England’s training ground secrets revealed (and approximated)

Ahead of ANOTHER MOST IMPORTANT GAME OF THE TOURNAMENT SO FAR™ between England and Sweden, our resident snoop Staan Coollymoore (in know way affiliated with anyone who happens to have a strikingly similar name and appearance) has been observing the England team’s preparations at their training camp, having both covered himself in turf and pretended to be their pitch and hidden inside Gary Neville’s moustache. Here are his (more than likely exaggerated, if not entirely falsified) findings:


James Milner has been rubbing butter on his knees to make them “extra supple”. This has attracted an army of tree ants who have been gnawing at the midfielder’s legs unrelentingly for the last two evenings, proving extremely counter effective. Expect him to be on the bench.

Steven Gerrard has been locked in exchange of nods between himself and his own reflection in the mirror for 10pm yesterday, where he wished himself goodnight. Unwilling to break scouse law and not return a nod, the coaching staff have been so far unsuccessful in their attempts to tear him away, making it touch-and-go whether or not they can do so before this evening’s fixture.

Jack Butland, who spent the entire plane journey yelling “WHY AM I HERE?!” to nobody in particular, has fallen into a deep existential crisis. After reading all of the works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, Butland has began work on his first novel about a young goalkeeper who massacres his entire team and then shrugs because it doesn’t matter.

Manager Roy Hodgson has taken to standing on the sidelines, popping a Werther’s Original in his mouth then glazing over and going ‘ahhhhhh’ for upwards of five minutes, before he repeats the process with another. England’s medical staff are worried that he has “given himself every type of diabetes” with this behaviour.

Michael Owen has sporadically turned up disguised as an unconvincing Danny Welbeck in an attempt to break back into the England squad, momentarily confusing former captain John Terry who was unsure whether to racially abuse pass to him or not.

Jordan Henderson has been unable to go outdoors due to the intense amount of Ukrainian paparazzi who have been following him, believing him to be someone else more noteworthy. Sid from Toy Story perhaps.

Theo Walcott has been running around the perimeter of the training camp yelling “Look how fast I am! Look!” for no obvious reason or use. Expect more of the same if he starts later.


Schoolboy Match Reports: England 1 – 1 France Euro 2012

Shilts hands over to the self proclaimed voice of the self proclaimed voices of the internet, football forum expert and 6 year old; Little Johnny for a recap of all the action from Monday’s Group D game between England and France. THE MOST IMPORTANT OF THE TOURNAMENT SO FAR™

England 1 (Lescott, 30) – 1 France (Nasri, 38)

“It is Engerland kicking off their first game of the tournament, but where is Andrew Carol???? He is so good because he was bad all year but then he played in the FA Cup Finals and people say ‘no, he is good now he is offering England something else up front’ like coupons or something. Instead they are playing Daniel Wellbecks and my friend from school Al Oxslide Chainberlin. Mr Evans was very angry as he was ringing up sick and saying he couldn’t come in today but then there he is in the telly! Mr Evans says he will beat him when he gets back.

We are starting the game and Frank Riberstein is scaring Glen Johns every time he walks up to him and looks in Glen’s eyes. Glen kept screaming and saying ‘What is it?? What is it?!” and while he wasn’t looking Sammy Nasir had a shot but it was not a goal shot it was a goal kick shot and everyone is breathing a sigh of relief except the French fans who all hissed at once and covered the pitch in greb, but the commentary man says it is all about Engerland so we do not care about the French fans as they do not exist.

Al then got the ball and used the trick stick to go round two players but then he is thinking ‘if I score this, it will be the greatest goal of ever and it will be in a compilation DVD presented by Gareth Linachre’ and his greediness means he loses the ball. In school he never lets me have any of his crisps as he says his mum says he will get germs if he shares, so we spit in his packet when he isn’t looking and hope he gets chicken pox.

Then the commentary man says something amazing has happened: ENGERLAND HAVE SCORED! My dad jumped up and punched our lamp in happiness and it shattered everywhere and a bit of the glass hit me and made me bleed and mum said ‘what is wrong with you?’ and he said ‘fuck off I am enjoying the football’ and then they didn’t speak to each other all day. Stephence Gerhard is there with the free kick, he wooshes it in and Les Cott is there to power in the ball with his magic head that has a mystic triangle in it which makes him think faster than everyone but also a bit weird looking like a vegetable.

Everyone then says that it will be our year and that Roy Hodgsman is the best Hodgsman for the job as we are going to win Euro 2012! But then Sammy Nasir goes up the other end and is scoring and then putting his finger to his lips hoping that everyone will be quiet and enjoy his goal, but the crowd just keep making noise and he keeps shhhing them but they will not be quiet and in the end he gives up and walks home to the French half.

Then, even though I know Engerland are the most exciting team in the world to watch all the time, the game becomes really boring, even when Jordan Hendersman comes on who is the best football player that all of the fans want to see. Then it ends and nobody noticed and they all went ‘oh, it’s ended.’ and then walked off. I CAN’T WAIT FOR MORE OF THE FOOTBALL EURO 2012!

