This is a letter on behalf of all hopeful England fans for the upcoming trip to Brazil, and yes, as a reasonably inexperienced England fan, I am still a hopeful one. I don’t know if you caught it on the tele Roy, but I thought the comedian Russell Howard summarised quite nicely what it’s been like to be an England fan over the last few years. Basically, he describes how being an England fan at the World Cup is like being the parent of a fat kid on sports day; everyone else knows that he hasn’t got a chance- and deep down you perhaps know that too- but your hope and love for that fat kid makes you think he’s going to win the 100m anyway. As always Roy, the qualification process has been flawless: crushing the likes of Andorra 8-0 making us England fans over ambitiously think that we can do the same to Germany and Brazil. In addition Roy, I even agree with your squad selection for once: a blend of youth and ‘experience’, with the right players on the plane because of their form and not the same old squad we always expect. All thus far is going swimmingly Roy, but at this stage for England it always does. So to help you out I have outlined below a list of not what to do when the plane lands in Brazil:
- For the love of god do not play Lampard and Gerrard together.
- Find a way to keep the pressure off our big players, whatever it takes. They will crack otherwise, they’re English, they don’t like pressure.
- Try to avoid the metatarsal curse. Odds on the football gods are currently plotting a way to break Rooney or Gerrard’s metatarsal so wrap them all up in cotton wool if you have to.
- If the metatarsal curse does happen, and its to a midfielder, do not call up Cleverly from the stand-by list. England fans would rather John Ruddy played in the middle of the park than him.
- Tell every player to actually SING the national anthem like they mean it, some rugby players cry after singing the national anthem so just make sure they show us what it means to them. I want to see words being pronounced.
- Don’t be boring. Don’t play the same system every game and the same team. Mix up the tactics, play the long ball, pass it around, whatever, just make sure you get us off our seats watching England for once.
- Don’t take it too seriously, at the end of the day, we know that we are probably like tenth favourites for the tournament and many pundits don’t even expect us to make it out of the group. Laugh with the press, let the players bring the WAGs and kids and drink a few beers on the copacabana beach, it might even make them play better.
- Remember to make sure you’ve covered the 3 P’s at the end of each training session: Penalties, Penalties, Penalties! England are actually going to the World Cup with some good Penalty takers for once, the likes of Lambert, Baines, Gerrard, Rooney and Lampard. If it goes to penalties (which inevitably it will with England at some point- probably with the Germans) make sure these people take them!
- Bring Emile Heskey back into the England team, just for bants.
Mr Hodgson, we’re not expecting miracles. We just ask that you play attacking football, give it a go and don’t do the obvious. Despite our initial reaction to you when you first took charge, we promise we do wove you weally Woy.
An Eng-Er-Land supporter.