Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Simple Plan to Halt the England Angst Industry

EAI's Victims Need Our Help

We know a lot about football you and me. We know that Brazil isn't what it used to be, that the MLS is woefully overrated at the moment (which is saying a lot), that Middlesborough are this season's Aston Villa, that Manchester City will still never win anything, and we know that England will never play attractive football again.

So because we know England will always play badly, even when normally sane football-minded people predict exciting lopsided wins against Andorra against any obvious evidence, even when away fans boo their own national team in a foreign stadium at half time only to regale them with another round of 'God Save the Queen' minutes later, even with all the mind-numbing and utterly useless tactical advice offered in vain by countless paid newspapermen to a proven seven-figure professional, and even when we really, really don't want them to (admit it, because you're certainly not fooling me); why therefore can't we let England rest happily with the Denmarks and Greeces of the world, satisfied with their bit of silverware and content to move on into that famous and now quite-full dustbin of history?

Because of the England Angst Industry: fans, journalists, and players who thrive on the angst of repeated England flops, losses, and general technical deficiency.

The England Angst Industry (EAI) earns its keep these days primarily from the following. England won in '66. In major tournaments since, they've gotten close enough to build hope but not close enough to bow out with dignity. England's players play for high wages in the so-called 'Best League in the World,' reinforcing the oft-repeated fallacy that they should make-up the best national team in the world. Having a proper national program with dedicated training facilities and a view to participation in every FIFA competition possible in addition to the Olympic Games is for sissys and South Americans. Learning from the example of the Dutch and Germany national programs is un-British. And so it goes, and goes, and goes. But God, it was great when Gazza cried, wasn't it?

My simple prescription will cripple the EAI for good and transform England into the cute and cuddly national team that everyone roots for but never wins. The next Australia maybe...or Turkey if they're lucky.

Fire Capello immediately. Hire a young and untested manager from the Blue Square Premier League. Ban Premiership players from the national team.

The international break will allow Premier League Nerds to learn about the best players they've never heard of, as well as giving lukewarm lower-level tactical ideas a chance to succeed. If new-look England play badly, 'no skin off' etc. If they don't, than you've been treated to a heart-warming sports story that won't make it past page two.

Maybe one day they'll qualify for a tournament. But probably not. At least they won't receive any more coverage. How do I know this plan will work? Google 'CSA Senior Mens Team.' The action plan is laid out there in excruciating detail.


Fredorrarci said...

But why on earth would you want to cripple the EAI? It offers much entertainment to grateful outsiders and besides, it makes them happy. They're not so much victims as willing participants. It's like how they complain about the weather, or remark about how the nights are drawing in with a note of surprise in their voice, as if it were an odd, unpredictable phenomenon. Think of it as a natural channel for their post-imperial angst. Some countries would invade a defenceless territory to prove they still have it; the English complain about their football team. Thus order is maintained.

ursus arctos said...

Looks like Capello is working on his own plan for this problem.

With some help from Slaven Bilic and a team of Croatian saboteurs.

Richard Whittall said...

Yesterday is still within the EAI's business model --tease you with the one major away win when it counts, and then BAM -- it's nil nil against Belarus.

Mark my words.