England lose, shock

 

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So just when you thought your country was having a bad day, we went and topped it with a bloody display against Iceland in the Euro Championships which was abject. No that’s not strong enough. Over the years, watching England at major Championships since 1966 (with the exception of 1970 and 1996) has been utterly disappointing and depressing. But Monday’s performance was just the worst ever. It was shameful. And the Welsh football team were filmed laughing at us in celebration. Yes mocking from Wales, who last graced a major tournament when Perry Como had a hit with Magic Moments ie back in the Middle Ages.

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Why do we bother, Fawlty?

It’s one of the classic lines from Fawlty Towers uttered by the hotel’s oldest client and Basil’s dead-pan response, ‘I didn’t know you did Major’ was one of the all-time great put downs. It’s an exchange that puts me in mind of the situation involving the England team’s training regime in preparation for the World Cup. You see Roy and the boys are busy doing their squat thrusts at a training camp down in exclusive Vale do Lobo on the Algarve. I’m sure it’s great fun but why are they there rather than at the National Football Centre in Burton, a purpose-designed facility costing some £120m, which was built to be the base for England team get togethers? Ah you’ll reply, it’s to give the team some warm weather preparation before the lads hit the steamy heat of Manaus in Brazil. But it’s no big secret that the Algarve in late spring, delightful as it is, tends to be cool and blustery as yesterday’s high temperature of 15° indicates. So Roy’s had the lads playing in jumpers and extra layers to get them sweating up a bit. Of course he has. And I wonder how much the 50-man jaunt to Portugal has cost, whilst the FA’s own facilities (bathed in a mini heatwave a few days ago) stand empty and unloved?

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Is it just me or has top level football completely lost all sense of value and proportion? As the Major may have put it ‘Just what is the point of St George’s Park, Fawlty?’ Answers on a post card to the FA Chairman Greg Dyke.

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roy of the ravers

I read this morning that the Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is bigging up the talents of his striker (!) Bobby Zamora after he scored his 6th goal of the season to beat the less-than-mighty Sunderland 1-0 yesterday. Zamora’s goal was a well-placed clean header which must have startled his manager because the striker has perfected the art of  hitting shots off his knees, shins and backside. Indeed so wayward is his sense of the exact location of the opposition goal that home fans from Brighton, Spurs,West Ham and Fulham have become used to singing the Zamora tribute chant, ‘When you’re sat in row Z and the ball hits your head – that’s Zamora’ to the tune of ‘Amore’. Clearly still dazed at the post-match press conference, Hodgson stunned a room of football hacks by claiming that his centre-forward might well deserve a call-up to the England team’s World Cup squad as a viable alternative to the less-technically gifted (!!) first-choice striker Emile Heskey. By all accounts Hodgson has now been booked to appear at the Comedy Store for an extended run, whilst the Italian-born England head coach Fabio Capello was later quoted as saying that ‘Itsa bin a bellisimo week; primo Eengland were seeded for da World Cup draw and were tutta fortunata to be placed in a Grouppa which gives us  a realistico chance of, how you say, progressing to the later stages of the tournamento. Then a fellow Italian won Sono uno Celebritti – bravo Gino! And now I haf a seen mio primo pantomima horse double act – signori Hodgson and Zamora. Life in Eengland is tutta jolly!

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