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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
This week, I made the shocking discovery that I'm going grey. Underneath my enormous thatch of long brown hairs, two brigades of white ones have been outflanking me just above the ears in a slow, silvery advance that had gone entirely unnoticed. The sad thing is that I can pinpoint the origin of all of them. That one near the front on the right-hand side, that's 'Northern Ireland 1-0 England' from 2005. That one there, that's the 2-2 draw with Macedonia when they scored from a corner, and if you go round towards the back of my head, you'll see the snowy devastation of Euro 2000.

I think that England stress me out more because I'm a Southend United fan. Whenever I go to Roots Hall, which is all too rarely these days, I have relatively low expectations of what I'm about to see. After the dark days of the late 1990s and early 21st century, a period which we spent exclusively in the bottom half of the fourth division, I'm still quite impressed when someone manages to execute a volley correctly. With England, and their stellar cast of players, it's a big day out for me and I demand to be dazzled. It's this vast gap between expectations and outcome that explains why it always seems to be lower-league supporters at the centre of any trouble when England play abroad.

England's worst enemy is not Germany or France, it's England herself. The fans expect, the media demand and inevitably, the players fail to deliver. England's most spectacular results are always followed by stunning incompetence, a cataclysmic encore that threatens to ruin the main performance. In 1996, having dismantled Holland by four goals to one, they wilted in front of the Spanish. After battering Germany by five goals to one in 2001, they huffed and puffed their way past Albania for three points so undeserving that they made the group table feel guilty. Now, after destroying Croatia, England face...erm...Kazakhstan. Ping! There's another grey one.

The English know nothing about Kazakhstan, not least because they've just sacked their manager and replaced him with a man whose first act was to drop almost the entire first team squad. I know that Borat, the fictional creation of Sacha Baron Cohen, is from there and I think it's one of those countries in the middle that takes ages to fly over when you're on your way to Singapore. That aside, I'm out.

The biggest concern is that the English players may well be lounging in that same blissful ignorance. After three years of being battered, quite rightly, for their ineptitude, they're still basking in the glory of a job well done in Zagreb. You can have all the interminable Stevie G/Lamps debates you like, but if the players aren't focused and motivated then Zagreb will be nothing but a historical anomaly. For once, I'm not bothered about style. I just want three more points and the knowledge that my country is a step closer to South Africa and a step further away from McClaren-style failure.

So spare a thought for the English this evening as they settle down to watch a game that can only go horribly wrong and, if you have time, spare a thought for me. If England lose this one, you'll have to take a Tippex pen to my byline picture.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,158
Location
London
This week, I made the shocking discovery that I'm going grey. Underneath my enormous thatch of long brown hairs, two brigades of white ones have been outflanking me just above the ears in a slow, silvery advance that had gone entirely unnoticed. The sad thing is that I can pinpoint the origin of all of them. That one near the front on the right-hand side, that's 'Northern Ireland 1-0 England' from 2005. That one there, that's the 2-2 draw with Macedonia when they scored from a corner, and if you go round towards the back of my head, you'll see the snowy devastation of Euro 2000.

I think that England stress me out more because I'm a Southend United fan. Whenever I go to Roots Hall, which is all too rarely these days, I have relatively low expectations of what I'm about to see. After the dark days of the late 1990s and early 21st century, a period which we spent exclusively in the bottom half of the fourth division, I'm still quite impressed when someone manages to execute a volley correctly. With England, and their stellar cast of players, it's a big day out for me and I demand to be dazzled. It's this vast gap between expectations and outcome that explains why it always seems to be lower-league supporters at the centre of any trouble when England play abroad.

England's worst enemy is not Germany or France, it's England herself. The fans expect, the media demand and inevitably, the players fail to deliver. England's most spectacular results are always followed by stunning incompetence, a cataclysmic encore that threatens to ruin the main performance. In 1996, having dismantled Holland by four goals to one, they wilted in front of the Spanish. After battering Germany by five goals to one in 2001, they huffed and puffed their way past Albania for three points so undeserving that they made the group table feel guilty. Now, after destroying Croatia, England face...erm...Kazakhstan. Ping! There's another grey one.

The English know nothing about Kazakhstan, not least because they've just sacked their manager and replaced him with a man whose first act was to drop almost the entire first team squad. I know that Borat, the fictional creation of Sacha Baron Cohen, is from there and I think it's one of those countries in the middle that takes ages to fly over when you're on your way to Singapore. That aside, I'm out.

The biggest concern is that the English players may well be lounging in that same blissful ignorance. After three years of being battered, quite rightly, for their ineptitude, they're still basking in the glory of a job well done in Zagreb. You can have all the interminable Stevie G/Lamps debates you like, but if the players aren't focused and motivated then Zagreb will be nothing but a historical anomaly. For once, I'm not bothered about style. I just want three more points and the knowledge that my country is a step closer to South Africa and a step further away from McClaren-style failure.

So spare a thought for the English this evening as they settle down to watch a game that can only go horribly wrong and, if you have time, spare a thought for me. If England lose this one, you'll have to take a Tippex pen to my byline picture.

I've got low expectations. That scouse ****** Gerrard has been recalled and will walk back into midfield. Still we can all blame Lampard when Gerrard spends 90 minutes strolling around, sulking because he's not captain and generally gifting away possession.




ps Slipper, are Chelsea lower-league?
 

BoyWonder2

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
8,170
Location
Cold Norton, Essex
I've got low expectations. That scouse ****** Gerrard has been recalled and will walk back into midfield. Still we can all blame Lampard when Gerrard spends 90 minutes strolling around, sulking because he's not captain and generally gifting away possession.




ps Slipper, are Chelsea lower-league?

Spot on. I tried to give you some green for that but I need to spread it around a bit first.
 

Sussex Shrimper

Manager
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
1,674
I'd put Gerrard in at right back in place of Brown. He wouldn't like it, but he's awesome there and it wouldn't upset the balance of a winning team.
 

graysblue

Banned
Joined
Jul 20, 2008
Messages
1,602
Location
grays
only ever seen england live twice.

bobby charltons 100th cap against northern ireland with a certain mr best scoring a wonder goal.

under boring hoddle friendly against mexico where collymore came on .

1st game was decent value

2nd game has scarred me forever
 
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