Ingerland Football Team. Let’s face it, we don’t have the players, or they don’t perform. So let’s change it. Let’s go back to basics, until a generation comes along that can play as a team and have a few world class players.
No one likes us, we don’t care, we are Ingerland. We don’t need some fancy foreign tactics our English players don’t or can’t understand How many English players have been successful abroad? British players (and managers) don’t do tactics. They pick players and some vague formation. You can count on one hand British players and managers who can talk football tactics (Strachan, Shteeve McClaren, Woy?, Bobby Robson? Terry Venables) and most of those have managed abroad. So an Ingerland Football Manifesto then.
- Goalkeeper. You will be big and tall. You will give your defence confidence either by your great shot stopping and cross catching (Van der Sar or Mark Schwarzer, or by the force of your personality, even though you might be useless (Grobbelaar).
- Full backs are either foraging wingers (Ashley Cole), or mean nasty thugs sitting deep (Stuart Pearce, who could attack and take a free kick and penalty!). If you can do both you are world class, my son.
- We will have one tall centre back (Jack Charlton) who heads things and goes up for set pieces, and one fast centre back who can pass (Bobby Moore, except he wasn’t that fast).
- You will be a right winger with a right foot who can cross the ball, regardless of if you can beat a man or not (Beckham has never beaten a player for pace!).
- Left winger ditto.
- If you’re not a good crossing winger, we will revert to wingless wonders with a midfield that can score goals and rotate going forward (David Platt, Martin Peters, Paul Scholes).
- Midfield. We will have one defending, tackling, distributing midfielder (Barry, Hargreaves), and one skilful midfielder with a great engine (Gerrard, Alan Ball, Bobby Charlton, Paul Gascoigne).
- Up front we will have a big hard centre forward (Crouch) who can hold the ball up and head, and a fast skilful forward (Rooney) who will drop deep and then run through the centre with the ball.
- When we are moving the ball out of the back, either the skilful midfielder (Gerrard) will take control, or the fast skilful forward (Rooney) will drop deep and pass and run (give and go, in any direction of his choosing).
- Rooney is free to roam, and will be a nightmare to mark (Think Beardsley, Think Sheringham). We will never make our fast skilful forward our primary (and only) source of goals.
- We will not hit long balls with a new World Cup ball we haven’t used for at least 6 months. If we find any Johnnie Foreigner introducing a new ball to the World Cup we will let our xenophobic media know about it months in advance.
- The team will lead itself on the field and be self adjusting using this system, with less reliance on the manager.
- The manager will pick the best player in each of these eleven 4-4-2 positions. He will not introduce anything too complex for an English player’s brain, other than a pre-match and half time pep talk.
- The manager can only make substitutions at half time or up to 20 mins after half time, because what’s the point in throwing some poor sod on with 5 mins to go when you’re 2-0 down.
- We will mark zonally but we will press the player with the ball anywhere on the pitch, and not jog back slowly as if it’s someone else’s job to press. And when we get good at closing players down, we will put two players on the man with the ball.
- We will be a nightmare to play against, and teams will fear us, because they know they’ve been in a game, and we press them, our fullbacks don’t take any nonsense, and our centre back and centre forward are the biggest nastiest meanest (but not necessarily fastest) bastards out there.
- You get in the team because you can do one of those eleven 4-4-2 jobs, regardless of how you’re playing for your club, and because every time you’ve pulled on the England shirt you’ve played well for your country.
- We will have no room for players of great skill or many goals, if they don’t or can’t to it for Ingerland.
- If you’re the second best right footed winger in the country, you’ll have to wait your turn, you ain’t playing on the left wing. You should have stuck at it in your academy days, learning to cross with your left foot.
- Our manager will be Jack Charlton who we’re bringing out of retirement. If things get really tough he can play centre back again.
- When we’re ready for some Fancy Foreign Manager, we will re-appoint Steve McClaren, long before he’s in his 70s and everyone calls him Uncle Shteeve.
- We will be known as the team of No Divers. We may not win anything for 20 more years, but we won’t be falling or diving like some big shoed clown (Heskey).
- Our Academy will teach only one thing to our new talent. For 3 years you will be playing on your weaker foot (oh, and taking penalties). Or better still, you can’t join the academy unless you can play with both feet.
- We will no longer label an English player as world class until they’ve won something, like err, the World Cup.
- Abnormally sized footballers are scary to play against, so any very tall, thick trunked legs, sharp elbows, ability to stay upright and not fall over like Bambi on Ice (Heskey) will be welcome in the team
- Until further notice, we are Ingerland, we don’t care, no one likes us, we play hard 4-4-2 rigid football, because we haven’t got the players with the skill or bottle to do it any other way.
- We don’t need some fancy foreign manager because we don’t have any fancy foreign players with enough fancy foreign skills to understand what the hell the fancy foreign manager is going on about. We will wait another 20 years until we can host a World Cup.
- If 4-4-2 and Jack Charlton doesn't reap any success over the next 20 years, we will revert to 2-5-3 like on most Table Footballs (or Foosball).
- Youth teams and Academies will be given 5 years to produce more than 2 Ingerland players, and if they don’t achieve that, they will be closed down forever.
Building a team is very simple. You pretend you’re the opposition looking over at England. Who do you not want to see over there. Stuart Pearce, Viv Anderson, Bryan Robson, Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker. Who will you laugh at when you see standing over there try to keep warm, Michael Carrick, Sean Wright Phillips, Rooney playing up front, Frank Lampard, Emile Heskey. Ashley Cole is scary if he’s moving up the pitch. Rooney is scary running towards the goal, with the ball (not without the ball, or his back to the goal). Joe Cole is scary because he can keep the ball and do things with it.
Think about it, when has international football been fun to watch, ignoring the all time great sides? Ireland under Jack Charlton (check out the Ireland teams of ‘90 and ‘94 about the same as Ingerland 2010!), and the Aussie team with the exception of that Germany game. It can sometimes be dire stuff, but you know what you’re getting and the limited skill is allowed to shine.
England could become the most two-footed, fittest, pressing team in the world. that’s better than hoping for players of guile and skill in some new fancy academy grass roots stuff up, Trevor Brooking will no doubt instigate post England 2010, and post Capello.