World Cup Special – Nigeria’s Unique Solution

July 2, 2010

Our boys made a low-key return to Blighty and are out of sight. The FA is wondering what to do with Fabio Capello in the light of their insightful move to renew his contract before the start of the World Cup, landing them between a rock and a hard place. What can we do? Many England fans have their own ideas, mostly illegal and jail worthy, but they need to look no further than Nigeria for the definitive answer. The president of Nigeria, the fantastically named Goodluck Jonathan, has ordered the suspension of the team from international competition for two years, due to their poor performance. He’s also reportedly looking to dissolve the football federation. This is to enable Nigeria to reorganise their football, a spokesman said. FIFA are kicking off because they have a ban on government interference in football and they’re not happy, but as far as I’m concerned it sends a clear message: you screwed up, you’re gone, no one is indispensable – so fix up!

I mentioned in my last post on our sorry appearance in the World Cup about teams needing to have a common purpose in order to win. Many in body, one in mind, I said. I read a little article in the Metro paper today concerning Ghana who play Uraguay on Friday. The goalkeeper Richard Kingston said this:

“We are a good team. But we have so much more than that. We have unity. We love each other. We do everything together. There is no single player who does anything on their own. The spirit is high and we play as a team. It brings out the best in Ghana.”

Rooney? Lampard? Terry? – take note.



  1. I still love the fact that Nigeria’s new president is called Goodluck.

  2. I heard the German team saying something similar. They say that Argentina has Messi and Tevez, but Germany has a team, which is so much more important. There are no big egos, everyone is working because they feel proud to be in the team. I think the England team could learn a lot there.
    Getting rid of the FA would be pretty drastic, but we need a drastic attitude change about football In the UK; club football is a lot more important than playing for your country, which I think is rubbish.
    Someone on Five Live suggested that we get an open topped bus and make the England team tour the country in It in an ironic victory parade. It would be strangely pleasing, but all this nonsense in the paperwork about catching the squad laughing is crap. Even in times of mourning or great sadness, you will laugh on the briefest of occasions and as far as I’m aware, noone has died. (except perhaps English football!)
    Sorry, rant over!

    • I’ve done my best to ignore most of the papers. I saw that nonsense story as well and found it not the least bit helpful. You can capture a picture of anyone at a particular point and set the copy in such a way as to make them look bad.

      Look, this is what we need to concentrate on: making the team a team; engendering a sense of community; finding a way to re-balance the importance of club to country in our football as you suggested; getting the newspapers to calm down and stop baiting other countries (and Germany in particular); and finally, when the World Cup comes round again, assuming we qualify, shut the fuck up about 1966.

  3. I thought Capello had supposedly whipped the prima-donnas into unity? Obviously not. And Gerard should hear it, too. Good grief. Though Capello’s weird starting line-ups and substitutions didn’t help so much either.

    • It was a bit of a mess all round, to be honest.

      You should have much to celebrate, though. Germany thrashed Argentina and are now through to the semi finals.

  4. Teams have management and coaches sure, but surely it’s the Players who win and loose the matches in the end?
    Time they put their big boy pants on and admitted that talent on the field and teamwork wins you results in matches and not ego’s or your salary.
    I think that many players from countries who get paid a total pittance compared to these guys actually acquitted themselves better on the field than these “so called” “stars”.
    Did England give their country-folk three beautiful games of football? Er, No… I don’t think that all the blame for that lies with the manager/coach etc.
    I think that Capello did well to get them there in the first place!
    If you went to the theatre and the company performing flubbed their lines, were disorganised and gave a half-hearted performance would you not demand your money back?
    How come Fans, hard working, ordinary people who save up for costly match tickets, airfares, annual leave, accommodation etc don’t get their money back when they get a performance so lack luster that people boo-ed them off at the end of the game?
    (and Rooney had the audacity to go mental over it! Yes I know he later apologised, but he should have been hanging his head in shame coming off, not being arrogant)
    I don’t blame Capello half as much as I blame the players.

    • Ah, Rooney. The saviour of the country.

      I had heard and read that Rooney had injuries, so that could be a partial explanation for the lack lustre performance. But I’ll say it again. Attitude is the key. The team didn’t have the right attitude. They lost. There’s nothing more to say. The Euro cup in 2012 is coming. Let’s see what happens there – if we qualify.

  5. Ps. Should Capello HAVE to whip prima donnas into shape? Are they two year olds who need a nanny?
    If they are worth a fraction of their salary then they should be grown up enough to act like proper sportsmen and play as such.

    • You won’t be getting an argument from me!

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