As is traditional in Interlull week I have been engaging in the traditional pursuits of the idle rich in the absence of any proper association football at which to tear my remaining hair out and tug my moustache. Thus this week I have been peasant-scrumping (chuck a few in the lake, handcuffed, and attempt to extract them with a mechanical digger); bear-dining (as the name suggests, dining with a bear); badger-burgling (going burgling with a badger); old lady’s firedancing (throwing an old lady on the fire whilst a brass band play); Beggar-My-Stoat (dressing stoat as a beggar and throwing coins at it); and Stokie-Oh-Nokie-Please-Don’t-Stamp-On-My-Throatie, which kind of explains itself.
Traditionally the Interlull has meant that the lower orders, and fans of the smaller clubs – your Burnleys, your Stoke Cities, your Chelseas, your Spurs – scuttle out of their hovels and start guttural mutterings about “Gazza” and “Wazza” and all sorts of ghastly nastiness ensues. But this sojourn in the normally fetid and dull world of international football, the type of football for people who don’t really like football, has been unexpectedly reviving for us Woolwich chaps and chapesses.
Firstly, we turn to our match agin Slovenia. Not, as you might think, the kind of thing one shouts when waking up with one’s face in a bowl of soup, Slovenia is in fact a country. And they have a football team, and we beat that football team. Four wins from four. Bravo, England. You are topping a group which even Tottenham Hotspur could win. Couple of things to note here. Odious little shit Rooney, who seems to be carrying a blanket athwart his middle reached ‘joint third’ in the England goalscoring charts. I should like to know when reaching ‘Joint Third’ in anything became newsworthy.
Surely, at Harrow, if one bragged about coming ‘Joint Third’ in a race or a Greek test or one of those special ‘athletic’ competitions that public schoolboys engage in after dark in the dorm then you would have been guffawed at all the way to matron’s office, where you would blub for hours with embarrassment at being such a ridiculous poltroon. (It has a ring of last season when Liverpool Football Club proudly stated that they were ‘joint top’ of the Premier League despite being no such thing) And yet the Football Association, which seems to have gone as mad as a wet hen, presented the horrible little pignut WITH A GOLDEN CAP. I can add nothing here, as this act goes beyond satire. So we shall not embarrass Mr. Dyke’s band of powdered wig-wearing dankish, dizzy-eyed death tokens any further and move on from this farrago.
We move on to Mr Danielsan Arantes do Dat Guy Nascimento Santos Welvalho, known to all as ‘Welé’, who bagged a brace against the Slovenites (Slovens? Slovelites? Sloves?). Five goals in four games, or V in IV, as proper people say. And it would have been a damned sight more if the Wembley pitch had not been rutted by the corpulent, gorbellied, pigeon eggs of GRIDIRON. I refuse to call it Football, for obvious reasons (they rarely use their feet). Another masterstroke by the Football Association.
And so past Hadrian’s Wall to the uncivilised lands beyond where so many times in the past we have had to suppress the lively natives for much more important reasons like stealing all their sheep and taking all their land. The match was at Her Majesty’s Celtic Park, a stadium which is in itself a fine tribute to Queen Elizabeth, Scotland’s monarch, and much loved by all of a tartan persuasion.
We turn to the first goal. Let us consider it in some detail. Mr. Jacques Wilshére was smoking a Gitane and reading some Camus, somewhat appropriately on the left touchline (or ‘bank’, as he would have it) when he receives the ball. “Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being,” he cries, as he pulls back that elegant and destructive left peg (“Madeleine”) and sends over an exquisite piece of leather artillery toward Alexander Oxlade-Chamberlain, bugger-grips flapping in the freezing Scottish breeze.
Wilshére sees that his work is done, and pulls the Camus from his back pocket, knowing that Oxlade-Chamberlain will connect with the ball. “Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken,” mutters young Jacques, just as the Oxlade-Chamberlain noggin connects with the pigskin to immediately silence the impertinent roars of the heathen Scotch. “For Her Majesty!” cries the lad as 40,000 Caledonian hearts crack into pieces. No other goals of note in that match. So I expect another golden hat was given to that hedge-born stable-lad Rooney.
We shall doubtless see more of him to-morrow, and one sincerely hope that I shall not be sullying these hallowed pages with an adumbration of yet another unfavourable result for Woolwich. We note that Messrs. Arkwright and Goring-Hildred, long since abandoned to the bowels of the Arsenal Medical Dungeon, have somehow escaped and are ready to face Mrs. Hiddink and her band of ill-bred clotpoles. And so to battle. Desperta Ferro! Charge! Soho! Fág an Bealach!