Monday, May 30, 2016

Exclusive: All you need to know and less about England in the Euros 2016

The interest in the despatches from our special correspondent (the faceless journalist known only as 'The Editor') from the seething cauldrons of emotion that were the stadia in the Brazil World Cup a couple of years ago, has triggered an all-too-predictable reaction for more of the same, now that yet another of these football-fests is about to kick off.

This time the assignment is not so much the steaming jungles and the incessant sound of native drums, piranhas and mosquitos, but the steaming urban jungles and incessant sounds of boules clicking on dusty village squares, wine being swilled and spat out at passing tourists, farmers blocking roads, air traffic controllers blocking airspace and burly middle-European midfielders blocking the brave but doomed challenges of the flower of English youth. Oh, and do not make the mistake of thinking that this piece contains deliberate distortions about the proclivities of the French to go on strike at the drop of a chapeau - cop a load of this if you need convincing.

Here then is what awaits us, the stories that would be filed by The Editor if only he were going.

June 11th:  Marseilles.
England vs Russia. Result: 0-0. Rashford sent off at half time as he was up after his bedtime

Our expert says:
[Emotions ran high and the tackles were higher in this sun-drenched arena of destiny that was the Stade des Casseroles, where both teams committed as they were to giving everything for their countries played out a goalless match of stupefying boredom. I did however enjoy the Mexican wave (from Carlos Juan Espadrillo of Monterrey when he was trying to attract a barman's attention).
High point: My half time snack of Rillettes aux Innards was jolly tasty
Low point: Inadvertently seeing it again two hours later in somewhat more digested form. 
Other group match: Wales 0 Slovakia 0 

June 16th: Lens Aggio
England vs Wales. Result 0-0. Rooney sent off after making a comment to Bale about Cardigan sheep-farmers.

Our expert says:
[In the blistering pressure-cooker that was the ampitheatre of doom that was, and still is, the Stade des Legumes, the teams gave their all in a match that drained every last drop of emotion and every last drop of beer. Afterwards it was truly moving to see both sets of fans joined together in fraternal amity as they showed some Belgians what a real kicking was all about.
High point: My first tasting of Andouilletts de Refuses
Low point: Ward 16, Lens General Hospital, 3:00am the next day.]
Other group match: Russia 0 Slovakia 0

June 20th: Saint-Etienne
England vs Slovakia. Result 0-0. Milner sent off for making one too many boring back passes

Our expert says:
[The agonising face of total footballing dedication showed on the faces of both teams in this gladitorial match-of-death, fight-to-the-finish, conquer or, er, be conquered contest in the blistering sun-scorched glittering shimmering bowl of glory that was the Stade des Profiteroles avec Creme Fraiche. It was unfortunate that there were no shots on target, or even off-target, or indeed shots of any description but the quality of the back-passing, the hoofing of the ball into the back row of the stands and the nasal clearances could not be doubted.
High point: 3 litres of Biere des Grenouilles et Escargots, vintage 2015
Low point: Waking up, somewhat unshaven and dishevelled, in Bordeaux two days later]
Other group match: Wales 0 Russia 0

Group result. Everybody goes through except England for "technical reasons" and nothing at all to do with whistle-blowing about the World Cup being rigged. Sandy Shaw winning Eurovision and Waterloo. Mr Podgeson, the acting England manager said "I'm delighted with this result, we can build on the positives and the lads can't wait to do it all over again in the World Cup"

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