Anorak News | Europe Fears England

Europe Fears England

by | 7th, June 2004

‘IT is undeniably sad that, when the Mail takes a preludial glance towards the summer’s football fun, it first sees a few hundred English lunatics fighting the locals.

‘Put your left leg in, your left leg out…’

England may be “BETTER THAN EVER” in the eyes of the Express, but the other papers are unsure of what they are better at.

Sven Goran Eriksson says that England are in top form on the pitch. “I am happy,” says the Swede with his usual flair for language. “The players are all fit and I wouldn’t swap my squad for any other.”

While that’s certainly the case when it comes to Chelsea (Sven turned down the chance to coach the Blues), a few French gems would surely not go amiss among England’s Butts, Heskeys and Nevilles.

So much for the team. But what about the dunces and thugs who make up a portion of England’s travelling fans?

Well, the hooligans have given the Mail more to write about then any England team since 1966, so the paper is keen to emphasise that, however good England’s chances of victory are, the berks must not be allowed to spoil things.

And it seems Eriksson shares the Mail’s concerns that there will be much throwing of plastic chairs and glasses in Portugal.

“Self-policing is perhaps the most powerful weapon in the fight against hooliganism,” says Sven, “and I know that the huge majority of England fans want nothing to do with violence and disorder.”

He goes on to place hooligans in the same bracket as some of England’s other foe.

“Ahead of us lie the likes of Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane,” he says, “but also the uncertainty of whether the violence and disorder involving England fans that has clouded past tournaments will raise it ugly head again.”

We hope it does not. But if there is any bother, rest assured that the Mail will locate it and splash it across its back pages.

But enough of the knuckleheads and more now of the Sun’s tribute to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones who scored his maiden Test century as England edged towards victory over New Zealand.

Helmets off to the man who on reaching his ton celebrated with a dignified moonwalk on the Headingley lawn.

“The crowd really got us going during a tense time at the end,” says Jones, who played a memorable part in England’s first innings haul of 526 runs.

“It’s not easy to moonwalk in studs. I scuffed a bit of turf and hopefully I’ll get away with it.”

Such is the fustiness of England’s cricketing hierarchy that Jones may well be brought to book.

First moonwalks, and then who only knows what? A tango? A river dance? Gulp! A victory jig!’

Posted: 7th, June 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink