The story should have been about England reaching the World Cup Finals after winning both of their final qualification matches. Fans rejoiced at how smoothly England progressed in the end as we normally make it far harder for ourselves. Normally the press report on how this means we might win the World Cup and surely nothing could surpass the “mission accomplished” stories, euphoria mixed with a dose of relief, adorning the sports pages.
If you thought that, you would have been wrong. Instead of land of hope and glory, the political correctness bandwagon gate crashed the party and the papers today are full of Roy Hodgson, Monkeys, Astronauts, extended half-time team talks and alleged dodgy jokes.
The press were only too happy to report on an apparently offensive half-time joke by Hodgson directed towards Chris Smalling and Andros Townsend. The press did not stop to think about the likelihood Roy Hodgson would make a racial joke, but the story was too good to pass up. Hodgson has been forced to apologise for any offence caused, but credit must go to Andros Townsend as he took to his Twitter account to say ‘that no offence was meant and none was taken’. Let that be the end of it.
Townsend seems a sensible player and is destined for great things if his performances this week are anything to go by. I wish that had been the story because Townsend deserves it. England’s expectations should be a strong showing at the World Cup, making it to at least the quarter finals.
We have players like Steven Gerrard playing excellently enjoying what will probably be his final World Cup, along with left-back stalwart Ashley Cole. We have youngsters like Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Townsend, Sturridge, Welbeck and Jones who have the opportunity to impress on the biggest stage. This should be the story, instead of this monkeying around, if I can even say that.