October 17th, 2012

England v Poland (2014 World Cup qualifier, 2012)


There was a time, a greyer, bleaker time, under the Socialist administration of the 1970s, when England played Poland practically every fortnight. No doubt the purpose of these fixtures was for notes from Labour’s Cabinet to the Kremlin to be secreted in the unwitting players’ shorts, sneakily picked out at set-pieces by Polish henchmen posing as centre backs, so as to bypass the Iron Curtain. It is no coincidence that in recent years, with Poland having acknowledged the triumph of Capitalism, albeit bringing up the rear in the international market with its cabbage stands and low-quality gelatine moustache enhancers, these fixtures have rather dropped off, now that Mr Brezhnev is no longer around to issue orders to Mr Wilson.

Times have changed; with the pernicious advent of the European Union and the flood of migrants to these sceptred shores that has ensued, this fixture might well alternatively been titled England versus England. It was pretty clear to us back in 1939 that, in line with other nations in the Sub-European region, Poland only allowed themselves to be invaded by Nazi Germany because they were too lazy to run their own country. “Let Fritz do it,” they said to themselves, vowel-lessly. That same indolence pervades the modern Polish immigrant to England. It is plain that having arrived in this country, their sole intention, having put in a 70 hour weekly plumbing shift, is to idle around in bed at the British National Insurance payer’s expense.

For those unfamiliar with these people, here are a few facts about them. 1. The word “Solidarity” does not actually refer to a political movement at all, but a bowel movement. the hardness of its stool, whose intestinal gestation period can last up to four days, can be ascribed to their national diet of rancified dumpling. 2. For those Poles who are not caught up in the illegal plumber trafficking trade, their only source of work is to be employed, literally, as poles, holding up washing lines, tents at English boy scout conventions and so forth. Predictably, none of them find this amusing in the least. There, in essence, you have the opponents ranged against us this late afternoon.

The National Anthems provided a further measure of the disparity between nation and Eastern mud-region. Our own was bellowed with spunk, gusto and the sincere, raging, tumescent hope that Queen Elizabeth II lives to be 140. The Polish anthem, by contrast, was an abysmal dirge, with the redolence of old socks, ratmeat and the melancholy of an elderly boatman putting out to water, accompanied by his faithful dog, to drown the animal to save on household expenses.

The game began at a brisk pelt; it was obscene to see the Poles capering about in red and white, colours which are, by rights, property of the English crown. It was quite disgraceful that the referee did not immediately blow his whistle, confiscate the Polish players’ shorts and hand them over to kitman Roy Hodgson before awarding England an indirect free kick.

The Polish were pacey; years of trying to outrun English immigration officers explains that. They also played the ball along the ground, it being their only match ball, and, were they to kick it out of the stadium they would have to pop next door to Slovakia and borrow theirs. (Fortunately, the scarved women of Poland knitted overnight a giant quilt to place over the ground). However, it was not long before mighty English cannon carried the day. How could they not, with a line-up so superlative that some of the players are even deemed good enough to turn out for their own clubs occasionally? There was Tom Cleverley, who has come a long way since his days as the Fourth Form School Swot at Greyfriars school in the Billy Bunter novels. Michael Carrick may, or may not have been on the pitch; his genius is to keeps his opponents, as well as spectators, in a permanent state of uncertainty in this respect. Wayne Rooney was, as ever, the personification of the splendid English music hall standard “Roll Out The Barrel”. Gerrard, as ever, was spraying phlegm all over the park. Ashley Cole is a national hero; it was very noble, very white of him to stand up for John Terry recently, though he knew that he could never again be accepted among his own sort. He was one of a number of players in the English team of a certain pigmentation. Following events in Serbia, however, we show ourselves to be the better men when we refrain from referring to Cole and those of his hue in racialist, derogatory or insulting terms. Let us simply accept them for what they are and refer to them as such; the Spoils of Empire.

The pitch was still somewhat moist  following yesterday’s deluge – indeed, one suspected it was not so much a pitch as a giant water lily. So unoccupied was Joe Hart that there was every danger he might sink into the aquatic depths where he stood. Being English, however, he would doubtless have gone down with his six yard box. Up the other end, England swiftly acquired the lead, as Rooney shouldered home a Gerrard cross. That effectively ended the game as a competitive spectacle. It fell only for Phil Jagielka to stage a masterclass in three yard passing which on only several occasions saw the ball trundle aimlessly over the touchline as he displayed all the gentle touch of a Savile.

Come the second half and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain entered the fray. Chamberlain and Poland is always a good combination as it generally marks the prelude to an exciting, absorbing, if one-sided war and so the final stages of the match proved, with England peppering the Polish goal for fun, Wayne Rooney even going so far as to loft the match ball into the crowd as a gesture of goodwill.

Another triumph, marred only by a singular injustice. Midway through the first half Polanski received a caution. That our own Captain and inspiration John Terry should have been banned for four games for loudly saying that which he did not say, while a man found guilty of sexual intercourse with a minor should receive only a yellow card is, in the truest sense, a slap in the testicles to every Englishman.

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