New Generation Lives Up To Lack Of Promise

FABIO Capello said England now has the strength in depth to carry its grinding
mediocrity forward to the next generation.

Worse than that what they routinely do to one of these

Injuries, suspensions and not really wanting to get their arses handed to them in a meaningless friendly saw many of the first-choice squad absent from last night’s 2-1 defeat to France. But the England manager feels that the nation has massive reserves of awfulness to draw from.

Capello said: “When Heskey can no longer stand 50 yards upfield vaguely peering toward the ball, I’m sure Carroll can make that ball feel equally peered at.

“And if we need a midfielder to totally disappear from the game the way Carrick does, then young Henderson is poised with his invisibility cloak.”

He added: “We actually called the police to report him missing at half time until Gerrard found him talking to a hotdog vendor, asking what a ‘free kick’ was.”

France coach Laurent Blanc added: “Back home, the difference in class has been considered almost cruel, and bear in mind what we do to geese.”

Brian Sewell’s player ratings

Foster 3/10
Brethren to Conan Doyle and Camus, his single-minded pursuit of goalscoring nothingness must surely put one in mind of Zen Buddhist monk-prince Badhidharma, whom I believe also turned out for Manchester United.

Jagielka 8/10
Has had to spend time both in Sheffield and Liverpool as part of his trade so my heart weeps for the boy.

Ferdinand 5/10
A devotee of practical jokes, I’m sure Mr Ferdinand would have appreciated the time I decanted a bottle of Rothschild ’64 and told Francis Bacon it was the ’62. Bacon punched me in the throat and we never spoke again.

Lescott 4/10
Looks rather like a Giacometti sculpture I won from Prince Philip in a game of Knave’s Whoopsie. Slightly less mobile, though.

Gibbs 5/10
A chap called Gibbs used to sweep the library at the Courtald when I was a student. I remember he was fired after I accused him of stealing the Dali fork I later found down the back of a Queen Anne escritoire. I often wonder what became of him.

Walcott 7/10
I rather cared for the way he skimmed across the pitch like my grandfather’s old Wolseley. One assumes somebody had just ordered drinks.

Henderson 2/10
Which one was he again? One isn’t allowed to say this these days, but poor people all look the same to me.

Barry 2/10
A most dreadfully common name; one cannot enunciate it without envisaging some awful tradesman traipsing into view

Milner 3/10
Northern, so I’m led to believe. How unspeakable of him.

Gerrard 6/10
I much prefer Gerard Manley Hopkins, to be frank. Even if he was a priggish Victorian bore it’s better that than a negligibly-foreheaded scowling guttersnipe.

Carroll 9/10
An Easter Island statue made flesh, with the pagan virility of Norse poetry and the muscular grace of a Stubbs painting. The lad also put himself about in the final third and will be well pleased with his debut.