Worst case scenario

THE England football result I can handle.

We all knew it would happen in the end.

In tournaments past an England exit left you feeling like you’ve had your insides kicked out. Now there’s just the grim resignation of watching your national side shuffle off once again. It’s almost developed into a dull, masochistic thrill.

No matter how talented the players and how far down the Fifa rankings the opposition, the evidence all points one way.

Spain on penalties in 1996. Denmark 3-0 in 2002. A Beckham free kick against Ecuador in 2006. Welcome to England’s knockout success in the last 20 years.

One national newspaper’s Euros preview called it exactly before the tournament. In a wry assessment of each team’s best and worst case scenarios, the latter for England read: ‘Whatever it is, this is what will actually happen.’

And it did. To a country where the tiny number of men aged 18 – 35 is crippled yet further by seasonal depression.

So England’s defeat last night by Iceland is an easy pill to swallow, like the one crushed up and slipped into your drink by Bill Cosby.

The football is painless.

If you really want a bunch of jingoistic, chest-beating shirkers in England shirts representing you in Europe – but ultimately making you feel like you’ve woken up with a headache and a grinning Dr Huxtable – you don’t have to look as far as France.

Boumsong table – 28 June 2016

Boumsong table - 28Jun16
Boumsong table – 28Jun16
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Tears before bedtime

I’VE never been tear gassed before.

By the look on faces of two Polish children outside Stade Velodrome on Tuesday afternoon, neither had they.

In the recent history of Marseille gassings this was small fry. In the history of all gassings unregistered.

But it did exemplify the heavy-handed police tactics of the Mediterranean coast.

Walking from the Vieux Port to the stadium to see Ukraine v Poland it’s impossible not to be sold beer. By the time fans reach the Velodrome it’s little wonder they’re up for some singing on the adjacent roundabout.

Of course, the city that wants you to drink beer in large amounts also employs a small army of stony-faced policemen who want to curb any signs of over exuberance.

When Polish fans let of a firework, the Provençal trigger-happy tear gas operator was only too willing to step in. It was lucky someone was on hand to sell us a beer to get over the sting.

As it turned out, that was the most exciting aspect of the fixture. The Polish reprezentacji were set out to defend deep. Although they dominated, the Ukrainians couldn’t find the net.

It took the Democratic Republic of Young Boys winger Kuba Błaszczykowski, coming on as a substitute, to break the deadlock. And in the process save us all another tear gassing on the way out.

Boumsong table – post group stage

Full scores available from The Rub.

Boumsong table - 23 June
Boumsong table – 23 June


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Boumsong table – 20 June

The chairman’s Clean Sheet Doctrine reaps rewards for goalless draws…

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Strikers failing to bother the top of the Boumsong

UP Yours Delors maintain a slender grip on the Boumsong top spot after the second round of matches.

Kamil Glik, Jan Vertonghen and Gerard Pique all kept clean sheets in a side not noted for its attacking intent.

Nani aside, none of the midfield or strike force have found the onion bag, or even peeled an onion for someone else.

“Can’t believe I’ve held onto top spot, but I don’t think it will last,” said the Up Yours Delors manager, in reference to his Swiss and Irish front two of Haris Seferovic and Jonathan Walters.

Giorgio Chiellini’s clean sheet and assist, Dele Alli’s assist and Gareth Bale’s pot shot give debutants Two Goals One Cup second place on goals scored.

Again, nothing comes from the front two. Robbie Keane and Marcus Berg have failed, and will probably keep failing, to make an impact on the tournament.

The first strikers with goals in the Boumsong table are in third place with Blame Canada. Admir Mehmedi joined Arkadiusz ‘ooh la la’ Milik on the score sheet in round two. Jordi Alba and Gianluigi Buffon are the team’s other standout players.

World champions FC Testiculadewland look dangerous in fourth. Romelu Lukaku shook off his domestic form to collect 12 points.

