Monday, 1 September 2014

Window of Woe

In the light of Roy Hodgson's record-breaking England squad announcement last week - the Worst Squad in Living Memory (and I'm including that couple who were celebrating their 80th wedding anniversary's memory) - it's interesting to note what's happening to the (one-time) 'best' English prospects at the moment.

Danny Welbeck seems destined to leave Old Trafford. Mind you, if he wants to go to a better team then there's plenty of choice at the moment. Micah Richards, yesterdays's England right-back for a generation, has been seen in Florence. Jack Rodwell is gracing the Stadium of Plight. Zaha's back at Palace.

Meanwhile those Englishmen still retained by their clubs, probably on the basis of UEFA's home-grown players legislation rather than any respect for their abilities, sit in idle splendour, doing fuck-all for a fuck-of-a-lot.

Scott Sinclair, more renowned for being the boyfriend of the ever-exposed Helen "put 'em away love" Flanagan than a professional person in his own right, is still at Man City. Josh McEachran has been loaned out so many times he's a Chelsea player in name only. From Boro to Arnhem; he's goes to all the glam places, that lad, and I think that Arnhem might be a bridge too far.

The call-ups for Colback and Rose are truly dispiriting. That barrel must be well and truly scraped now. Pardew says that some have called Colback 'the ginger Pirlo'. Good, Alan. And I'm sure someone will have called Alan Pardew the Cockney Clough once. If they're a twat.

It's not that encouraging that Jagielka, Milner and Johnson have been retained either. Injuries haven't helped Hodgson but we are truly in forlorn times as a national team.

It doesn't help, therefore, that Manchester United - once a bastion of bringing forward youth players and thrusting them into the fray - have seen fit to simply buy every mildly ambitious international superstar in the world game. Falcao's loan from Monaco underlines the fact. It's hard to make a case for even Rooney starting a game at OT now.

The only Englishman likely to get given a game by LVG soon will be Smalling or Jones - and that selection will be made on the toss of  a coin.

This is a transfer window that needs to close before those of us with an abiding if misplaced love of the England national team throw ourselves headlong out of it and dash our scrambled brains on the pavement beneath. The last time England were this bad, that Norwegian commentator launched into his 'your boys took a helluva beating' monologue. Thankfully, England open their autumn campaign with a friendly against... Norway. Shit.

But if there is an abiding memory of this particular August flogfest it will be the flock of football locusts that swept along the north coast of the Solent this August. A once-prosperous crop of flourishing seedlings lopped down and transplanted into new soil.

It'd be fascinating to ask Nathaniel Clyne (surely the best English right-back available at present) or James Ward-Prowse (a better bet than Colback) how they feel about still being at St. Mary's. Like survivors of some desperate military campaign they must occasionally ask themselves 'Why did I survive, and not the others?'

Morgan Schneiderlin, after a fine performance in Saints 3-1 victory at West Ham (and please God can the Hammers not drop down a division so that we're spared the relentless stodge of Allardyce's teams - they are the footballing equivalent of workhouse gruel) - yes, young Schneiderlin looked bewildered that he was still there too.

It would be nice, don't you think, for the bigger clubs to take a look at Southampton, see how they discover and develop such fine players, and ooh, I dunno, try and do the same thing themselves. Rather than just waiting for them to cough up a Bale or a Walcott or a Lallana.

While I've got me middle-aged man's munk on, forty years ago, the Saints would've kept that entertaining squad together and developed a team that would, within two or three years, have won something.

I've just begun reading 'The Unforgiven', the story of Don Revie's Leeds United. Revie started with bog-all, bar a curmudgeonly centre-back called Jack Charlton and a twinkle-toed malicious little sod called Billy Bremner. The rest of that simultaneously horribly brilliant, brilliantly horrible team was, with a few additions,
peopled by what UEFA would nowadays call 'homegrown talent'.

It couldn't happen today. Simply could not. Sadly, the Southampton squad, shorn of native talent but awash with cash, is loaded now with plenty of new talent, very little of it English. Or even British.

The fact that Ross Barkley has pledged his immediate future to Everton is a minor miracle. Then again, the overachieving fifth place is unlikely to materialise this season and then we'll see how limpet-like the lad's attachment to the club is.

Of course there's another reason that Hodgson's squad is so threadbare. There aren't enough decent and uninjured Englishmen available to bloody well fill the squad places. And there's a deeper malaise too. Why is it that talented teenage Englishmen barely get any better at the game as they get into their twenties.

Is Rooney better now than he was in 2004? What the hell has happened to Phil Jones, when as a 19-year-old at Blackburn he bullied the hell out of top opposition strikers? And will Andy Carroll actually walk again without pulling a groin? More to the point, will Sterling, Barkley, Oxlade-Chamberlain and the other few wither on the English vine or step up a level like Gareth Bale (NB not English)?

