June 4th, 2011

England v Switzerland (Euro 2012 qualifier, 2011)


It has been frequently and justly complained that England have been placed in an exceptionally difficult qualification group for Euro 2012. That we are asked to play qualifiers at all is, of course, a calculated insult, not least coming from certain nations into the seats of whose trousers we sank our bulldog teeth and hauled them out of World War II just a few short decades ago. But we find ourselves pitted against the likes of Montenegro, fresh, young nations who, unlike England are not battle-weary from centuries of armed conflict to defend Civilisation against the Goths, Gauls and their swarthy variants. Small wonder there were signs of fatigue among our eleven Knights of the Turf as yesterday’s contest drew to a close. We’ve been at it from about 1066 onwards.

Switzerland, of course, are not a young nation. Were they not obliged by international law to enter Euro 2012 they would almost certainly opt to sit it out, and go back to their usual pastime of fashioning cowbells from Goebbels’s bullion. Slice a Swiss open and the word “NEUTRALITY” runs through him like the icing in a roll. However, enter the tourney they must, and so their FA (two old men in Alpine hats) scoured the cantons for suitable men, doubtless resorting to commandeering the Guard in the Vatican City, leaving His Holiness at the mercy of terror attacks from Mr Richard Dawkins. And so it was that they took to the Wembley field, quaking fretfully like callow young squires entering the tilt yard with Toblerones for lances to joust against far mightier foes.

The National Anthems were the measure of the disparity of the nations, one a nuclear power, the other whose defensive arsenal consists of implements only brought into requisition when the potato peeler has been misplaced. Our men boomed out our own with such Gregorian gusto that the Queen could not be safer in God’s hands than were he an English goal keeper defending a set piece. As for the opposition’s anthem, the “Swiss Psalm”, well, they should have had a goal awarded against them for that blasphemy alone but the referee was from Slovenia, whose notion of God is a man with a goat’s head allegedly spotted in the forest in 1373, so we could expect no theological rationale from him. The “Psalm” was rendered forlornly, parped out as if on a long horn to call the St Bernards back to their kennels at 6pm, that being bedtime in Switzerland as by that point, the nation has run out of things to do.

The game started at a blistering pelt, with the Men in White sweeping forward in wave after wave. In the opening 30 minutes, it could be said of England that they played with all the raw enthusiasm of a group of teachers unexpectedly asked to stay behind and work late on the last Friday afternoon before Summer holidays for the honour of the school. Scott Parker was particularly impressive; it was good indeed to see 1960s London gangland represented in the line-up, the era to which Parker so clearly belongs. They say of them that the only harm they did was to their own, and his backpassing certainly kept up that tradition. Theo “The First Ten Minutes” Walcott presented a constant threat, right up until the very point at which he did not. Meanwhile, rumours that Frank Lampard was playing spread like wildfire through the ranks, only serving to boost morale further. His presence was  confirmed when he stepped up to blast home a penalty, when England at last breached the Swiss defence, which, consisting as it did primarily of Arsenal and ex-Arsenal players, had remained hitherto churlishly and obdurately watertight. The sneaky Swiss strategy – score two quick goals from set-pieces having spent decades building up a deceptive reputation for incompetence outside the penalty box – was already coming undone.

Thereafter, it was all England. James Milner refuted amply that he might as well have been replaced by a fucking brick, because at least a fucking brick stays in a fucking wall, setting up Ashley Young for a fine goal, arrowed low and true into the wretched Swiss net. Then, cometh the moment, cometh Darren Bent. Names can be deceptive. Bent, although admittedly negro, is neither a victim, nor indeed a perpetrator of homosexualism. And, as the ball bounced back to him, feeling as safe as the child of William Tell as he shaped up and took his time to shoot, I took the opportunity to visit the latrine, in absolutely confidence that the ball was heading goalward. I asked Seppings to describe the net-busting event on my return. The fellow merely turned pale and gulped. His queer behaviour persisted this morning, when I caught him burning the sports section of my Sunday Telegraph in a brazier. As I set about him with my riding crop, it occurred to me that the fellow could do with taking a lengthy vacation, perhaps extended to a full hour. Out of the question, of course.

So panicked were the Swiss in the last 20 minutes of being further punished, they retained possession almost constantly in a cowardly fashion that was in marked contrast to England’s own attitude to the ball; it must be got rid of at the earliest opportunity, riddled as it is with foreign foot-germs. John Terry, England’s most pulsating and erect member, is the exemplar of this.

Another English triumph, and one which surely scotches the question, increasingly asked, as to whether England should appoint a manager. We need not. A licensed, jabbering fool gesticulating on the touchline like a baboon on a hot plate is all that we need. Certainly, any manager must be English, as indeed, the Swiss acknowledge, being themselves managed, it would appear, by Dr David Owen.

This was a triumph, too, against the the citadel of FIFA, whom the English FA so successfully faced down just last week. A return to the old order at FIFA is as surely desirable as it is imminent. The Third World, like an errant child needs to feel against its collective, tanned handquarters the bracing thwack of benevolent paternalism. We need to rid ourselves of the greasy corruption of the present, ill-advised administration and return to the old, Rousian order. This means;

AFRICAN nations only admitted to the World Cup upon forfeiture of their mineral deposits with the UK treasury. Compulsory exit of African nations before the knockout stages, so that their peoples can get back to work in their fields and mines undistracted.

BRAZIL to play in bare feet, as playing in boots gives them an unfair advantage.

THE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP not to be played by ladies in shorter shorts, as espoused by the pervert Blatter. Rather, they should play in petticoats, whalebone girdles, full-length ankle dresses, bonnets and carrying parasols at all times.

ASIAN teams to play blindfolded. As things stand, it is impossible for us to see the whites of their eyes as we advance on them, giving them another unfair advantage.

ENGLAND to play Germany in every World Cup Final. The match to be filmed in black and white. The match to be replayed if it does not accord with the wider truths of 20th century military history.

MYSELF to be elected President of FIFA, with Seppings as my Vice-President, Treasurer and head of the Ethics Committee.

Only through the immediate implementation of these measures can the sanity of yore be restored to world football.

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