September 6th, 2011

England v Wales (Euro 2012 qualifier, 2011)


In his recently republished autobiography Over The Bar, in which the phlegm and wind breeze miserably off the pages, former Welsh goalkeeper Jack Kelsey recalls as a budding teenager keeping goal for his local village club. The opposing team shot from distance with little force requiring no more than a routine save. However, Kelsey happened to be distracted by an aeroplane passing overhead. His little Welsh eyes were transfixed by the sight and as he result, he barely scrambled to save a ball that was, until he unWalesed his senses, bobbling undisturbed into the net.

And there, in a nutshell, you have the Welsh. They currently stand at 117th in the world footballing rankings, with formidable nations such as Haiti looking down on them. It was news to me that there were more than 117 nations in the world. One wonders at the calibre of some of them.

It may well be that there are nations whose military capability amounts to half a dozen blow darts who rank higher than the Welsh. It may well be that there are nations who worship Prince Philip (not in a sensible way, the way we English do, but much in the way a backward tribe of savages might worship an extra large boulder) who rank higher than the Welsh.  It may well be that there are tribes dwelling deep in the Amazon rainforest who, were they discovered, would rank higher than the Welsh, knocking them down into 118 place. There may well be nations who would not only be distracted by a passing plane, but would sink to their knees in abasement as if it were a sky-god who rank higher than the Welsh. Were the English not so sporting, we could have won tonight’s game by simple dint of having the Red Arrows fly back and forth over Wembley stadium, with the players in red swaying their heads in rapture at these sky machines, as our boys scored at will.

It is a marvel that the Welsh persist, not just as a nation, but as a geographical entity. That it rains constantly upon the place is no coincidence; the Lord God Almighty is dropping the strongest possible hint that they are effectively water, and ought to submerge into the sea forthwith, so that we in England could get an unimpeded view across the ocean and see what the Irish are up to. They are an irrelevance. We have enough slate, thank you. We have enough ultimately disappointing Labour politicians, thank you. We have enough – have enough – have enough gravel, thank you.

The National Anthems so emphatically indicated the difference between the two teams that the fixture should have been declared in England’s favour there and then, thereby wasting no more of the valuable time of those in the corporate seats who had taken the trouble to turn up at Wembley out of sheer, patriotic duty. Our own was so rousing, so loin-tingling, that had it gone on for a couple more verses I might have had no option but to have my manservant Seppings. As for the Welsh; “Land Of My Fathers”?  To what does this refer? That the average Welsh person can only be conceived by dint of five of his elder countrymen clubbing together their semen in the hope that  between them, they will produce a single strong swimmer? In any case, the title of the song should be “Land Of My Masters – My English Masters, From England”.

The game set off at an exhilaratingly brisk pace, with England’s forwards encouraging and settling down their own fans by making sure they got several early touches of the ball. Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant looks better and better with each passing game. How wise he was not simply to pay a fucking tenner to some fucking bloke down the fucking market who could lay his fucking hands on the fucking fur from a fucking dead dog’s fucking arse and a fucking strip of double-sided  fucking Velcro. There were other strong performances as well. Ashley Cole has made that shirt his own; however, it is as well that it still reads “A. Cole”, as there is every prospect of both Joe and Carlton Cole finding their way back into the England team, or, still more likely, Andy Cole. As for Lampard, his contribution was of immense allegorical, theological significance. The atheist dolts like Dawkins disbelieve in God because they find no evidence of His existence. What fools they will feel when, at the very end, as when Lampard was substituted, they will realise that He was there the whole time.

As for the Welsh, they were full of low, sneaky tricks. Calling one of your players “Gunter”, in the hope that he might be mistaken by the English for a German, was perhaps the lowest of them. More chilling was Bale. His disconcertingly Simean aspect made one imagine, with horror, some new cinematographic feature entitled Planet Of The Welsh. Could Bales be our masters in some future dystopia?

The game had been one in a single, fell swish by Ashley Young, who converted with the nonchalance of a fellwalker shaking off a piece of dirt from his shoe – in this case, the dirt of Welsh insolence and presumption of parity. Briefly, the Welsh did threaten – however, the ball fell to Earnshaw, a veritable jar exhibit as to the folly of blending disparate inferiors. Any decent phrenologist would have anticipated in a trice that he would bungle the one chance granted to him by an England team already beset with anxiety as just where the Euro 2012 trophy would fit in their already overcrowded cabinet.

The final whistle blew on a moral 26-0 victory for those sporting the Three Lions crest; jubilation abounded on the England bench, save for Signor Capello, the mascot, looking on like the comedic Greek fellow in the light entertainment programme Shooting Stars shown by the British Broadcasting Corporation. One could imagine him fantasising that all this time he had actually been  in charge of the team, and, having somehow grasped the English vernacular, raging as follows; ‘YEAH, SURE, WE BEAT THE FUCKING WELSH, AND YOU SHALL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF OUR FUCKING EXCREMENT AS WE DID SO! JITTERY ISN’T THE FUCKING WORD! JUST AS WELL AS IT WAS PISSING DOWN WITH RAIN TODAY, AS THEY’D HAVE BEEN SCARED SHITLESS OF THEIR OWN FUCKING SHADOWS IN THE BUILD-UP, LET ALONE THE PROSPECT OF THE FUCKING WELSH – AND LET ME AGAIN EMPHASISE THIS, THE FUCKING WELSH! EURO 2012? BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT – EARLY FUCKING FLIGHTS HOME, THAT IS! WHEN I WAS MADE MANAGER, I TOLD THE FUCKING FA, GIVE ME THE TOOLS AND I’LL DO THE JOB – I DIDN’T MEAN GIVE ME THIS BUNCH OF FUCKING TOOLS!”

However, his inner monologue doubtless went; “ice cream, ice cream, a-da-ice cream . . .”

Comments are closed.