England Footballers: The only thing between us and chaos

Rooney realises that his looks can be improved on

In the wake of the useless England performance in the European Championships this year lot of people are asking whether time and money should be spent getting the national team up to world-beating performances at the detriment of the Premier League. “It isn’t possible to have both”, many say. So choose.

However, before you do bear in mind the world you live in. In this country, you are free to do what you please (within reason). You can run for governmental office, you can vote, you can get a driving licence; you can work, own a house and have a bank account (when RBS let you). These have all come from the free market economy that, at its base, dictates that as the people demand change, it happens for them. The flip side of this is the state controlling the economy via state-owned banks or state-owned oil. Companies who have a monopoly over the population because the leader says so. Importing is tough and immigration is low because local jobs are for local people. When was the last time that you saw a country like this succeed at anything? Iraq in the high-jump?

It is the same when you choose between a great national team and a great league. I agree that you cannot have both. Germany has a great national side and while the Bundesliga is entertaining it is low-skill. Italy and Spain have the best sides in the world but their leagues are ruled by two or three large, staggering behemoths of football that will never be toppled. As for Brazil, don’t even ask. England though has the best league in the world; it is the most exported league with 4.7 billion pairs of eyes watching it every year. In Chinese towns, the first English words many kids will learn are ‘Manchester United’. But the national team is sub-par. I am fine with this.

“Boo-hoo, England went out in the semi-finals”. Yes, but now I can turn my attention back to the real world and enjoy the free market entertainment of the Premier League. In the national side when a player isn’t good enough there are no options. Play someone out of position? Ask around at the next PFA meeting for someone with an adequate left foot? For a league side however, if someone isn’t good enough then they are replaced. Toodles. In the end, you have the world’s best five or six teams fighting for supremacy in a dual with thrills and spills and a rollercoaster of emotions. I watched the last game of the season with a Man Utd fan. He was up and down from his seat, screaming like a man with a haemorrhoid complaint. True passion.

Also, you can align yourself to a team for your own reasons. I support Portsmouth partly because someone has to and partly because I used to live there as a boy and as I became keen on football they were on the rise – you can’t accuse me of being a glory hunter though. Others support their grandpa’s favourite club because he dragged them there as kids, some because they like the kit. Whatever the reason everyone has their corner, their beloved, their colour, badge and song. You can be at work and nearly everyone in the office supports a different team. But come national tournament time, everyone must support England. What if you think they play like shit? Tough. What if you don’t actually like the players and think they are all racist, sexist, homophobic, over-priced, feckless windbags with a better-than-average ability to put a pig’s bladder between two sticks? Shut up and wear this hat.

We must all support Engerland because we have no choice. It has been decreed by the press and the people and even by Groovy Dave the Prime Minister. Come on England! Come On! GET ON WITH IT YOU USELESS SHITS!

Then they win. A triumph occurs. They win a tournament via natural disaster/home advantage/terrorists. The press will decry they all become knighted and the government will lose days in praising their “pride and spirit”. Engerland fans will flood the streets drinking and cheering and soon the players will become more famous for wearing the national white then their own team’s kit. They stop training effectively and try to save themselves for the international tournaments. Viewing figures and stadium attendances drop. Pubs and grounds close. No need to have that many trains on game-day so transport companies struggle, they go under and have to be taken on by the government to be run. The league players’ wages fall, the economy takes a hit, banks soon become part of the government. Soon all open amenities are run by the state. Immigration is closed off as there is no need for foreign players to come in so there is no need for any foreigner to come in. Elections are abolished as “we know how to run the country best” and England is renamed ‘Engerland’. Society crumbles

In the end, when you sit in the pub staring at the TV and think to yourself “Why can’t Ashley Cole take a bloody penalty”, be thankful. He may just be the only man standing between us and chaos.

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