Tongues are wagging at the FA headquarters this week, as England boss Fabio Capello resigned amind the John Terry racism controversy and the subsequent stripping of his captaincy. The favourite for the job is Harry Redknapp - a man who just got off with a tax evasion charge and who by his own admission cannot write - thereby cementing England's image abroad as a boorish, lying nation who prefer drinking themselves into oblivion and battering their opponents into a bloody pulp while claiming to be passionate about the sport of football.
Which brings me to the P-word...Passion - that's what they're all talking about right now; how we need a passionate manager to lead England to the Euros and presumably get all passionate and stuff when we get stuffed by some more passionate nation who actually feel honored to be there competing for the honor of being Europe's number one footballing nation. You see, the problem with England's national team used to be that they were just crap, mainly 'cuz they hardly ever trained together. These days they're supposedly the opposite; brilliant, talented ball players who are sadly spoiled by the glitz and pampering of their surreal lives to the extent they don't care about winning trophies for their country, because all these international tournaments take place in the off season when they'd much prefer to be soaking up the sun on some distant beach with their WAGs.
Meanwhile, 'Arry Redknapp is thanking all the "fantastic" fans at Tottenham for their support through this difficult time when he was accused of tax evasion (a case which cost the British taxpayer EIGHT MILLION POUNDS for an alleged evaded tax amounting to a fraction of that) with one eye on the England job. Does anyone else think the timing of Capello's resignation is a little shady? Right on the VERY DAY when 'Arry is acquitted he walks out of the England job? Seems a bit too convenient, if you ask me. I mean, not as convenient as finding Mohammed Atta's charred passport two blocks from the WTC on 9/11, but pretty darned handy just the same.
The English people are hungry for a native speaker (if not writer) to take the helm.
Spurs fans are likely tearing their hair out right now. The North London club has been pretty dire for a long time, and now 'Arry's finally put them above their hated rivals Arsenal it looks like he's gonna do a bunk and leave them in the lurch. It's kind of funny, really, because 'Arry hasn't exactly been a world beater, but he's English, and after our recent experiments with Sven-Göran Eriksson and Fabio Capello the English people are hungry for a native speaker (if not writer) to take the helm. The English are a strong and proud race, fond of smoking cigarettes and eating greasy foods, preferably after drinking about ten pints of beer while walking down a main road in the pouring rain. At midnight. And that's just the players. The fans are even stronger, and prouder. Nothing less than a weekly stomach pump, near-death experience, detention by the police and a potentially fatal knifing will do for them. They've had enough of foreigners managing their team (unless we're talking about their local club sides, and then it doesn't matter, right?). So, who are the other Englishmen capable of managing this cursed gaggle of blighted fried spud munchers? Let's take a look:
Sam Allardyce: Nicknamed "Big Sam" (due to his massive cranium), Allardyce was a Bolton Wanderers legend until he decided to try the big time, in the form of an appointment at Newcastle United. Unfortunately, Big Sam turned out to be a one-club man, and the subsequent deterioration of his footballing life, from Newcastle to Blackburn and finally to newly relegated West Ham, pretty much says it all. That huge head has graced a diminishing succession of dug-outs and what more lowly appointment than the worst job in football? Who better than a man who put his own ego before a club that had served him well his whole life for a shot at the big time on the Tyne?
Mick McCarthy: Mick is the poster boy for the symptoms of world madness. Having once managed the Irish national team, Mick comes ready made with an international pedigree, and in this insane scenario would become the first man to manage both Ireland and England. Once he drags England down to the level of a poorly managed Division 4 side, he can apply for the Scotland job, do the same there, and "progress" to Wales. Wow - what a portfolio. Bring him on!
Seal: Fresh from his breakup with Heidi Klum, the scarfaced singer will be at a loose end and probably needs to let off some serious steam. This is the perfect combination if Seal is to put his foot down with those namby pamby soccer celebs and get the best out of them. The facial scars will terrify the likes of doughboy Rooney into pulling his weight instead of complaining about England fans not being supportive enough of their half-hearted efforts. The lazy bastards.
