At some time or other, we have all suspected FIFA of having a weak Blatter. But the decision to ban commemorative symbols on football shirts has drawn polemic responses.
Many were outraged by the announcement that England players would not be permitted to wear the image of a poppy on their shirts in the forthcoming game against Spain.
The official response from FIFA to the debate was that they refuse to allow any political or religious messages to be printed on international shirts. This would seem to make reference to the idea that, whilst Remembrance Day is loosely symbolic of every world member that has died in battle since WWI, it is a concept that was essentially embraced by the Allies after ‘The Great War’ (still the bestseller at Oxymorons ‘R’ Us after some 4836 weeks). FIFA has since bowed to political pressure and allowed the image of the poppy to be present on the armband. There are two possible solutions if this problem continues.
Never mind banning poppies, why not just ban internationals. Let’s be honest, noone really cares about international football anymore, let alone friendlies. I couldn’t give a dog’s arse about them. It’s genuinely depressing to have a fortnight without proper club football to be frank. Most of the time, England are inexplicably gack. Watching paint dry would definitely have its perks by comparison to watching England try and fail to put more than 2 passes together throughout the 90. The worst bit is that we the fans come back for more, every time, kidding ourselves that something might actually have changed since last time. That we might actually improve.
Then you get all the pre-match guff about Ashley Cole being ‘the best left-back in the world’. And of course, ‘we got Stevie G – he’d walk into any side. If he was fit. And Er, Rooooonaaahay. Oh yeah he’s banned for the bit that we need him for to get us through to the bit he’s allowed to play in’.
BUT NOTHING EVER CHANGES. At their clubs England players glisten, but without the luxury of top foreign artists around them at international level, their technical weaknesses are exposed. Even newly formed Eastern European countries give us tutorials in the game that we invented. And against top teams England have the look of a mangey old dog still enthusiastically chasing the ball after all these years in the hope of actually getting to bite it. But when the knackered old bugger does finally get his ball, he doesn’t know what to do with it anyway. So he gives it back, to start the chasing or ‘fun bit’ again.
Of course, Harry Redknapp is going to come along next year and suddenly turn us into world beaters. But until then, can’t we just scrap the international? Or at very least not let anyone over 23, except Wayne Rooney And Joe Hart, play for England? It’s only a matter of time before your Lampards, Gerrards, Terrys et al are gone anyway so why wait for another disjointed tournament before we realise we have to give the youth a chance while they are young?
If every single tournament that England have ever qualified for is anything to go by, it ain’t gonna be pretty to watch with our seasoned stars. Imagine supporting a team whose best quality is a ‘stoic’ defence. Stoic defending and bugger all else. Every now and again someone goes in with a harsh tackle to prove that they are trying but the rest of it is just an exercise in chasing the ball. Not having the ball and chasing it. Chasing the ball that you don’t have.
How about playing a young team which can grow together? I’d play Smalling, Jones, Rodwell, Gibbs, Willshere, Cleverley, Barkley, Wellbeck, Sturridge, Rooney and see what happens. What have we got to lose? A quarter final with the old guard where we go out on pens to a Benelux country? No thanks. I’d rather singlehandedly take my king sized bed out of my 3rd floor room, put it in a waiting van, drive straight to Edinburgh for no reason at all, then drive straight back and re-install the very same bed, this time shifting the beast up three flights instead of down – all on my todd and without a word of explanation to my apoplectic partner.
Globalise Poppy Day
Let’s call it Love Day (or something similarly catchy if that’s taken) and all submit to the glorious idea that we all belong to the world, rather than our respective patches of turf that are made immeasurably richer through modern multiculturalism anyway.