Thursday, 1 July 2010

Why the England Team resembles Indian food + Rest of Round of 16

Currying favour? Why the England team resembles Indian food

Unappetising - England's performance

It was the same old story – gathering with a sense of realistic anticipation to watch England play Germany yesterday. Beery laughter, combined with a genuine belief that Gerrard et al had a decent chance of defeating the old foe. After all, were they not worth twice as much on paper than the Germans in terms of market value? Did the majority of them have vast experience in the Champions League? Tick tick.

Yet within an hour the bar in Brighton was thinning out and the laughter had been replaced with angry recrimination. What went wrong? The players obviously wanted to win, but were completely outclassed. Reports that they were bored at their training camp suggest that most of them have mindsets similar to spoilt, surly ten-year olds. The manager wanted to win – not least to justify his £6million a year salary – but proved to be intransigent and tactically inept from start to finish.

To quote BBC commentator Alan Green – it’s been a mess, but what kind of mess is it and how can we rectify it? In an attempt to get our heads round the myriad problems that have beset the England team over the last month we have chosen the extended metaphor of Indian food to investigate why England failed to deliver tasty product. This was inspired by a post-pub take out from one of Brighton's finest.

David James – day-old Pilau rice

Traditional staple but essentially past his best.

Glen Johnson – puri flatbread

Generally uninspiring - failed to rise to the challenge.

Matthew Upson – pilchard curry

Looked tasty to begin with but eventually got distinct feeling there was something fishy going on.

John Terry – Rogan Josh

Exposed to intense heat before the tournament then went off the boil. Odd moments to savour.

Ashley Cole – stuffed paratha

Oily and not to everyone’s taste - rich and somewhat flaky.

Stephen Gerrard – six pints of lager

Marvellous when placed in the appropriate part of the evening. Otherwise troublesome and can throw the whole meal wildly out of kilter. Apparently popular with sixteen year-olds.

Frank Lampard – mutton dhansak

Generally tasty and well balanced but meat getting a little tough.

Gareth Barry – tarka dall

Lumpen and quite unappetizing – not the centerpiece of a meal, can be satisfying on occasion.

James Milner – mushroom biryiani

All things to all people but can be bland if unaccompanied.

Wayne Rooney – vegetarian ceylon

Thought to be hot by many, but disappointingly mild in reality. No meat, no impact.

Jermaine Defoe – popadoms

Lightweight and relies on early service – intrinsically uninteresting.

Defoe - unlikely to withstand much pressure

Joe Cole – mango lassi

Tasty and often well worth ordering but often forget to do so.

Emile Heskey – ghee butter

Fat scraped off the bottom of the barrel. Best if stored for extended periods.

Peter Crouch – onion bhaji

Well regarded side dish but often overlooked.

Fabio Capello – the chutney tray

Gives impression of being strong and shiny but ultimately leaves you in a pickle.

Capello - no variation under the lid

Sepp Blatter – dirty kitchen

Standards have been allowed to lapse, stove is outdated and work surface is filthy. Suffers from insufficient inspection – should be closed down.

So what to do about this? We need better service and hot, exciting new dishes made from more wholesome ingredients. Most of the existing stock needs to be thrown away and the restaurant needs a complete rebranding and a new, simpler business plan. So when your appetite for international football next kicks in, don't settle for anything less.

Cup of Good Hop Match 55:

Paraguay 2

Dirty-Sanchez 34, Santa-Claus 51

Holland 0

The distinctive nature of Palo Santo steamrollered Oranjeboom without breaking sweat, let alone wind. 'Are you still here,' says Deaks - referring to the Dutch entry, and there were no cries of dissent to counter this, no fingers in the dyke of defeat. Game over.

Match 56:

Switzerland 4

Hurlimann 2, Von Trapp (pen) 13, Toblerone 61, Boy-Dun-Gud (O.G 88)

North Korea 0

A thorough leathering - and that was us by this stage. Samichlaus's label has written upon it 'The World's Most Extraordinary Beverage' - which is some claim but not without some justification. 'It tastes like all your favourite Christmases,' says James, and we nod in unison like Churchill the unfunny insurance dog. 'The gothic typeface suggests something dark and mysterious,' says Peter, 'this beer can lead me through any number of strange adventures and I wouldn't care.' Probably enough to put curls on Harry Potter's head.

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