Hey diddle-diddle, there’s a fella in the middle and I think he’s pulling my string. My wife’s lactating and I’m spectating. It’s a football thing.
And so were out of World Cup 2010. Quelle surprise. 4 -1 to the Germans. The Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeermans! Four bloody one. It was a shameful spanking that was waiting to happen since we saw how bad England were in their opening game against the USA. But if there is one match that epitomises the fans one-sided relationship with the footballing Gods that they fall onto their knees and empty their pockets to worship it is Englands emotionless 0 0 draw against North African second-raters Algeria. A none match where we fielded a zombie eleven. The competition was hyped up beforehand with months of advertising where we had Rio Ferdinand, John porridge-stirrer Terry and Frank Lampard staring at us from every box of cereal, petrol pump, condom machine and baked bean tin in the country. The Three Lions were branded on everything. England endorsed Mars Bars. England endorsed lager. England endorsed mortgages. England endorsed binge drinking. England endorsed skiving from work. England endorsed bloke-ish bloke-ishness. You couldnt take a shit without it coming out looking Wayne Rooney. The fans were chucking cash at the squad like acolytes making offerings to their Umbro-clad Gods. And then the competition started. Oh dear. The opening match England v USA was bad enough, when they drew 1 – 1 and the team took criticism from all corners. Sitting back on an early goal and jogging through the remaining eighty minutes while the Yanks had their pants down. But England v Algeria was like when youve told someone how crap they are and how disappointed you are in them and then they come back and shit on your carpet. It was appalling. Fucking appalling. The performance was lacklustre at best. Talk about insult to injury. It was like watching someone frigging your girlfriend and making a bad job of it. Half time came and the cameras panned to the terraces of Green Point Stadium. You could see devastation on the painted faces of the mugs whod travelled six thousand miles to see this shit. Risking the car-jackings, the vuvuzelas and an undercooked burger made from bush meat. You could see them regretting not going with the new conservatory or a fortnight in Florida with the family. All that money and hope down the toilet. And things didnt get any better in the second half.
There comes a point watching England that I end up wanting the opposition to win. I cant help it. No matter how much hope and allegiance I take into the match to start with, the teams apathy kills it and I find my loyalty drifting. Its not a conscious decision, it just happens. I can feel the anger simmering inside and I start willing the opposition to slam one into the net just to wipe the smugness from the faces of the over-paid fuckers. Because if this is patriotism then I reject it. Give me a green Algerian strip and put the name Judas across my shoulders. I dont care. My treachery is a feeling born out of frustration. Ten minutes into the second half against Algeria and I was desperate for the Algerians to hammer the complacent cunts. These were lads who play in the second division of Italian football. Who do some table service in Oran hotels in the off season. Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard and Terry have a combined personal wealth somewhere in the region of a hundred million pounds. And lets face it, you wouldnt pick any of them for the pub quiz team, would you? A hundred million quid. Because they can kick a ball. Im quite good at spinning a pen between my fingers, does anybody want to sign me on the books for a few million? A hundred million quid is more than the loan cut from Sheffield Foregmasters which was set to kick start heavy industry in South Yorkshire and provide a hundred and eighty jobs directly, with an entire economy being built up around it that would last for decades. The players live in a world where they are constantly praised and money is thrown at them. But you watch England and get the feeling that theyre not really trying. That they dont really care. So the opening optimism that you felt gets pissed on. You feel that they need a stuffing. That they deserve to get their arse kicked. You turn to the opposition disgusted. Come on, Halliche, nutmeg the fucker!
At the end of the Algeria match Wayne Rooney huffed off the pitch berating the England fans for booing. That was the first time all night Id seen him animated. What a cunt. What a Granny-shagging, knuckle-dragging, monkey-looking cunt. The hope behind the England team is evidenced by how much the bookies cleaned up on the night. They had their biggest win ever. Ten million quid. Ten million quid taken from optimistic, patriotic suckers who bought into the hype and Wayne Rooney playing with himself in a Lucosade advert and staked their money on a win by a side who couldnt give a shit. But thats the mistake. The England Team are all heroes in the Coca-Cola and McDonalds adverts. Theyre legends when the CGI has them firing one past Darth Vader and a phalanx of Imperial Stormtroopers with an overhead scissor kick from fifty yards in slow motion. When they are pasted on the front pages of the Sun and inside Hello magazine. First in the news above another casualty in Afghanistan or the economy crumbling and unemployment and the rest of the reality that most of us have to live through. The amount of money they earn plumps out their ability. Like Damien Hirst. But in reality they are big fish in a small pond. Meeting the Germans showed that. Over-paid, over-hyped, over-exposed. Market forces as opposed to talent dictates what they get; through the whimsical nostalgia of Three Lions and 1966 and the obligatory adoration of the Premier League selling replica shirts and baseball hats and deck chairs and flags and mountains of FA endorsed shit. But football is a different world these days to what it was back in 1966. And the team themselves seem unmoved that theyll turn in a performance that would disgrace the school yard. So long as they have their £100,000+ per week, their Bentley GT Continentals, the school girls to spit roast and the obligatory glamour model wife, they dont give a flying fuck about pride. Arrivederci, its two on one. All playing for England means is more advertising revenue. Advertising revenue which theyll get whether they win or not. Because you cant sell anything these days without Crouchie putting his name on it. Without David Beckham wearing it. Without Ashley Cole shagging its arse hollow and then cheating on it. Because people are mugs.
At the end of the Algeria match, my emotions rung out of me, disappointed with a draw, I had to ask myself, as a fan, if they cant put any goals past these useless tossers, what chance have Algeria got of progressing through to the knock out stages?