The transfer window simply illuminates the paucity of available English talent and the lack of interest the big clubs have in using them even if they are there. Manchester United's pre-season shopping is reminiscent of Abramovich's Chelsea when the money first came in. It's a kind of arbitrary purchase of anyone going, as far as I can tell.

And in all that spend. spend, spend there's only been one Englishman: Luke Shaw. And he's now in a squad with Rojo and Blind. And the manager doesn't rate his fitness. He's got bench-warmer written all over him.








52 comments:

  1. Anyone else want to be first?I don't fancy it.....

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's right what you say Robboinhio.

    England are the new Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've seen this happen in other people's national teams
    And now it's happening in mine
    Happening in mine happening in mine happening in mine...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish I could hand you Mikel and Victor Moses to add to your squad

      Delete
  4. good stuff Robbo, I blame Harold Wilson and Ted Heath and the computer age and tennis and drugs and the education system and the welfare state and high fructose corn syrup and Brent crude and skateboards.

    Back when it was the Dell, it was more of a retirement home for ageing footballers, latterly it was a nursery but everything changes, change is dynamic they say, fuck 'em.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1 for what trot said

      Fuck em.. the modern ball, far too round, the pitches are far too lacking in mud, bit overall I blame the middle classes. For everything, not just for shit footballers with no spine or heart of oak but for Jimmy Seville, the Spanish Jimmy Saville fukin spellchecker, ebola, x- factor and this filing headache I'm giving myself looking got someone to blame. The,fa I blame the GA. And Blatter. And the lack of lead in our petrol. Fuk em.

      Delete
  5. Okay, I just deleted a lengthy diatribe - you're welcome, all.

    I blame sports media and sports agents - both parasites, way too much influence, fuel the increasing divide between have and have-nots, and have ruined pretty much every professional sport, worldwide.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I blame the rest of the world for catching up. What's next, no more Empire?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ahh Robson! I've missed your pages over this non-football period. Went back and read every writing missed up until now. will savour this moment!!!
    you should start your own football show that airs after 10 at night, thus enabling u to cuss and rant as much as u want to. I'd watch!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you, ermm, Your Cock. Charming name, son.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now u can tell the missus that u speak to Your Cock.
      something all men should do i feel. Therapeutic!

      Delete
    2. Tees Mouth and Your Cock in too close proximity in that exchange, for my liking.

      Speaking to the member - i suppose I understand. Not a particularly sparkling interlocutor, in my experience. But anthropomorphism has taken on similarly strange forms eg in Gogol's story "Your Nose".

      But texting your cock over the internet is a bit too surreal for me, and Im not sure what the reading or internet surfing skills of my genitalia are really.

      if anyone reanimates the corpse of Napoleon he might find it a useful undertaking as an american, of course, bought his "very small" penis in an auction.

      Napoleon (Googles)
      Napoleon's Penis : Salut, salope! P'haps yew remember moi?
      Napoleon : Zut! When shall we be togezzer?

      Delete
  9. Classic, blog n comments. I blame flushing toilets. We ruled the world before them. Now it's where we pick the team from. I don't think London road has them and the posh are top of league one. I rest my case.

    ReplyDelete
  10. blimey, a rare appearance from your cock. Pops up when you least expect it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HARDly a rare appearance. Pull down your pants and let me give u a HEADs UP......see.....I'm always there!

      Delete
  11. Fair enough Robbo but all them United players that used to play for the national team got nothing but dogs abuse for the failures at major tournaments.

    Only difference is that in the future it will be Liverpool players getting the stick...

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a transfer window deadline closing countdown day extravabonanza!

    Got Your Cock out just in time.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Two problems!!!! The transfer window should close before a ball is kicked. And it's bit unsettling that these richer cunts, sorry meant to say clubs, can go about poaching players from smaller clubs. Southampton have literally taken it up the arse! In January schneiderlin will probably go too. It would be amazing if they stayed up! Pun unintended Your Cock.

    As for the next generation of England. well and truly Fucked!!! Who the f... is colback & rose???? a law firm??

    ReplyDelete
  14. is this one going to degenerate into a pissing contest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...ever since Your Cock got involved

      Delete
  15. What have you lot got to say, now that the mighty Norway has been toppled by the Three Lions? English football is going to put right everything that has gone wrong over the centuries, starting with the Viking invasion! Repelled!

    The roar has been restored! (C'mon!)
    The roar has been restored! (Everybody!)
    The roar has been restored! (Um...somebody?)

    Oh, bugger - I blame Thatcher and Reagan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be fair, it was the D team.

      Delete
    2. Sorry my bad... I meant it was D:Ream, Things can only get Better.

