CaughtOffside contributor considers the ramifications of Fabio Capello considering selecting players born outside the British Isles.
So Fabio Capello’s considering selecting some bloke called Aaron Hunt for the England squad. To me, he sounds like a Division One workhorse who’s kicking lumps out of people at Colchester. He is not this. He is…wait for it…duh, duh, durrrr….A German! I can hear the moans and groans from English supporters up and down our great green land. “I only want English players for the England team” demand the blinkered simpletons. “If we win the World Cup with him in the side it won’t be an English victory” cry the 18 stone fools with a bulldog scribbled in ink on their arms.
My message is, yes this is wrong, it shouldn’t be allowed… blardy blardy blah, but everyone else is doing it so why don’t we? We are already at a disadvantage to the rest of the world by possessing traffic cones for goalkeepers and Big Emile leading our line. Let’s at least get back on level playing field by inventing English nationalism for foreign players. If you consult the record books you will find winners of major tournaments have been dragging talent through the loophole for years and years. Italy, the champions of the world, have Mauro’ the Argie’ Camoranesi. Spain, champions of Europe have, Marcos ‘the Brazilian’ Senna. France with a World Cup and Euro in the bag, did it with Zidane the Algerian, and Patrick ‘he from Senegal’ Viera. They certainly didn’t rely on Stephane Guivarc’h to win them major tournaments. The Germans are up to it too with Podolski (Polish) and the Portuguese have Deco (Brazilian), all class players, capable of turning a game with one bit of magic.
We’ve used the loophole once before and recruited… Tony Dorigo! Tony bloody Dorigo!!! Did we not have the largest empire the world has ever seen? Did we really sacrifice the lives of good men to conquer land and sea just to have Tony Dorigo play for our national team?
Capello has already stated he isn’t considering Manual Almunia for selection when he gets his British passport. This is not because Almunia is as Spanish as falling donkey but because he’s a gormless, arm flapping idiot who bleaches his hair despite the fact that he’s in his THIRTYS! However if Buffon could be considered I’m sure Capello would be feeding him with as many Yorkshire puds’s he could lay his hands on and recruit Geoffrey Boycott as his language coach. Oh yes, Buffon would be England’s number one and I for one wouldn’t mind one bit.
Let’s look at the option’s Mikel Arteta is set to gain his English citizenship soon. If your club side was given the chance to sign Arteta, with all his silky skills, great delivery, radar vision and match winning nous, or Jermaine Jenas with all his…erm, running around a bit and looking busy, who would you choose? Arteta, surely. You will have people saying if he isn’t good enough for Spain then he’s not good enough for us. This is complete rubbish. Face facts, Spain are better than us. But that’s because they use the loophole. Marcos Senna was instrumental in their Euro victory, shielding the back four while Iniesta, Xavi, Silva et al ran riot. If you can’t beat em, join em.
I suggest Fabio recruits some of the selectors of the England cricket team; they seem to know a thing or two when it comes to international loopholes, and they can provide him with a list of talent that could qualify for selection, but obviously make sure they cast their net wider than South Africa for god’s sake! The Irish aren’t ashamed of their national team even though they resorted to calling up Clinton Morrison. They know for every Morrison there’s a Ray Houghton, a man who’s as Scottish as deep fried Curly Wurly. This doesn’t matter; he is the player that scored the winning goals against England in 88 and Italy in 94. He brought them joy. He gave them pride in their national team. He is a legend.
I’m not saying we should bring just anyone into our England side, just players who will make an impact and strengthen the squad. The likely hood is that the likes of Wayne Bridge, Wes Brown, Emile Heskey and English goalkeepers are going to be included in the final 23. These players are not good enough and I pray our brave servicemen of yesteryear put it about a bit on the continent and we can unearth a world beater from another country in time for the World Cup. If not then I’m afraid we’re going to the same World Cup restaurant that we’ve been dining at for so many years. Starting with the stale bread group games, then for mains a meaty delicious win against an also ran in the second round. For dessert the inevitable plucky tart that looks good for long periods, but ultimately leaves a bitter taste in the mouth in the quarters. We won’t be around for cheese and crackers. We never are.