hand, did more than any invasion of a bit of cold, damp rock in the southern Atlantic, to warrant a full-scale nuclear response. England were dumped out of the competition, but we had our someone to blame.

Now in 2006, we help identify who is going to be held personally responsible for our pre-destined Quarter final exit on penalties.

Wayne Rooney has got his excuses on early. Metatarsal! Oh, yeah that old chestnut! I might try that at WCO next week. Humidity and heat? It’s Germany. Cold, wet, damp. So no excuse there then.

There are always the refs. There is bound to be one or more blatantly unfair decisions that stop us from progressing. We will of course turn a blind eye to the ones in our favour [Owen diving for the penalty a few years back, for example] but blaming the ref is the preserve of highly paid premiership managers [you know who you are!].

So, our one truly talented striker is crocked, the weather has got GB all over it and the refs we know will cock it up at some stage. So who are the red tops going to pursue and intimidate after our early exit? The team and coaching staff are the only credible scapegoats left. So who can we point an accusing finger at?

Stand up and be counted Peter Crouch. We are taking four strikers to the tournament. Two are virtually disabled, one is worried about his GCSE’s and the other one is Peter Crouch.

Svens sleight of hand in taking Theo Walcott has hidden the fact that without Rooney the team is devoid of real attacking imagination. Reverting to his cautious instinct he will play Crouch up front knocking it down for Owen to finish. It worked against Argentina, so why not again? Because it took the thick end of 88 minutes to work in a game that Argentina thought they already won.

West Ham easily shackled Crouch in the recent cup final and if Danny Gabbidon can do it, I’m sure that a few world-class internationals will be up to the job. Crouch will be the downfall of England. He’ll huff and he’ll puff and he’ll be substituted at 70 minutes. The Sun will print a folding, life-size cut-out of Crouch for small children to hit with sticks across his spindly, paper knees [and that’s his real ones].


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