Diary: Lying Back And Reflecting On England

The Diary was forced to go to Wembley for inspiration, where it found a secret floor in the stadium and got a bit tingly over Andros Townsend. Hear about the adventure...

Last Updated: 14/10/13 at 11:26 Post Comment

Latest Articles

England's Player Ratings v Italy

Post comment

Phil Jagielka, England's forgotten man, was amongst their best performers, whilst Michael Carrick again calmed things down. As for Theo Walcott, we're worried...

You Have To Keep Sterling High Up The Pitch

Post comment

As Raheem Sterling's contract negotiations rumble on, WhoScored examine where he performs best. 'Why would you play him at wing-back Brendan?' is the question?

All Articles

The decision to move international fixtures from Saturdays to Fridays has had a number of consequences, some good, some bad, some as yet untested. On the positive side, it's entirely possible for somebody (a completely imaginary person) to just assume, when asked, that Friday night is free, become subject to other un-rearrangeable plans, and then be forced to miss England tussling with Montenegro in favour of stuffing their face with spicy chicken and utterly sublime paratha. On the negative, this means that this same person (again, we stress, completely imaginary) has to spend Sunday morning watching the blighted thing, since after all, they have a Diary to write. Or they would have. If they existed. Which they definitely, definitely don't.

Fortunately for you all, we Diarists have precisely the assiduous devotion to duty that you deserve. We were there, at Nouveau Wembley Nouveau, and we noticed things. Helpfully for the structure of this piece, the things we noticed numbered five. Commence listing!

1. England's Jack Wilshere doesn't actually exist. Arsenal's Jack Wilshere does, obviously, but as a committed Marxist and advocate of global revolution he views the very concept of nation states with contempt, and as a clever and discerning footballer he feels that the nature of the calendar and squad-churn ensures that the international game cannot help but disappoint on a number of fundamental levels. So he goes fishing whenever the break rolls around, and because it would look odd if he weren't picked, the sports editors of the nation have a whip-round and get a lookalike in to cover. Which explains everything and means we can all get on with our lives in peace.

2. Andros Townsend definitely does exist, and indeed seems to exist quite effectively. Before kick-off, there was some scepticism that Townsend -- who this season has precisely as many Premier League goals and bookings for diving as Ashley Young -- would be effective against Montenegro. There were believers, too, who felt that by choosing a young player over James Milner, the utility player constructed entirely from cement and dehydrated beef stock, Roy Hodgson would be sending a message of defiance to Brazil, Spain, Al-Qaeda, the BBC, Women's Hour, and anybody else that might presume to assume that England weren't the greatest damn nation in the whole damn world. Roar.

Anyway, the believers won, and the sceptics were rounded up, taken to Tower Hill, and are awaiting execution. Townsend was direct, quick, and -- pleasingly for everybody that likes a neat conclusion to such things -- pinged a quite excellent goal in off the post to seal the win. Can he do it at international level? Yes he can. Is the concept of international level completely stupid, since qualifying groups are sorted by geography whereas club football is sorted by ability? Shut up. Should Townsend now start every single England game until Adnan Januzaj gets his three lions tattoo? Obviously. Or until he's disappointing against Poland, anyway, when we can all berate Hodgson for not preferring experience. Inconsistency, Roy! Hodgson out.

3. At the beginning of the first half: "It's in our hands. Not entirely sure if that's good news or not." At the beginning of the second half: "We are usually lastminute.com." Oh, Clive!

4. The lifts in Nu-Wembley seem just like normal lifts. Press the button, go up or down (or both, if you pressed the wrong button by accident), get out, repeat. But if you know what you're about, and you have the right keys, then there is another floor, below the lowest marked. Insiders call it simply 'the Trough'.

For an outsider to gain access is unheard of, and yet there we were, awestruck and silent. We would have brought you photographs of everything. Of the specially-adapted dentist's chair into which reluctant administrators are placed. Of the leather straps that keep them there. Of the funnel that is clamped onto onto their faces, and the tube that slides down into their throats. Of the mounds of glimmering, lightly-seasoned pork meat that sit wetly in the shadows, sweating, waiting to be pumped into their unwitting and unwilling gullets. But, well, we forgot to turn the flash on. Ahem. More on this will be reported at the next international week. Do not worry.

5. On reflection, it has not been a strong week for any of us. International breaks are difficult things to get through, yes, but even so, the splashback from this one has been so embarrassing that ... wait, what? The FA are selling tickets for Tuesday's game to foreign people? Foreign people that aren't English? English people that aren't Jack Wilshere? Pass me that pitchfork, darling! The rage is a-coursing! I'm gonna get my outrage on! Oh, yes! I'm gonna seethe!

Andi Thomas and Alexander Netherton

You can follow Andi on Twitter here, Alexander on Twitter here, and buy last season's Diary here.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Italy 1-1 England: Andros Townsend equaliser keeps Roy Hodgson's side unbeaten this season

Substitute Andros Townsend rescued England's unbeaten post-World Cup record as his late goal in Turin earned a 1-1 draw.

Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy step up Arsenal comebacks

Jack Wilshere scored as he stepped up his comeback from injury against a Brentford XI at Arsenal's training ground on Tuesday.

England's Andros Townsend happy to silence critics with equaliser in Italy

Andros Townsend was delighted to repay Roy Hodgson's faith with the equalising goal as England drew in Italy on Tuesday.

Mail Box

Why Do Arsenal Have So Many 'Internet Warriors'?

The Mailbox has an open letter from Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, questions Phil Jones' bulldog spirit and asks: "Why do Arsenal have so many "internet warriors?"

It's All Just A Ruse By The 'Southern Press'...

A varied Tuesday morning Mailbox, with thoughts on the England U21s, a Sterling ruse, Kane realism, Wenger coaching youth and enjoying the charity match...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company