Archived entries for England

Ray Lewington

Tom Bodell looks at Roy Hodgson’s first appointment as England manager.

The announcement last Friday evening that Fulham coach Ray Lewington had been appointed to Roy Hodgson’s England staff for EURO 2012 raised a few eyebrows. A quick scan of the Twittersphere told me so.

This wide-spread scepticism was born solely out of the fact that few people have actually heard of Ray Lewington. Save for the few clubs inside the M25 that Lambeth-born Lewington has coached at, he is very much an unknown quantity with the wider football population who still seem put out that Harry Redknapp is not the man putting together his coaching staff right now. Continue reading…

Bitter Green

There was a noise coming from a number of the back pages of the national press last week; not the everyday white noise of often baseless transfer speculation, quotes taken out of context and hype for a forthcoming match, all of which are easy to ignore, but something more nasty. Though in reality the sound was the same as a spoilt child spitting out its dummy and rattling its play pen, the personal abuse directed at Roy Hodgson even made the front page of The Sun. Continue reading…

Short Term Parking

With news that Harry Redknapp seems to have been overlooked for the England job, Author and Tottenham fan Adam Powley looks at the positives and negatives of what always looked a short-term project at White Hart Lane.

It’s the fag end of the football season and once again Tottenham Hotspur appear to be at a crossroads. It is a situation as reliable as hosepipe bans in the middle of a monsoon. And yet again the full picture is hard to discern.

From a position of being the favourite side of neutrals and poised to genuinely threaten a title challenge, Spurs are stumbling towards the finish line, seemingly rudderless, bereft of form, and with the whiff of mutiny in the ranks. Judging by the deluge of comment online, blame lies entirely with the manager once destined for the England job but now seemingly out of the running. I’m not so sure it is all down to him, though. And precedent suggests the situation is more complex than to reduce it to the faults of one individual. Continue reading…

Three Lions on a Shirt

England fan and academic Mark Perryman writes about how the England shirt could be the most appropriate national dress of an inclusive, progressive society and how a public holiday on St George’s Day, an English National Anthem and an England Football Team in the Olympics would all also be welcome.

Footballing Identity

‘Fuck off you racist, gypo cunts.’  Bulgaria vs England, 2 September 2011

It’s around the 70th minute in England’s well-deserved 3-0 victory over Bulgaria at Sofia’s Stadion Vasil Levski stadium. Tiresome and predictable, a bunch of the locals, wannabe hooligans, lose interest in their side going down to a heavyish defeat and resort instead to winding up our players. Not the catcalls and banter we’re more used to back home but richly offensive monkey grunts and gestures. In a split second the enjoyment of an England win turns to a collective fury at the way the likes of Ashley Young, Theo Walcott and debutant Chris Smalling are being singled out for abuse simply because of the colour of their skins.

This is an angry English, mainly white, mob, pumped up with Three Lions on our chest patriotism yet knowing precisely the nature of the offence being committed against our own is racism. Of course the contradictions in that anger matter: the anti-Roma prejudice, the sexism and the physical violence which would surely have erupted if the segregation between us and them hadn’t been maintained. But the reality of that anger directed at others’ racism should not be lightly discounted either. Continue reading…

GB Football Team: Stuart Pearce?

The circus that is the England national side came to town last week, led by ringmaster Stuart Pearce, the unfortunate man charged with the thankless task of stopping Wayne Rooney putting his head in a lions mouth, or something like that.

Since the 3-2 defeat by the Netherlands, Pearce has been sidelined somewhat, forced out to manage the coconut shy with most punters paying their money to pelt a handful of wooden balls at his stylish new side-parting.

The gist of that metaphor is that Pearce has been hit by a barrage of criticism since taking charge of England in a caretaker capacity last week. The criticisms levelled at him have, by and large, been accurate and fair. However, this isn’t the last we’ll see of Pearce in the Wembley dug-out as he leads the Team GB men’s side this summer at London 2012. Continue reading…

Nothing to Lose

In a blow to the press, a 24/7 sports news channel, website aggragators and talk radio, Harry Redknapp said at the weekend he will no longer talk about the England job until there are any further substantial developments. Redknapp is a good speaker, whether telling an anecdote from his rich history in the game or just expressing a range of thoughts out loud. It can be hard at times for supporters of his club, as well as his employers, when he is sometimes too open – unwisely publically critical of his own players, defensive (and sometimes offensive) about his own club’s fans, and just giving out sound bites to hacks at feeding time – but he is usually entertaining to listen to, with constant analysis of a number aspects of football in a conversational and thoughtful style, more captivating than his regular quips. Continue reading…

Where did it all go wrong, Fabio?

After four years in charge of England, Fabio Capello was driven away from Wembley Stadium late yesterday afternoon having no doubt reached a Compromise Agreement with the FA in which, as his son later said, he would stop criticising his now ex-employers. It is unlikely he will be leaving totally empty handed either, but for all the money he has pocketed from the FA in four years, the question has to be, where did it all go wrong? Continue reading…

‘Urry up Harry?

Travelling England fan and co-founder of www.philosophyfootball.com Mark Perryman speculates on what next for England

Last week I argued on this website that via model of indecisive action the FA were creating an unholy mess for themselves and the England team. But even I in my worst nightmares never thought it would come to this. Continue reading…

Time for Heroes

The two times England have reached the semi-finals of major tournaments since winning the World Cup in 1966, the Captain has not been greatly significant, as both teams were full of leaders.

In 1990, a squad that included Peter Shilton, Terry Butcher, Stuart Pearce, Steve McMahon and a young David Platt, was partly memorable for the amount of senior players, including Bryan Robson and Gary Linekar, who were involved in the change of tactical shape and selection after the first game in the tournament. The Euro ’96 squad selected by Terry Venables also included Pearce and Platt, as well as Gary Neville, Gareth Southgate, Tony Adams, Paul Ince, Teddy Sheringham and Alan Shearer – strong characters on the field and in the dressing room. Continue reading…

A Model of Indecisiveness

Mark Perryman is the author of Ingerland: Travels with a Football Nation and co-founder of www.philosophyfootball.com and writes here exclusively for The Substantive on the current handling of John Terry.

The alleged racist abuse of Anton Ferdinand by John Terry took place at a game in October 2011. Almost two months later the CPS decide there is sufficient evidence for a case to answer. Another two months and finally the case came to court this week only for it to be announced that the trial will be delayed until after Euro 2012. Getting on for ten months after the alleged incident. Continue reading…



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