Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The worst football team in the world is a great consolation. Here is something we can lampoon, deride and abuse in the knowledge that we are doing so in the name of both national interest and natural justice. So here is Steve McLaren, the sage of the dugout, on England's miserable draw with Israel - 'There's no problem with their attitude. They wanted to win. They failed to win on Saturday because they didn't score a goal, end of story.' Of course, why didn't I think of that? McLaren has seen into the very heart of things. Jeffrey Archer is not Shakespeare because he didn't write Hamlet. All is explained. Oh and, in the same story, here is that wonderfully distracted player, Rio Ferdinand. Responding to criticism that players paid so much might be expected to perform at least competently for their national team occasionally, perhaps once every ten games or so, he says, ' You don't hear it when people win things. It's only when it goes a bit pear-shaped that people say 'he's too rich', then start looking at the money and saying we're pampered. It's too easy an excuse that people use too often.' Er.... now focus, Rio. You are paid a lot because you are thought to be good footballers who will play well and yet, for England, you never do. Get it?
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:05 am