The England football team’s ignominious exit from the 2010 World Cup has left fans severely traumatised, and the country seemingly teetering on the brink of massive civil unrest. “This has been building for years,” says tabloid sports journalist Terry Tittlee. “Englishmen have taken knock back after knock back – if it isn’t illegal immigrants taking their jobs, or benefit scroungers taking their taxes, it is sporting defeat after sporting defeat. This World Cup was the final straw.” There have already been ugly scenes, when several hundred disgruntled England fans attempted to storm Heathrow’s Terminal Five as the team arrived back from South Africa. Indeed, one group irate fans succeeded in briefly gaining access to the runway, lying down in the path of the airliner carrying the England football team, in an attempt to stop it from landing, before being arrested by the police. Despite a heavy police presence, the team’s coach had to run a gauntlet of bricks and bottles thrown by fans, as it left the terminal. “Those over paid bastards deserve everything they get,” claimed twenty-eight year old Jim Clunker, who was arrested for hurling a brick through the rear window of the luxury coach, narrowly missing John Terry. “They’ve ruined my life with their pathetic performances! And it isn’t just me – they’ve destroyed the whole country’s national sense of self worth!” Clunker’s sentiments have been echoed by many other England fans, upset by their team’s abject performance at the World Cup Finals. “How can we take any pride in being English anymore?” asks Larry Belch, who has burned his replica shirt in protest. “It’s just so humiliating – nobody has any respect for us anymore. Just this morning I was jeered by a bunch of Scotsmen as I walked down the street – they were shouting ‘Losers’ and stuff. I mean, what right have they got to jeer? They couldn’t even make the finals!” This pattern has been repeated the length and breadth of the British Isles with England fans complaining of being harassed by Brazilians, Germans, Welsh and even illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. Many fans are claiming that the trauma has been even worse for their children. “My four year old lad hasn’t spoken since we watched the Germany match on TV together – he just whimpers every time he sees a football,” says father of three Pete Boner. “I ask you, how can our kids be expected to take any pride in being English after a disgrace like that? Mark my words, there’s going to be a whole generation growing up who will be too ashamed to paint their faces with the cross of Saint George, or stick a cheap magnetic flag on their car.”
Many commentators are trying to play down the England backlash, claiming that it is being exaggerated by the very same tabloids which had unrealistically built up fans’ expectations prior to the World Cup. “Look, before the tournament started the likes of Terry Tittlee were happily telling their readers that England were going to walk it, and come home with the World Cup,” observes top soccer pundit Tim Floggarty. “No sooner had we drawn with the USA, than these self-same tabloid hacks started telling us the England team were a national disgrace! Now they’re whipping up even more anti-England rhetoric because they can scent another story – football riots! Believe me, they won’t be happy until Fabio Capello is hanging from a lamppost.” However, Clunker denies that he and his fellow fans have been influenced by the press in their extreme backlash against the national football team. “We’ve just had enough – we’re just ordinary working blokes, who spend thousands every year supporting these bastards,” he claims. “They’re paid more in a week than most of us can earn in a lifetime – they’ve got it all; the bling, the birds, the cars and the big houses, and they still can’t even win a game of football!” Some experts sympathise with Clunker’s grievances. “It’s true, this has destroyed the dream – for decades every ill-educated, inarticulate working class bloke believed that football represented the path to salvation. Hell, they were able to say, if those guys on that pitch out there can earn millions, pull fit birds, live like kings and be respected by the nation, despite being thick as shit, then there’s still hope for the rest of us,” says top sports psychologist Ed Wackler. “But after South Africa, their idols are a laughing stock. They might still have the wealth, but nobody respects them any more. The aspirations of millions of ordinary pillocks have been dashed.” But it seems that the effects of England’s defeat runs deeper than just shattered aspirations, with Clunker claiming that it has been a huge blow to the self-esteem of most fans, leaving them with deep psychological scars. “I feel so humiliated by this whole campaign that I haven’t been able to get it up since Sunday afternoon!” he wails. “My girl friend’s threatening to leave me!” Indeed, there have been widespread reports of England fans being rendered impotent by the defeat to Germany, their members allegedly left as limp as their England flags.
Once again, sports psychologist Ed Wackler sympathises. “There’s no doubt that for all those fans who invested so much of their hopes and aspirations in England, the debacle in South Africa was like being emasculated,” he opines. “Of course, the real problem is that for so many English people their entire sense of national identity was bound up with the England football team. How else can you explain the exaggerated patriotism and obsession with all those symbols like flags, in support of a mediocre football team? Losing badly like that is a huge psychological blow – it makes them suspect that maybe England itself is as second rate as the team.” Some commentators have expressed fears that the England football team’s failure could result in many fans seeking other sources for a sense of identity, such as extreme right-wing politics. “There’s no doubt that the weakness of national football team is down to the influx of foreign players that now dominate our Premier League,” muses Dick Holder, Chairman of the British National League. “It’s about time that we stopped employing foreign managgers as well – they’re obviously undermining the masculinity of our British players with their strange continental methods and talk of nutrition and fitness regimes. It’s high time we got back to the proper British way of cold showers, long runs and twenty Woodbines behind the terrace.” With death threats now being issued against specific England players – already effigies of Wayne Rooney have been burned in the North West, whilst a life size dummy of John Terry was found hanging from a lamppost in West London – the government is urging calm. “Everybody should just calm down, after all it’s only a game,” the Prime Minister yesterday told the Commons, amidst fears that the footballing crisis could result in the government falling, (the opposition benches have already reminded David Cameron that England have only ever won a World Cup under a Labour government). “Really, it’s only a few months until qualifying starts for the 2012 European Championships – England fans should just simmer down and start looking forward to that.” Renewed outbreaks of rioting followed his statement.