Thursday, 24 November 2016


Give It To Gareth, FFS.

Gareth Southgate's being interviewed as I write. For the England job, not for next year's I'm A Celebrity although it's not hard to imagine that as his next career move after he gets the job. He will get the job and that's because he is so well-qualified for it.

I would lay out Gareth's assets for the role as the following:

1. Availability.
2. Willingness.
3. Niceness.
4. Englishness*
5. A bit of success with the under 21's.

Of these, availability is the major factor. Pundits can bleat on about how he might fare in the crucible of tournament football. He might lack the strong mindset of people like oo, I dunno, Fabio Capello. They might even fret that being a decent fella never seemed to matter to Mourinho or Ferguson - they were both utter shits and it worked for them. Woy, Stevey Mac and Sven were gentle souls and look at their international records. Then again Sam Allardyce is a bit of a twat and yet his England win ratio is 100%.

But the main point is that Gareth Southgate is the only bloke who fancies having a go at the job at present. And therefore he should get the job. It's no point giving an important role to someone who doesn't really want it. I mean look at Boris Johnson. (Then look away quickly before you break all the crockery in your house.)

Of course Southgate's interim stewardship has been as okay as any other manager's might have been. England still struggle to look good going forward without looking as disorientated as a gathering of American liberals at the back. But that's simply a matter of personnel. If there was ever a Golden Generation then this one is made of lead. The Leaden Generation.

It'd be lovely to imagine Gareth is some sort of Gok Wan of international football. In six months' time we'll know the make-over is complete when Gary Cahill plays a 60-yard Rabona onto the chest of Jordan Henderson whose clever-back heel puts Theo Walcott in acres of space, at which point the wannabe-Henry loses his life-long agoraphobia and calmly slides the ball into the path of a purposeful Raheem Sterling who calmly side-foots home without the use of his shin.

But that ain't gonna happen.

I hope Southgate's cause is not undermined by England squad members behaving like young men on a night off. It's just another example of how removed from reality these England superstars are when they get caught doing things that other people their age might do.

Wayne Rooney was drunk, I tell you, drunk. And on a Saturday night. Worse than that it was at a wedding party to which he had been invited and the arrogant out-of-touch Scouser said 'Thanks I'd love to.'  So full of himself was Wazza that he then proceeded to drink red wine. We can safely assume that beer just isn't good enough for the up-himself tosser these days.

[Incidentally I am employing the use of irony in the above paragraph - I realise since the advent of Trump as President-Elect, irony has little place in the world but I will try my best to maintain a cherished place for it here.]

Meanwhile, Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson apparently went to a strip club. I hear it's not cos there were lasses there getting their kits off, but cos they'd got vouchers for a 2 for 1 offer on spirits until midnight. Strip clubs are shit. And, in the case of Sunderland away kits, club strips are shit too.

None of this, it seems to me, is any reason to go off the deep end and condemn these lads any more than a slick five-pass move by England deserves the strange sound of Glenn Hoddle cooing and saying 'that could be Spain playing there'.  It's not great behaviour, no, but nothing untoward happened and unless Rooney's having to leave the pitch to vomit Merlot into a bucket then I'm just not bothered frankly.

Wayne apologised for the 'inappropriate' images but jeez he was a bit tiddly and sat on a sofa - he wasn't waggling his cock about in a primary school playground. That is genuinely not appropriate. I can vouch for that. I was seven at the time but even so...

I've never been one of these twerps who think that because they wear an England shirt ten times a year and get paid vast amounts of money by their clubs they should bear in mind that they are role models. It's horse dung frankly. I am bothered when they play like a bunch of bleeding fuckwits because as professional people they should at least be able to get that bit of their lives to function more frequently.

I heard Peter Shilton suggesting that Southgate hasn't got enough experience for the job. Who the hell has? All this hubbub around waiting for Wenger strikes me as misguided. Look at the Englishmen who have flourished under his tutelage - Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Chambers... not really, eh? The best he's managed is a training routine that repeatedly twangs hamstrings.

Nah, it may be with a touch of resignation, but give it to Gareth. Everyone likes him. He's got the gumption to take it on, much like he had the nuts to take that sixth penalty in Euro '96. Okay that didn't work out but...


*Not really a qualification

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