Whatever You Do….Don’t Fiddle With The Engine!

Oh well that’s that then. As expected, the anticipated glory of eleven English billionaires reaching the hallowed quarter-final of yet another major football tournament has ended as we all secretly knew it would. Since 1966, or the days of black and white television, watching England play tournament football  begins to feel like a film you’ve never seen before until you suddenly realise that you’ve seen the ending a dozen times already. And so as the final whistle sounded against that footballing colossus that is Iceland, all of England’s previous managers were asked to move over as Roy was chucked into the same dustbin to join them. And as dustbin’s go the stench from this particular one is so bad that no refuse worker would ever go within a mile of it.

As Roy became unemployed football managers across the world quietly took their phones off of the hook before Dick Van Dyke of the FA could call them with a £10m pounds a week offer to turn Raheem Sterling into a footballer, Wayne Rooney into a goalkeeper, honestly if Wayne keeps being moved further back in position he’ll soon end up as the fifth official behind the goal!, or Jordan Henderson into….well anything to be honest. But so far no takers. Even the charismatically challenged Gareth Southgate, famous for putting a paper bag over his head in a Pizza Hut advert, won’t touch it with a corner flag. But here’s the thing. The England reaction to every dismal failure under a dismal manager is to appoint yet another…..dismal manager!

Now I know that this is a bit of a jump but it somehow made me think about Formula 1 motor racing which though I’m not a great lover of the sport,  and I use the word sport lightly, it is at the very least an activity that is personified by technical advancement and development. Year on year improvements are made and progress is steady and on an upward trajectory. And so it should be with football, particularly English football. Because, and let’s be honest, if you compared the development of English football to man’s evolution then it’s still living in a cave wearing a loin cloth. And so on this Formula 1 starting grid we get Italy, Germany, France or if you prefer, the Ferrari, the Mercedes and the Bugatti and at the back of the grid sitting proudly is the Reliant Robin and I’m not talking about the Van Persie model!

But whereas the Italians, Germans and French are always looking under the bonnet and tinkering and fine tuning the engine, the bonnet of the Reliant is never opened. Instead we convince ourselves that the engine is fine and that the problem is in fact the driver. You might be forgiven for thinking that the fact that we’ve sacked over a hundred drivers and counting might make us look under the bonnet but I fear not. Roy has been chucked into the spare parts department while the search for another dodgy driver goes on as before. Wayne will no doubt go to Russia as our left back while we search around for more teenagers who can outrun a pizza delivery man but can’t cross a ball or see a pass to save their hundred thousand pounds per week arses.

Anyway I’m sick of England and the continuous calamities and I’m sick and tired of our arrogant media as well as the so called experts on match of the day and radio shows like TalkNonsense where the usual array of other failed managers and slightly above average past players are joined by hockey players, cricketers and ping-pong players and football’s very own Chris Eubank, Stan Collymore, who blindly tell us all how many world class players we have and that the least we should achieve is a quarter final.

Personally I’m of the view that at this stage the pressure of constantly having to reach a quarter-final is proving too much for the England team. In future England success should be defined as the ability of the team to reach their hotel safely. If they can do this then there is a serious argument for an open-top bus parade around Milton Keynes to celebrate that success. Of course the new manager should be allowed to at least drive it!


1st July 2016.