Football historically introduced in Wales for the first time

Wales' Collins struggles to get to grips with the basic concepts of the sport early on and accidentally gives a penalty away whilst trying to mate with the ball.

In 1965, an Italian man working in England at the time ventured into Wales and introduced them to the concept of fire, by burning down everything he saw in disgust. The intrepid Celts took to this new concept instantly and began using it on a frequent basis, turning their previously permanently cold, dark and uninhabitable landscape into a merely uninhabitable landscape which was occasionally cold and dark.

Skip forward to the present day and the charitable actions of one Fabio Capello have meant that an event of similar magnitude and circumstance has occurred; the Welsh have now been given football.

Mr Capello, with the FA’s permission and blessing – for this expedition fell under their one of their outreach schemes to bring football to a more deprived audience – kindly took the English national team across the Severn Bridge in order to stage an international match with the Welsh. Running out 2-0 winners on the day against a team of Welshmen who spontaneously decided to ‘give the sport a go’, Capello has described the trip as a success:

“We weren’t-ah sure if the barbarians would like the game of ah-football, but a few of them seemed keen. At first they didn’t ah-know how to play because I-ah tactically decided against ah-telling them all of the ah-rules. This allowed us to-ah go 1-0 up instantly when ah clumsy bald ah-man the locals know as ‘Collins’ ah-tried to play-ah the rugby in his penalty box, getting us ah-penalty.

“Then we scored again because I ah-told their manager, who the locals know as ‘Garyspeed’, that conceding goals was ah-positive approach to take. Annoyingly, they caught on to the actual ah-rules pretty fast and in the ah-last thirty minutes they actually ah-got the hang. Then many of them got bored and started playing in the ah-dirt and eating the coal instead. I noticed this and ah-tactically went defensive, putting Milner on for the Rooney to end ah-the game.

“Overall, I think it was ah-success. We were worried that ah-the savage natives would harm our players, but I can report that only ah-Phil Jagielka is missing, and ah-Lamps claims he saw a pack of young urchins feasting on his ah-succulent body.”

Perez Shilton interviewed one of the Welsh locals from a safe distance who saw the game and identified himself, after much thought and contemplation on the question of his name, as ‘Robb-er…robin…er….rob…robbiessssssavagethat’sitrobbiesavage…ithink’ and spoke only through shouting. Of the sport he had just witnessed, he had this to say:


Shortly after this, the local started snarling menacingly and dribbling on himself. Not au fait with their customs, Shilts interpreted this as a territorial warning and ran away. Either he was correct or the vagrant was reading a sign with Welsh on it.

England’s World Cup bid loss causes deep trauma to David Beckham, but there’s hope yet

A podgy lady wins the first prize food blender in the pre-decision FIFA raffle.

FIFA have landed a crushing blow to England’s World Cup 2018 hopes by, annoyingly, promising it to someone else. Russia or Siberia or Narnia or some cold place like that. Shilts cares not, for he is more concerned about the well being of David Beckham OBE.

As the official face of the bid, he had been wheeled out more times than the competitors at the Paralympics wheelchair derby. (PC note: these are also known as 100m, 200m, 800m etc races. Apparently.)  He was sent all round the world to appease various FIFA delegates by performing errands for them. Allegedly, Jack Warner had him launder money and avoid parking fines whilst Michel Platini had him stand on a plinth in the middle of Paris and proclaim “I am English, I am scum” whilst punching himself in the face with a giant novelty boxing glove over and over again for an entire week.

‘Surely,’ thought the Official England bidding team, ‘surely D Beck has done enough. Surely his pandering sycophantics have secured us the bid?’

Alas, it appeared that putting only a small amount of England’s eggs, or Goldenballs in this case, in the Official Bid basket was a foolish tactic, and when England only received two of a possible twenty two votes from FIFA members, it was clear to see that the Goldenballs, the eggs in this case, had fallen out of the basket and smashed all over the floor, leaving a puddle of yolk everywhere that made people go ‘eww’ and get their shoes all soggy.

The decision has been a devastating one for Beckham who has, according to reliable reports, been sat at the back of FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, where the voting took place, looking stunned at England’s loss and repeating “but… I’m David Beckham…” to himself in a quiet, yet maniacal way.

There are rumours abound that the deep funk that this decision has put Beckham in will result in him taking up the trumpet and releasing a melancholic jazz album with shades of Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. Others say he will just turn his back on football altogether and return to his real passion in life; vomiting on the windows of nursing homes during their feeding time.

On the small matter of Russia hosting the tournament, Shilts has had a word with his mate Sepp and he’s said that if I can extort enough deprived countries by next week, he’ll ‘think about having a change in mind.’ Shilts is duty bound to serve his country and therefore is off to Gabon with a transit van, a bag labelled ‘swag’, a balaclava and a big stick post haste. D Beck is coming too.