England vs Scotland Friday 11th Nov 2016 – Wembley

The World Cup qualifier between Scotland and England promises to be one of the lowest quality games in the fixture’s history. Gordon Strachan’s Tartan Army are filled to the brim with Championship level players, who long for the days of old when Iain Dowie guaranteed them an annual  Premier League relegation. Even Scott Brown, Celtic’s lord and saviour, coming out of retirement for one last hurrah can’t galvanise a repeat of 1999.

Fortunately for the Scots they come up against the only team in World football with less confidence than themselves. A Gerald Northgate lead ensemble, where the player’s main focus is to avoid crying during the national anthem. Not, like the Brazilians, out of pride, but fear- in case a 30p tabloid finally publishes those pictures of that vape infused orgy. England, of course, have a plethora of mediocre talent from the World’s most expensive league to choose from, making the game on paper look very one sided. However, as Trevor Francis often proselytises to the BT audience, the game isn’t played on paper and on the pitch Northgate has done nothing but follow the treacherous path of selection failure that came before him.

YouTube viral sensation Joe Hart will retain his place in goal, even though the likes of Forster and Heaton deserve the chance to emulate Ian Walker. There’s never any point in talking about the England defence, we don’t have the calibre of defender necessary for points, or talking. Luckily for us, ex-Blackpool and current Stoke City reserve supremo, Charlie Adam isn’t in the team so we should be able to rest easy.

Wilshere being anywhere near the England team is more disappointing than Freddy Adu’s career and a real hit in the old tallywhacker to the likes of Danny Drinkwater, who will no doubt fall down the midfield pecking order who has faked an injury in disgust. Fallacy football favourite Lallanarama is holding his own in the Liverpool side and showing glimpses of elegance that suggest he’s a better pick than young Alli (regardless of the “injury” he’s currently nursing) and will be partnered by the new Steven Gerrard; Jordi Hendo.

I don’t know who Jesse Lingaard is or where he has come from, but according to Wikipedia he bagged a couple of goals against Scottish players in the Championship once or twice so I can see Northgate’s logic, the kid’s got pedigree. Unfortunately, the logic actually applied is “oh he has come of the bench for Manchester United on the odd occasion, he must be picked!” This alienates Michail Antonio, who can’t really do any more to earn a call up, after his performances in fortnightly comedy sensation “The London Stadium and the East London Clarets”. He should be starting ahead of either Sterling or Walcott, both of whom, we as a nation, are still undecided upon. Many still ponder if they’ve ever actually seen them in the same room as Aaron Lennon…

In the goals, goals, more goals position- second fiddle Merseyside Reds talisman Sturridge is rightly in the squad and will likely start, but there will be no surprises when an unfit Harry Kane and an even unfitter F.C.Rooney start as dynamic double act. This again sends the wrong message to recent performers such as Charlie Austin, putting the nails in the coffin of the “players are picked on form” mantra. The biggest travesty of all the selection decisions is that the management set up is forgetting that goals win games and if there’s one person playing top level football that knows how to get ‘em, it is Jermain Defoe. #defoemeansgoals

The game will be just as much of a waste of time as the Scottish Independence Referendum, but spare a moment’s thought for Big Sam as his angry tears fall into his pint of wine, his screams of “Kevin Nolan would ‘av ‘ad ‘im” doing nothing but fire egg fried rice over his bound and gagged, helpless agent in the dungeon of the Reebok.

Score Prediction: 1-0 England (Scott Brown O.G. 27mins)

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