Why England are such a turn-off

PUBLISHED: 16:52 31 March 2007 | UPDATED: 10:11 14 September 2010

The Man has to be honest - I didn't watch either of the England games this week.

A mixture of holiday entitlement and severe indifference combined to prevent me from sitting through 180 minutes of that.

TheMan has to be honest - I didn't watch either of the England games this week.

A mixture of holiday entitlement and severe indifference combined to prevent me from sitting through 180 minutes of that.

Also, a new series of The Apprentice was on…

Therefore I am - as ever - completely ill-qualified to comment; but that's not going to stop me.

Having read the various match reports, it's pretty clear to observe what a delicious farce the national team has become.

On the one hand you have a bunch of obscenely over-indulged players who are lauded in the comfortable surroundings of their Premiership clubs.

On the other, you have a set of fans who - at least to some extent - believe the garbage shovelled to them by Sky about how good these players are.

And at the helm there's a guy who got the job just because Massimo Maccarone - who now despises Mugclaren - scored a few last-minute equalisers in a UEFA Cup run last season.

A UEFA Cup run, let's not forget, which ended in 'Boro being humiliated 4-0, in perhaps the most tactically inept performance I've seen since Worthington decided not to mark the wingers at Reading last year.

So you take the ingredients above, and out the other end comes 50 odd minutes of being unable to score against Andorra, in which the fans are on the players' backs - and the players don't really want to be there.

You've got to admit, it's pretty funny, in a depressing sort of way - a bit like the Puppet Man in Gentleman's Walk.

I'm an England fan, but the fact is we've only ever reached a final when it was played at home - the rest of the time we've lurched from being average to useless.

Despite the so-called “quality” of the current crop we actually only have one great player: Gerrard.

Rooney is decent - but Earnie (if he were English) would get you more goals: fact.

The sooner England fans realise not to expect anything from overpaid and over-rated players - who would really rather not be there - the better.

In our leagues we play the most exciting football in Europe; we simply can't hope to be the best as well, it will never happen.

As a footnote, The Man finds himself increasingly drawn towards supporting Northern Ireland on these international breaks.

They have a crap team - and they know it - but they just get stuck in a give it a go. They've also recovered admirably from the hammer-blow that was Paul McVeigh's retirement from international football…

GET BACK TO WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED

Almost miraculously, another team has emerged on the Norwich to London train line.

Little Col Who have come from nowhere to provide us with an easy away trip, with the added bonus of not being in Ipswich. Like all little clubs who've fought their way up without cash, The Man was initially in favour of the Essex outfit.

But the longer Col Who lingered above us, the more I began to find their very presence annoying.

The Man will always have a decidedly soft spot for He's Got Green Hair, but if we got beat today Colchester will have been formally promoted to my list of disliked teams. In case you couldn't guess, qualification for this exhaustive list requires beating us at some point within the past five years. Despite all this, I hope Col U hang about for a couple of years - although I fear they'll be disappearing from whence they came next season.

BRUM SHOW DOWNSIDE TO LIFE IN TOP FLIGHT

Something a touch disconcerting has been swilling about in my mind ever since the Birmingham game.

It's something so vile, I'm a bit troubled to admit it in public, for fear it will fuel the club's prudence rather than ambition.

But having observed those Brum fans - and their poor home crowds - I'm not so sure I want us to go up.

Okay, so it's not an immediate problem we have to contend with anyway, but you get what I mean.

It's almost as if those Brum fans know something we don't.

They've done those few extra years in the modern top flight; they know how it ends.

Happy clappy Norwich - with our season ticket sales and songs - only did the one year.

On the final day we were ruthlessly ejected, but it's kind of like getting thrown out of a nightclub at midnight.

You can go get a kebab, find a taxi, and massage your own ego by convincing yourself you'd have pulled that blonde you were eyeing up.

Whereas Birmingham are the guy that stayed until 2am, spent £60 on Smirnoff Ice, didn't pull - and got soaked through waiting in the taxi queue afterwards.

Would a few years in the Prem have a similar effect on us, once we realise it's just a battle to stay above Boro and Blackburn?

Who knows, but I guess we should at least try and find out.

TIME CITY DELIVERED IN DERBY

Following the last derby result, The Man resolved to get his rallying cry in well ahead of schedule next time.

So here it is.

Just in case anybody from the club reads this, can it please be made clear to Peter the Pointer (PTP) and the boys that we demand victory on April 22.

The past two derby performances - not to mention results - have been totally unacceptable.

Perversely, in years gone by, I could handle being outplayed by the s**m with their effeminate little passing triangles.

But it is wholly unpalatable to be out-muscled by them, as we have been on the past two occasions.

The Man has learned from a source close to PTP that our manager feels Danny Haynes is “owed one”, so hopefully that nugget will get his comeuppance too.

Batter those lot for us fellas, and we'll have a happy summer.

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