      Delete
  16. Must be them Jack, there's not enough Englishmen for a C team let alone a D team.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Strange. Our Kinder team did rather well against the Czechs.

    Throw in a few Germans and we start conquering Europe...

    ReplyDelete
  18. RVP on knee operation rumours.."I do not know where it comes from and can say with my hand on my heart that I won't be in a hospital to have the operation."

    Where then?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just cut the hair of a professional footballer.He was charming,bright and an all round nice bloke.

    He's in the wrong job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. did you razor his initials into his scalp Jacks, a bolt of lightening perhaps? Did you give him spikey blonde highlights? Fit him for a Berbaband?

      Delete
    2. 'fraid not Trotts.Number 3 back and sides and this 40s style brush across on the top that seems to be all the rage at the moment (but without the toothbrush 'tache)

      He's not a bad player either.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIxFxF1rwj8

      Delete
    3. wow, if he keeps scoring goals like that you should start a shirt sponsorship!

      Delete
  20. SUpercool Rio twittermeister-cool-dj-or-whatever-down-wid-da-kids-pundit-brrrrapp Ferdinand kept his middle name quiet.

    GAVIN. It's GAVIN. What kind of a name is THAT?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scottish independence. I've read a lot about this, as it would change my nationality. And as far as I can see - they'd be screwed - no £, no EU, no banks (currently =1,100% of Scottish GDP - they will move to England), no UK jobs, no Barnett formula, declining exports to their number 1 market (the UK-70%), falling and unreliable oil income. I'm really intrigued about whether they have the balls to risk it. Even the most delusional Nat is going to have to face up to those numbers at some point - their economy will be up there with their football team. Up to them of course, but one way or another the UK will never be the same and not in a good way.

      Delete
    2. And take your crappy politicians with ye! Blair, Brown, Gove, Alexander....

      Delete
    3. aye but they'll still have the Bay City Rollers

      Delete
    4. It could be worse Blogidy,his brother's middle name is DEC.

      Delete
    5. Little do we all know that they already have a massive kilt order, placed by a Blancmange from the planet Skyron in the galaxy of Andromeda...

      Delete
  21. Basingstoke bid for Ronaldinho.

    In other news, I've faxed my proposal of marriage off to Rosario Dawson. The wife not pleased, but I told her I'd let her go on a free if the offer is accepted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to insult your intellect and personality, Scott but she might be interested in Your Cock.

      Delete
    2. Some say Your Cock is a dick. Others are quite fondle of him. I think they're all taking the piss.

      Delete
    3. Trotts, my friend, let's just say I would be more than willing to take that chance. She can discover my prodigious mind and sparkling, some might even say effervescent, personality...um, later. In the meantime...

      Delete
  22. You people invented the language, you tell me... Does this qualify as irony?

    https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/football-fifa-financial-watchdog-member-arrested-corruption-allegations-135711226--sow.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've invented a few words whilst pished and my uncle Derek claims he invented the word 'infundibuliform' but he's a slippy character and I'm inclined to disbelieve him.

      Delete
  23. 13 year-old cancer sufferer scores for Villarreal vs. Celtic

    https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/early-doors/villarreal-s-stunning-gesture-allows-brave-13-year-old-fan-to-score-goal-095322970.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. Human existence being an hallucination containing in itself the secondary hallucinations of day and night (the latter an insanitary
    condition of the atmosphere due to accretions of black air) it ill
    becomes any man of sense to be concerned at the illusory approach of
    the supreme hallucination known as football.
    DE SELBY

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    Replies
    1. it's that very same insanitary black air that will cause low attendances at England Euro qualifiers, nothing to do with us being a a bit crap and hopeless eh!

      We need a new saviour, it's time. An English one, only when he arrives can we return to that euphoric state of delightful optimisim and assuredness in our march to great trophy-lifting success. His name's not Wayne, and it never was Woy.

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  25. What happened guys. A week before the WC nobody felt we had any chance of doing anything but there was a feeling of optimism in the air just the same. Suddenly just before the Euro qualifiers everyone seems to be all doom and gloom. English football is as healthy as it has been for 20 years or more. The young guys that were to carry the banner forward are still there. The old golden shower has finally dissipated, the only slight downer is fucking Rooney is still around but with a bit of luck we can over that.

    The skies will seem a little bluer after the match against the Swiss. Chin up, pip-pip and tally-ho chaps, it's all going to be spiffing, what.

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    Replies
    1. it's no good Bo, even Scottish jokes are politically incorrect these days.

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  26. I agree with bo. This is the young team we were all asking for and the coach is no word than anyone else available and willing, so be happy people.

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    Replies
    1. See, wasn't that bad after all was it? I loved Fabian delph. No brains, all braun. Haven't seen such insane intensity in an England shirt for a long time.

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