Copa Mundane

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‘It’s shop-lifting by Moore, Gary shit on the floor, Bobby asking for more…cash for tickets. It’s coming home, it’s come home…’

It’s no Ian McCulloch and the Spice Girls’ ‘How Does It Feel To Be On Top Of The World’ is it? Oh yeah, that was a thing. That happened.

The World Cup starts on Thursday and we have the rather novel situation of England going into the competition with almost nothing expected of them whatsoever. Let’s face it, the squad’s full of Everton and Southampton players so the public at large are hardly going to get that excited.

The poor press are even having to try really hard to engineer some excitement and friction, hence their obsession with Ross Barkley. They know Roy Hodgson will want to be judicious in his use of Everton midfielder’s singular talents, so they are trying to create a clamour for his inclusion from the start of the first game. And if England struggle against Italy they will blame the manager’s conservatism for shackling the most exciting young talent since them apes at the start of 2001 kicked a skull against the side of a mysterious obelisk.

That one gets its noggin caved in at the start because of a disputed goal kick you know.

What the learned men of the fourth estate seem to forget while sweating over their laptops in the bar of the Manaus Formula One Hotel is that it was Hodgson who picked Barkley in the first place. He didn’t have to – Barkley’s form for Everton wasn’t that great last season that leaving him out would have caused any sort of controversy. After all, when he’s good he’s very, very good. But when he’s bad he’s Huckerby.

That said, used correctly, especially during the ragged extra-time madness of the knockout stages, he could potentially have a massive impact. And Hodgson knows that; he’s not soft.

And neither is Roberto Martinez, we say, seguing slicker than Martin Samuel’s belly button on the Ipanema Beach. The Everton boss is linked with all sorts of players at the moment, and nearly all on loan, which is ace, just because it makes everyone’s piss boil. We should loan all our players, just for a laugh. Even the ones we ‘own’ we could maybe sell and borrow back just by striking up some sort of agreement with one of those shifty people-trafficker-type Belgian clubs who are so fond of a ‘special arrangement’ with Premier League sides.

Continuing with the policy of exploiting the loan market was agreed at a recent brainstorming session at Goodison where the aim was to come up with money-saving ideas, no matter how ‘out there’ they are, just say them, this is a friendly space. Other avenues given serious consideration were ‘not paying loads for that Lukaku’, a zero hour contract for Tony Hibbert and ‘making that Tony Bellew pay a membership for using the Finch Farm facilities – it’s not the David Lloyd you know lad. And that fucking training kit doesn’t pay for itself either.’

Apart from sundry former-under21-international Spanish playmakers who all seem to play for some nondescript team who wear what looks like a Sheffield Wednesday kit, the Blues have also been linked with Samuel Eto’o – which would be cool just because, well, he’s Samuel Eto’o – and in keeping with Martinez’s love of inconsistent jinky wingers, Sunderland’s Sheldon Cooper lookalike Adam Johnson. Which is probably more likely.

And that’s it for now. This was just to dust off the cobwebs and see if the computer still works in anticipation of writing the odd bit during the World Cup itself. The idea of some sort of regular ‘diary’ might have been a bit ambitious, but we shall see.

Oh, hang on, now. Almost forgot. Ross Barkley almost missed the bus!

Crazy scenes. He had to run down the street a bit and Steven Gerrard thought it was dead funny.

Them lads. Honestly, sometimes.

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