- Start World Cup campaign with cautious optimism.
- Thump some minnow Eastern European side with a new formation or a couple of new players. Start getting excited, declare that this could be the generation that finally ends the 30/32/34/36/38/40/42/44/46/48 years of hurt (delete as applicable)
- Finish the qualifying stages comfortably top. Install England as being amongst the pre-tournament favourites.
- Ignore "irrelevant" friendly defeat to one of the major footballing powers
- 6 months before the tournament, use media to unsettle the coach or one of the team's important players by publishing lurid details of said individual's private life. Alternatively, spend the previous 4 years absolutely slaughtering the manager for his lack of tactical acumen/personal life.
- Win pre-tournament friendly against a team more technically proficient than yourselves. Ignore any warning signs that may arise from a team like Mexico/Egypt/Outer Mongolia being far more adept at keeping possession than England.
- Start group stages with solid but unspectacular win against some minnow side. Remember, there's no easy games in international football and you don't want to peak too early.
- Repeat above to win group. Declare this as definitely being England's year.
- Continue progressing until you come up against a former war time enemy. This time, those damn pesky foreigners with their annoying habit of being able to retain possession will prevail. Probably on penalties.
- Ignore all shortcomings and instead focus on one inconsequential decision that definitely changed the course of the game in the opposition's favour.
- Find scapegoat and slaughter relentlessly in the media. The scapegoat ideally will be that keeper who just had to save a couple of shots/that idiot who got sent off and let his team down/that fool of a coach who everyone had said for the last 4 years wasn't up to it. The player who missed the penalty was just unlucky, it could have happened to anyone.
- Start next campaign cautiously optimistic, as lessons have been learned/the players will have more experience/you've got a better coach/your star player was injured and you'd have won it if he was fully fit.
- Thump minnow Eastern European side in qualifiers
Repeat forever. Comedy gold.
I'm always suspicious of shops that sell bait.
Sadly you have it bang on.
The press are cringeworthy the way they hype the team up in the months leading up to a tournament.
Going to happen again in the coming years as Wilshere, Barkley, Jones, Smalling and others become the new "Golden Generation" only to fail miserably once we meet a side who actually cheat by passing the ball to their own men, playing possession football and having technical ability that is vastly superior to our athletes.
Technique doesn't come into it, you can win everything by being physical and having a bit of grit about you. Right?
Well the red tops over here think so anyway.
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Ironically even if Scotland had won by more than 7 points last night, they'd still have failed to qualify since Argentina could only cross for three tries against Georgia. Think Georgia's defence needs to be commended, they conceeded just nine tries in four matches, three of which were against much higher ranked nations.
Armitage been cited. Probably get a couple of weeks as he has form for being a cheap shot merchant.
Also - England rugby players in more hot water after hotel worker claims she was victim of crude sexual banter - mirror.co.uk
Something seems to come over England whenever they tour NZ. From hotel spit roasts, rape accusations to dwarf tossing. Always seem to be lively affairs.
As soon as ITV said three players were involved I immediately guessed all the identities. All seem the kind who get a bit messy/lively very quickly. Haskell in particular seems an absolute cock.
Reckon Armitage's WC is over with his rap sheet. Two weeks for a saint, but for him I reckon 4 min.
- As featured in The Independent.
"Predictably, the ending of his international career did not end the argument about Pietersen's merits, as an army of informed commentators and Piers Morgan weighed in to defend or attack him."
- The Guardian's Andrew Anthony
What did Shanksie do? I must have missed that.
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Adam Wheater - Another batsman off the Essex production line
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Vimes tells it how it is:
The high late tackle on Patterson I think.
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