What Now For England?
Where do we go from here then, England?
Our county cricket system is trying to implode itself.
One of our greatest cyclists is being accused of being a drug cheat.
The coach of our national team, of our national sport, has gone.
What a time to be alive.
This is, primarily, a football related site, so let’s start with Big Fat Sam (BFS).
Here stands, or slumps, a man who has worked for much of the past decade dropping his name into the England manager hat. There’s been a lot of average, yet stable, seasons for the teams he has led, but he’s been pretty consistent. Add to the fact that English managers aren’t exactly all the rage (currently three plus one caretaker in the top tier, including our own Mr Pardew), and BFS was always there or thereabouts in the England manager discussion.
He was often classed as playing a “typically English” style and was over-looked for managers offering something different. But after a series of under-performances from “typically English” style players, the big chiefs did the right thing and appointed, in my opinion, the right man.
Don’t get me wrong, it was hardly an exciting appointment but it was one which almost said “screw this, let’s play like an English team”. You know, back to that style thing again – high tempo, low skill, pace and bullying. And I’ve no problem with that – it’s how the great Palace team of the nineties started out and was built upon.
After one game, one win and 67 days, BFS finds himself in the dole queue having been setup by a bunch of journalists, who seem intent on screwing over the English national team at every turn.
Don’t get me wrong, BFS was stupid but, did he actually admit to anything that we didn’t already suspect or even knew happened anyway? And The FA know it happens. They pretty much allow it. With one foul entrapment, not only was BFS exposed, but the FA had their pants pulled down.
They know how BFS and his ilk operate. They know what goes on between managers, agents, chairmen (and women – I’m looking at you, Brady!). They still employed him. On the basis they were willing to take that punt, where was the quiet word in his ear that he needed to be on his best behavior and keep his BF mouth shut? As a bloody adult, with a very highly paid job, in a high profile situation, he shouldn’t have needed telling, but always err on the side of caution, FA.
So here we are now, with a “disgraced” former manager and potentially a list of others to follow. I won’t name who I think is caught up in this messy situation for two reasons. Firstly, TEB editor will probably censor it out so we don’t get nasty legal letters. Secondly, because I suspect, in one way or another, almost every manager has done similar.
Who do England pick next, knowing that other names may follow? We’re stuck on Gareth Southgate for the short term and whilst he’ll never be my pick, he might be just what we need – a dull, soul-less, straight-batted, FA-designed robot (probably harsh, sorry Gareth, don’t choke on your post-match water).
What though is the long term answer?
Do we just accept that brown envelopes are part of the game and let it happen?
We know that this behaviour permeated right to the top of football with the FIFA antics but the FA made a vocal stand against those so now have to be seen to do the right thing.
Switching briefly back to Mr Wiggins (at least we can say he’s Belgian if it all goes tits up), our former captain and cycling enthusiast, Geoff Thomas, made the following comment on Twitter:
Sport needs to sort Tues out pretty quickly or why not just have a “Medication Games”. Just a thought ?#cynicalinmyoldage
— Geoff Thomas (@GeoffThomasGTF) September 27, 2016
I’ve long thought this would be a great, and hilarious idea. Imagine a javelin thrower taking out a spectator in the first couple of rows. Or a 100m final where the athlete finished before the G in BANG. Justin Gatlin might actually beat Bolt then, too.
Yes, of course, it’s stupid – but if we can’t police it, do we just allow it? After all, if FIFA can say racism no longer exists, surely we can all turn a blind eye to money-grabbers and drug addicts, right?