Sport – England Campaign a Success say Media Experts
Experts in the news media are today hailing England’s Euro 2012 campaign a success, despite their reaching the quarter finals and failing to lose a single game in open play.
One or two embarrassing defeats would have been the icing on the cake, says our football correspondent Kevin Cantplay-Fortoffee, and their failure to deliver the goods did somewhat dampen the spirit of hopelessness that had so brightened the day of many a British armchair pundit and sports journalist.
However, that disappointment was offset in large measure as the team did manage to pull out all the stops and play with such consistent inability to pass the ball, or even get hold of it in the first place, as to make millions of armchair pundits look clever when their hopeful prophesies of football failure were largely borne out by events.
The team did of course enjoy an element of the luck that was the key – or perhaps only – component of the English FA’s forward-thinking strategy for global domination. Indeed this was reflected in the strategy of the team’s manager who relied on it almost exclusively, having found he had precious little else upon which to build.
As you know, Luck has supplanted forward planning and the teaching of football skills to the nation’s youngsters – not to mention the strategy employed by most foreign teams of not appointing a new manager twelve minutes before kick-off - in the FA’s thinking, as these outmoded concepts are regarded as being for wimps (and Spaniards).
Certainly, Luck delivered the goods handsomely in terms of us not playing anyone very good and enabling the team to pull off the occasional miracle such as not getting thrashed or having to play Spain.
If things had been different, England might have ridden their luck all the way to the Final but much to the relief of our small community of thirty million football experts, it ran out right on cue. It lasted right until the customary quarter final penalty shoot-out before evaporating according to English football tradition.
England’s cleverly engineered exit from the tournament was a huge boost to the football writing industry. It stimulated the mass production of some ten million newspaper articles and blog posts explaining how the team could have done so much better had the manager taken the conflicting advice of thousands of writers who enjoy the advantage of never having managed a football team and retired from football at twelve to devote themselves to a career of telling other people how to play it.
In the wake of the penalty shootout against Italy, confidence is sky high as thousands of people across the country bask in the glow of having had their prophesies of disappointment and ultimate doom proved sage on a par with the Wisdom of Solomon.
Thus we can all now breathe a sigh of relief. The consequences of an England triumph at Euro 2012 would have been too gruesome to contemplate. It would have resulted in a crisis of confidence throughout the sporting media, not to mention the nation’s pubs, as everybody became confused as to what was real. The belief that is almost universally held, outside of the FA, as being self-evident - that the ability to control or pass the ball are crucial to soccer success - would have been called into question. The football media, its self-belief in tatters, would have been struck down by a need to write something nice about the manager. It would have been forced too into the uncharted waters of not undermining the self esteem of the players or asking sardonic questions at press conferences.
The plans of the Illuminati and their goal of a New World Order would also have been jeopardised as failure on the football field is crucial to the task of undermining the confidence of the English nation and keeping it sullen yet compliant.
Scientists meanwhile continue their hunt for the errant gene (the so-called “Sweet F.A. Gene”) that compels the English to invent games, teach everybody how to play them and then sulk when foreigners improve upon the original model.
The great minds of psychiatry in particular are convinced that sporting success has nothing to do with planning or forward thinking, training, practice, teaching, observing the real world or strength of purpose but is in fact inherited. Accordingly, they have recently discovered the hitherto unexpected existence of a mental illness suffered by Spaniards, Germans, Brazilians and the French, known as Persistence of Over-achievement in Football disorder,(POOF).
As Brian “Twoleft” Feet of the influential British football magazine “Long Ball Game” explained: “There seems to be an epidemic of this mental illness thingy in Spain right now. You see the telltale symptoms of it everywhere: inability to hoof the ball the length of the pitch, use the elbow in the tackle or give the ball to the opposing team are among the glaring examples of serious departures from the way our beloved game should be played.”
Psychology too, which has done so much over the last century or so to improve the morale and self-belief of the nation, will be brought to bear upon the problems inherent within the national game. Money saved on employing and training football coaches will be spent on hiring one psychologist for each professional player in English football. This follows recent discoveries in the field of education that self esteem derives not from achieving and demonstrating competence, as previously believed, but from being given lots of sympathy and told you are good at something even when you are not. Similarly, the importance of “mindset” and “attitude” (which enable the individual to not see the blindingly obvious) over relatively superfluous attributes such as technique and the ability to assimilate new ideas will be emphasised.
Another forward-thinking measure will be to hire more PR experts whose job will be to ensure that when things go pear-shaped all blame will be attached to the manager and/or an inherited inability of the English to play football in the modern effete manner. It is expected that establishing the latter of these two truths will prove beyond doubt that nothing much can be done about it and that all we have to do is wait for global football fashion to change and the long ball game and five-touch football to become popular.
Meanwhile, rumours are circulating that the Football Association is taking steps to move the English Game forward into the Twentieth Century, measures designed to reassure English football fans and other sporting opponents that change is not about to break wind and demolish the drab but dependable mediocrity of the status quo.
Among such measures will be an increase of the number of fully qualified coaches in English football from ten to fifty. The increase is a compromise on the original target of 3,000 due to the cost of hiring psychologists and PR experts but it does nevertheless bring it more closely in line with Spain’s 6,000.
New training techniques will be introduced, such as five-touch ball control and the famous “headless chicken” sessions in which players will practice running around without a ball so as to acclimatise them to the real environment of matches against Spain and other teams who selfishly keep the ball to themselves.
The traditional qualification for coaching at junior and youth level - which demands that the team coach is a dad who wants his son to play striker - will be upgraded. From January next year, a new minimum requirement will be put firmly in place, requiring that the aforementioned son does not have two left feet – at least not both on the same leg.
A restriction will be placed on the number of foreigners professional teams are allowed to field and henceforth all teams will be limited to no less than 12 foreign players in any one game. To those who say that the restriction do not go far enough in stifling the emergence of English talent, the FA has responded by adding the proviso that foreigners who do play for English teams will not be allowed to tell English players how they control the ball or complete passes.
A revolutionary change that was widely expected, in that many believe it would help the national team reach a semi final, has not however been forthcoming. England will continue its traditional approach of not practising penalties long enough to get good at them. Techniques of passing the ball to the goal keeper or the crowd behind the goal will continue to be taught but all penalty takers will now also be fully trained in the art of prayer.
Stephen Cook is a professional copywriter http://ablecopywriting.blogspot.com