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All Things Footie | Thursday, November 18 | Jordan

Beyond disgraceful

Not only was I not going to watch the England game last night, but I certainly wasn’t going to give a dull International friendly the satisfaction of writing about it too. Unfortunately, there was nothing at all on the box last night apart from the footie, and however you describe last night’s encounter between England and Spain the Bernebeu (pronouce it right you BBC muppets: bern-eh-bay-oo), it certainly wasn’t dull (for the most part anyway). If I were the manager, I’d kick Rooney out the squad for his stupid, black armband throwing, petulant, violent and unpleasant attitude; and make it clear in no uncertain terms that continuing to behave like a mouthy chav will only get him further away from a starting place in the England team. He’s a very gifted player, but an utter, utter moron. Even if it means having to play Alan Smith, the chocolate teapot of English strikers (or ‘the new Emile Heskey’), it’s a matter of principle.

Talking of matters of principle, Spain: you’re an absolute f*cking disgrace. There’s me thinking the sterotype of the hairy, misogynistic, racist, backwards, lazy, stupid Spainiard was just an outdated caricature, when it seems the majority of the population are like that. From manager Luis Aragones’ racially targetted slur on Thierry Henry, the monkey chants regularly dished out to black players in Spain in the Champions League, the same taunt at certain England U21 players on tuesday night, to the sickening chants aimed solely at Ashley Cole for the first half last night and later to Shaun Wright-Phillips in particular; there’s no doubt that a lot of people in the land of donkeys, Irish bars, bad moustaches and worse tans need some serious reducation. Preferably in the form of a good, hearty punch in the face.

I mean, honestly? How? Are we really in the 21st Century? I don’t know if it’s just because of my PC society’s social conditioning, but I genuinely felt sick to the stomach every time I heard the ‘oo oo oo oo oo’ chant ring around the stadium (this was no minority). I desperately wanted Ashley Cole or Wright-Phillips to score an equaliser and overcelbrate rubbing those neanderthal Oxygen theives’ noses in it. The sad thing is that the pathetic, spineless cowards at UEFA/FIFA would probably have fined the players for incitement. As far as I’m concerned, the Spanish crowds should be treated like the animals they are—which means either banning them from watching football until they grow up and realise that it’s no longer the 19th Century, or liberally distributing a sizeable mob of Zimbabwean policemen with cattle prods amongst the Spanish crowds with a free ‘license to shock’. My vote is for option two.

Back to the football; England were murdered, and lucky that it was only a friendly, so Spain didn’t really turn it on. Gary Neville, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand clearly had the Premiership on their minds, as the proceeded to assault José Reyes constantly for the opening half an hour. It was pleasing to see Reyes get at least one kick in on Neville, and quite hilarious to see Neville protesting as if he’d been hard done by. Watching England play dirty, United-esque tactics like that quite frankly embarrassed me nearly as much as the racist chanting must have embarassed Spainards with more than two braincells to rub together. There’s absolutely no doubt that Spain the football team deserved their win; every English player without exception had an absolute mare. I don’t think Neville made one complete pass all night, Beckham’s long balls were high and hopeful ‘to’ (well, sort of in the direction of) Owen, and ruining any periods of posession before they’d started (much the effect Owen had at Liverpool in the last few years), Lampard and Butt (ha!) were run ragged by Xavi and Xabi, Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge were run ragged by Joaquín, Rooney was less than a waste of space and I don’t think Owen actually touched the ball for the whole game.

This is what happened when England play a good team. It happens every now and then, and when it does, England tend to lose (Brazil, France, Portugal and now Spain). I can only think of one game against a good side than Eriksson’s won, and that was a tight 1-0 against Argentina from a dodgy penalty. People continually cite Eriksson’s played/lost record in defence against those—like me—that think he’s absolutely useless, but it’s not the point. England have been very lucky with either the draws they’ve had in competitions/qualifying, or been fortunate enough that when they have played half decent teams, the other lot just didn’t turn up. England are dull, disorganised, without leadership (on and off the pitch) and more importantly, full of jumped up ungrateful tossers like Wayne Rooney. With about ten minutes to go last night, Jermaine Jenas was moping around, arms flapping by his side, not looking for the ball, not wanting it, and not trying to win it back. You saw the same thing with Owen too: not even bothering to chase slightly imperfect balls. It was pathetic, and these young millionaires need reminding that when everything in the garden isn’t rosy, you have to actually work to achieve things. However poorly they played, some players (Cole and Terry in particular I noticed) were still busting a gut to try and get hold of the ball and make something happen, there was a desire there that was all but absent throughout the rest of the team. More players like that, and less prima-donna, playboy, scallies that believe their own hype and England could be a half decent side.

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