Meanwhile, in 16th place…

Boumsong table – round two

Full scores available from The Rub.

Boumsong table - round 2
Boumsong table – round 2
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Spies and perverts

A Catalan, a Pole and a Portuguese walk into a fantasy football team and go top of the Boumsong.

It’s no joke. Up Yours Delors are leaders after the first round of matches thanks to a goal and clean sheet from Gerard Pique, a clean sheet from Kamil Glik and a goal from Nani.

The joke is the handful of Russians darkening the tournament.

Quite how a weekend city break in Marseilles with balaclavas ‘beats’ 20 years of English hooliganism being the scourge of international football is unclear.

It also seems strange to spend every day from teenage life training in martial arts only to use it on a bunch of guys on the verge of type two diabetes who have been drinking all day.

The bad news is while Russia may get ejected from the tournament, there’s little chance of FIFA reversing the decision to hold the 2018 World Cup there.

England’s history of hooliganism is abhorrent and cannot be condoned, but it was so all-encompassing it led to huge penalties for the country’s FA and English became the language of hooliganism the world over.

The only people who want to learn Russian are spies and perverts.

Boumsong table – round 1

Full scores available from The Rub.

Boumsong table - round 1
Boumsong table – round 1
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Le Fadge Qui Rit

Manager: Aiden

Nationality: Le Rosbif

International honours: none

Formation: 4-4-2

Team automatically generated from leftover auction players after manager failed to attend

Sirigu, S ITA £0.5m
Clyne, N ENG £0.5m
Carvalho, R POT £0.5m
Ignashevich, S RUS £0.5m
Wawrzyniak, J POL £0.5m
Pedro ESP £0.5m
Cabaye, Y FRA £0.5m
Schurrle, A GER £0.5m
Mak, R SVK £0.5m
Benteke, C BEL £0.5m
Priskin, T HUN £0.5m
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I Can Be Your Euro Baby

Manager: Lewis (treasurer)

Nationality: Le Moutons Baiseur

International honours: none

Formation: 3-5-2

Subasic, D CRO £0.5m
Smalling, C ENG £10m
Howedes, B GER £9m
Taylor, N WAL £0.5m
Davis, S NIR £0.5m
de Bruyne, K BEL £23m
Hamsik, M SVK £16m
Forsberg, E SWE £2m
Silva, A POT £0.5m
Morata, A ESP £20m
Janko, M AUT £10m
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Cowley Caliphate

Manager: Stu

Nationality: Le Rosbif

International honours: none

Formation: 3-4-3

Hennessey, W WAL £0m
Soares, C POT £7m
Lichtsteiner, S SUI £11m
Coleman, S IRL £3m
Iniesta, A ESP £11m
Basha, M ALB £5.5m
Witsel, A BEL £1m
Candreva, A ITA £10m
Kane, H ENG £30m
Martial, A FRA £5m
Gomez, M GER £16m
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Le Horn d’Afrique

Manager: Abdi

Nationality: Le Pirate Arab

International honours: none

Formation: 4-4-2

Fabianski, L POL £2m
Stones, J ENG £9m
Olsson, M SWE £0.5m
Fuchs, C AUT £4m
Skrtel, M SVK £7m
Payet, D FRA £14m
Ramsey, A WAL £5m
Koke ESP £3m
Rosicky, T CZE £7m
Ronaldo, C POT £39m
Long, S IRL £5m
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Real Brexit

Manager: Pete

Nationality: Le Rosbif

International honours: none

Formation: 3-4-3

Tatarusanu, C RMN £2m
Shevchuk, V UKR £5m
Rodriguez, R SUI £8m
Danilo POT £3m
Busquets, S ESP £9m
Sigurdsson, G ICE £10m
Inan, S TUR £0.5m
Fellaini, M BEL £13m
Dzyuba, A RUS £12m
Lafferty, K NIR £1m
Rashford, M ENG £0.5m
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