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:

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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.

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Theo Walcott missing, presumed cold

The day was Sunday the 19th of December, the weather was snowy and Theo Walcott’s mother needed some casserole mix from the local Spar. Rather than trying to brave the icy conditions herself, she sent out her son, believing his lighting running speed could melt the snow in its wake, Billy Whizz-style.

Unfortunately, seven hours later and little Theo still hasn’t returned with eyewitness accounts saying that he ran head first into a particularly large mound of snow, hoping to burst through to the other side, and did not reappear.

Walcott’s mum began to worry around 2 o’clock and rang the local authorities, asking for the help in retrieving little Theo.

“No point,” she was told bluntly by one officer. “He’s probably become encapsulated in a block of ice and floated off to the Shetland Isles. He’ll wake up in the future and there’ll be loads of robots and lasers and Patrick Kielty will probably be dead by then. Don’t you want your son to live in that kind of future?” After contemplating, Mrs Walcott had to agree that this sounded like a far better world for her son and called off the search.

Last known image of Walcott

There is speculation that Arsene Wenger, alarmed by Walcott’s lack of improvement comparative to his ageing and unwilling to surrender the excuse “he’s still young and learning” after a bad performance from the striker has orchestrated the whole scheme himself, wanting to keep Walcott permanently young as part of Arsenal’s new youth policy. Rumours say he had Walcott cryogenically frozen then impersonated an officer of the law over the telephone to his mother. He is also rumoured to be lining up similar treatment for Johann Djourou, Abou Diaby and Jens Lehmann.