Who are the other Englishmen capable of managing this cursed gaggle of blighted fried spud munchers?
Steve Coogan: The comedian who played Hacienda owner Anthony H. Wilson in the movie "24 Hour Party People" would be the ideal choice to lead England back to their rightful place at the pinnacle of world football. Coogan could have New Order's "World In Motion" pumping at full volume around the training ground, bringing back memories of the 1990 World Cup, when England reached the semifinals, only to be knocked out on penalties by the Germans. And when they get mullered again by Mueller and Co. Steve's jokes can cheer the team up. %$%^&*# Germans!
Clive Owen: Owen played Dwight McCarthy (NOTE: No relation to Mick McCarthy, see #2) in the neo-noir graphic novel movie, Sin City, a film popular with stoners and highly intelligent children. Owen/McCarthy pulled off some amazing shizzle in the movie, including preventing a war between a gang of prostitutes and the police and surviving certain death after being dunked in a tar pit. Owen/McCarthy could impress the England team with his left-handedness, detailed knowledge of local prostitutes and ability to leap from high-rise windows. All of those skills (with the possible exception of being left-handed, unless you're a goalie) are invaluable to soccer players.
Sacha Baron Cohen: "BORAT IS GOD, WITH A TASH AND NO CASH", the England fans would chant whenever Cohen appeared in the dugout, hopefully in full Kazakhstani dress, fresh from some naked homoerotic wrestling bout with his star players. The team could travel in Borat's ice-cream truck, along with the bear and ever-suffering "coach", Azamat Bagatov and his pet chicken. This humbling experience with Cohen remaining in character for the entirety of his post as England manager, would give everyone a good laugh while retaining the optimism of having an exotic foreigner running things.
The team could travel in Borat's ice-cream truck, along with the bear and ever-suffering "coach", Azamat Bagatov and his pet chicken.
Liam & Noel Gallagher: The brothers Gallagher, long sufferering Manchester City supporters, could coach the England squad in the finer points of deluding oneself into believing it's worth soldiering on. With Noel and Liam as joint managers, the players would be treated to the hilarious sight of the two knocking seven shades of %$^& out of each other on a daily basis, as Noel insists on only picking players with the name Lennon, McCartney, Harrison or Starkey, while Liam prefers to just go with Lennon and $#@& everyone else.
Ben Kingsley: Forget Ghandi, the man who played fearsome cockney villain Don Logan in Sexy Beast could really whip our nation's football team into shape with a barrage of psychotic abuse, explicit death-threats and general horrific emasculation of those players who fancied themselves tough guys. Of course, someone's wife would end up shooting him and burying him under their swimming pool, and they'd all have to deny it, as the FA bigwigs grew ever more suspicious and delighted in exploiting their guilt by paying them nothing for their precious toil.
Ozzy Osbourne: Ozzy's "softly softly" approach may not be popular with everyone; imagine him dithering over a petulant John Terry in his rosy tinted specs, asking him why he fell over again and allowed the opposition to score, before suddenly transforming into a screeching maniac, whipping a bat out of his tracksuit pocket and biting its head off. Even England's Lion would have trouble coming up with an answer to that. Unless it was a black bat, obviously.
Vinny Jones: Vinny's attempts at film stardom have been OK, but his real passion is football. What prouder sight than this crew-cutted hard-man, who once marked Paul Gascoigne so tightly he virtually vasectomized him, leading the lads out onto the despicable turf of some foreign land, where our fans have already inflicted property damage and blunt trauma injuries to the local population on a scale not seen since the feudal conflicts of Medieval Europe? Any nonsense from the ref, the linesmen or the opposing bench would be met with a series of head butts that could kill a rhino. Good ol' Vinny epitomizes the Bulldog Spirit...Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner.
Tis article first appeared on the excellent Live Toast
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