A few notes on the Southgate England Team
Well I had another conversation about the England football team. I hate getting into these conversations because I don’t know what to say about it. Or not that I don’t know, I just can’t be arsed to circle around the most popular England Moan Memes. Why are we so shit? Five little words that are whispered and rattled about in every Pub in the country, at home in front of the massive TV you’ve got and at home sitting there fondling your balls while you watch another insipid knock around at Wembley. The dog farts. The can of beer at your elbow is horrible. Your Missus is on Ebay looking at garden furniture again. The kids have their faces stuck in their phones and you have 42″ of massive telly to watch and there are coloured blobs running around on there because your eyes are half closed bored, insipid TV non entertaining football wankery. Southgate comes on and his head is massive and scary. It’s our national game apparently and we are supposed to be good at it. The European Championships in 2016 was a circle jerk of a campaign where we lost to a load of part time strippers from Iceland who’s national sport is lifting weights and drying fish. Iceland for fucks sake.
Fucking hell. On paper of course the team we have and the levels they play at are fabulous. It’s multicultural, athletic, beards, sleeve tattoos, great cars, great Insta accounts. Expensive haircuts. They hop off the coach like men on Death Row, faces hanging like drool off a crackheads lips, eyes averted in shame at their absolute fucking boredom at being there. The England team aren’t funny….
But hang on, they aren’t funny? Well they aren’t. Gascoigne was hilarious. He pulled the working class humour along with him into the hallowed halls of the FA, the gilded stadiums of Europe and the world. He had blokes, team mates that idolised him because his humour pulled along a team of what amounted to dysfunctional children for the most part. If we got to a major final we would always have a character in there who was a little off kilter, turned up in the papers a bit, usually naked in a ‘HOT TUB ENGLAND SHAME’ or some other bollocks.
But what now? Looking at the latest England team Gareth Southgate has picked I wonder to myself. OK Southgate isn’t the most charismatic of people, he’s like listening to your Mom talk about her day, or reading a magazine in the dentists waiting room about bread making. He’s fucking dull. The team reflect his personality and you look at their poor little faces and all you see is pretty haircuts, pretty clothes, big headphones, dour miserable faces. Teenagers basically. These doughnuts haven’t a fucking clue about life. You can see it in their eyes and I call it the ‘two foot stare’ it’s that vacant narcissistic gormless blank look people have while they look at their phones. Even when they try to make themselves look a bit dynamic it’s still the girls taking selfies in the mirror of the womens bogs. Pouting, slick as they can get it but ultimately generic and empty.
The only time Southgate will get a Hot tub shame headline is if someone finds an errant pubic hair in his filter system. I mean does he even have a Hot Tub? He’d look miserable like he was being boiled alive in it. See what I’m saying? We have a team of boring football players doing boring football, they’re bored, your’re bored, everybody is bored. It’s Aldi football, it’s not Cocaine football it’s Lemsip football. I mean you can’t blame them for being shit. All they’ve known is being dragged around various pitches and parks during childhood through the rain and the snow so they can maybe get somewhere in the game, get a contract and play. Now they find themselves at the top of the game, big contracts, all the perks, all the groovy photo shoots. But ultimately every single one of the England team picked by Daz Southgate are the dullest bunch of lollipops I’ve ever witnessed. Imagine going on a night out with them!
Now I would love to get my red flag out and start to rant about the mismanagement of the national game both at FA level and grass roots but that’s not going to cut the mustard is it? Directors, owners, globalism, finances all this shit I could trowel out for five thousand words but it still wouldn’t make any difference at all. TV money might have to be wheeled out as a culprit but then again it’s an argument that just goes on and on like a circle jerk at the impotent mens self help group. ‘Self help’ hahahahaaaha.
I’ll tell you what the problem is. We haven’t got any nutters any more. We lack ‘Mad Men’. People who have a screw loose like Gascoigne and Tony Adams, Pierce et al. This nutter dynamic is lacking at international levels. The best Players were always lunatics, always on the edge. They had normal day to day jobs in the past most the time. Plumbers, working on building sites, factories. Then given a free reign to unleash their madness on a football field they excelled. They were dynamic and fresh, novel maybe, igniting the field of play with madness and tricks, taking the piss. The same goes on in International teams from around the world. There are always a few nutters dotted around the squad. You know they will have a six foot tall model on their arm at some point but there will also be a cocaine story, a crashed car or two. A few dodgy gangster friends in photos. The occasional fire, the random shooting incident or accusations of cannibalism. Of course you will have the Steve Armpitts and Deloney Sharelles in the team who can manage a pass or two and chip in with a goal or three until they catch themselves on the big tellys in the corners of the ground. But to ignite a game you need a lunatic, you need an artist who has looked at the abyss of a muddy building site at 6am slipping in the ice filled ruts with an armful of breeze blocks. We need Maradona, Cruyff, Buffon, Balotelli type lunatics whose insanity is reflected in their football. Out of the chaos of their minds comes a football that is a beautiful as a still mountain pool. Ignore the occasional hotel fire and bloody street brawls these are sportsmen and women. Gladiators of our time and they need space to breathe.
The England team lacks these dynamic characters. So you can keep the excuses that are always trotted out and you need to change the narrative at the national level. You need to mute the importance of the printed press too. How many England careers have been destroyed by a dodgy backhander story or topless hot tub fun? So a player likes to get arseholed occasionally with his mates, it’s great fun being drunk or stoned, it filters out the bullshit that these players operate under. The poor bastards look like kids at a Borstal, scared to step out of line in case a Screw gives them a whack. They are probably suffering some sort of post traumatic stress from being picked from obscurity to play for England. Wondering when some woman will sell her story to the Sun about how he likes to sniff amyl nitrate as she beats him with a riding crop.
England I suspect will never be successful at International level unless the FA pull their fingers out and stop treating sportsmen like children. We don’t need saints like that goal hanging git Lineker, we don’t need miserable gits like Shearer either, we need blokes that have looked into the abyss and seen the glaring lights of the International game as an opportunity to take the piss out of the opposition on the pitch. To breathe deep the infected wastes of political football and decided ‘fuck it’ lets go mental. We need to be entertained by these people but looking at that team I’m feeling a distinct lack of excitement, it’s a workmate barbecue, it’s flicking through Netflix football, it’s fresh fades, and exotic Nikes, Beats headphones when it should be about bollocks, and laughs, and madness.
So ultimately it’s all our faults. The FA, the players, TV money, Global business and us. We have to turn a blind eye to the errant and the weird, the crazy and the destructive and just love the madness of football again, bring those lunatics closer to us by supporting them through their madness and not getting involved in their lives. Let them do their art on the pitch and let them lead their lives off it. Embrace the mad and we will start to win games and trophies.
2 thoughts on “Mad Men-Why England are Shit”
I think there are two routes to international success:
1) the systematic route as adopted by France and Spain. Sustainable but needs everyone to buy into it.
2) the Leicester City/Greece and Wales at the Euros method. Find a group of players for whom winning at an international level will trump anything they achieve in their domestic careers and put them together with a similarly motivated coach. A roll of the dice maybe but might work for a one off and will probably be based on unattractive pragmatic football.
We unfortunately seem capable of taking neither path.
Of course. The nutter variable is just one of many different routes. But what we require really is a huge overhaul of how the game is run in this country. The FA are a fucking disgrace. But answers? I don’t know, I don’t get paid to run the whole trough but something needs to be done and fast.
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