With Countdown, Lucky Ladders and 15-1 capturing a nation’s imagination for so many years, it’s no wonder everyone is spending so bloody long trying to solve the England puzzle.
Forget Bent ‘Arry and Roy Hodgson. Let’s have William G Stewart in the Wembley dug-out to succeed Fabio. If Tom O’Connor wasn’t a foreigner, he could have done a job as head coach as well.
So many people are hypothesizing and analyzing where it all went wrong in South Africa, from some brainshrinking geopolitical and social factors given in a Simon Kuper book, to Matthew Syed’s (on BBC Breakfast) assertion that there is some ‘explainable unexplainable’ that debilitates every England player.
Jesus wept. Can’t we just say we were shit and have done with it?
It reminds me a fair bit of our great club during those wilderness years, where Paul Franks would earn his monthly Radio WM salary solely from Wolves fans in a single hour after a game.
‘It’s the Molineux Factor Franksy. The fans should get off their backs!’ (Tel from Wall Heath)
‘No it ain’t Tel, it’s all these washed up has-beens on one last big paycheck! Get rid! (Dazza from Stafford)
‘I’m sick of him playing players out of position. Round pegs in round holes please!’ (One of thousands)
It’s all I’ve heard on 5Live for the last two days and it sounds so familiar. Surely every one of us have the answer for those tubby, grubby little men down in Soho Square, having been in the FA’s situation for so many years ourselves.
And seeing as Brian Barwick’s ‘root and branch’ reform of the national game amounted to paying Capello £6 million a year and nothing else, how about they have a blog with us, where we can point them in the direction of Big Mick.
Better still, employ Big Mick, and instill the one virtue that I haven’t seen in an England team since 1998 – the same virtue I bask in every time I skip down Waterloo Road.
Remember the days when we’d shuffle through the turnstiles at 2.50pm, take our medicine and shuffle back from whence we came at the final whistle? When underachievement numbed our expression and diluted our passion? When your weekly natter with the bloke sat next to you was the overriding reason for turning up?
It’s been a bit like that for the past two weeks.
But as these last two years have shown us, success is far from insurmountable, and it’s certainly not mutually exclusive with a Three Lions badge, or a Wolves crest for that matter.
Football isn’t the Krypton Factor or Crosswits, and really can be quite gloriously simple. Simple to watch, simple to play, and simple for us all to evaluate, without the ‘explainable unexplainable.’
If Mick can thrust Darren Potter, Jemal Johnson, Craig Davies, Neill Collins and Gary Breen to within 180 minutes of the Premier League, then I’m damn sure England can do something similar on the world stage, eventually.
So the golden generation is dead? Not at Molineux it isn’t, and the FA could do worse than travel north of Watford Gap and have a look where a bit of honesty can take you.