(The Original)

Amateur Scribe

Coalition of the Brave

Has anyone else noticed the eerie symmetry between David Cameron’s coalition cabinet and the soon to be announced England World Cup football squad?

Both are made up of 23 proud individuals looking to serve their country – with at least five of them only present thanks to massive good fortune and last minute negotiations - despite no discernible qualifications for the job (I’m thinking of you, Theo Walcott)…

cam clegg

But will it work? Not only are the Liberal Democrats now perched at the country’s top table unelected and snivellingly lacking in conviction - surely they are entirely at odds politically with the very party they have leapt into bed with? Am I missing something, or is this not the very definition of divisive government?

And what if? What IF? What if the England football team was ALSO infiltrated by five ideologically opposed interlopers? What then, eh?

It had been tricky enough trying to solve the problem of how many wingers to include in the final 23 what with Adam Johnson pulling up trees in the last weeks of the season, and Ashley Young still knocking on the door. But that was before he took a phone-call from the new Sports Minister telling him to bump Aaron Lennon in favour of Susan Boyle.

The English players in the squad had hardly been brimming with enthusiasm at the news. No fewer than seven squad regulars retired from international football with immediate effect following the announcement. Joe Cole gave a tearful press conference, shocking many with his candid eloquence: “It was my dream to play for my country in South Africa,” he had said, an innate sadness washing over his ingenuous features. “But clearly the manager has decided to go in a different direction. If the final midfield berth is to be filled by an opera-singing Glaswegian virgin who’s never even played in the Premier League, then I fear my services are no longer required.”

That hurt. The players blamed him for betraying them. OK, so Cole was struggling to make the squad anyway, and his retirement was actually a blessing in disguise, but it had been tough explaining the situation to poor Lennon. The youngster had been devastated and begged to be given a chance to go up against Boyle in a winner-takes-all session of sprinting and dribbling – but, alas, Fabio’s hands were tied. Heartbreaking, really, although the silver lining was that Susan probably had the edge when it came to crossing…

Fabio’s maxim had always been “the team is everything” – he’d successfully quashed many a faction in his Roma days, and was credited with successfully making Francesco Totti “man up” after being tied to his mother’s apron strings all those years – but trying to manage the integration of these five clueless insurgents was trying his much-vaunted patience.

Even now they were in their Austrian training camp, preparation for the tournament was being severely hampered by dissention in the ranks and petty bickering. Oh, for the days when the biggest challenge he faced was showing a little moral fibre in quashing off-field playboy antics! Fabio now thought back on the Wayne Bridge fiasco with something approaching fondness. Certainly a cuckolded left-back was nothing compared to what he had to deal with now.

John Terry still caused him headaches though. Only yesterday he had been forced to placate his former captain with promises of ice cream and extra PlayStation 3 privileges, after Lorraine Kelly gave him a fearsome nipple cripple during a friendly training ground game of shirts v skins.

england team


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