The Badger

Now the Badger may have grown sick of many things; Declan Kidney, Demba Ba jokes, Trapattoni’s ‘English’, UCD-related memes, and George “We Need an Open-Side Flanker” Hook, but if there is one thing the Badger has always hated, it’s tabloids spewing bilge about who the next player to save English football is.The name of the most recent ‘saviour’ to be excreted from the collective faecal hole of the red top brigade is that of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has garnered attention using his undeniable talent for being English, young (eighteen, don’t let his pug-like face fool you), and in good form. What really irks the Badger is that Oxlade-Chamberlain is a star in their eyes now, but he is one nightclub picture away from being a boozer, two bad performances away from being rubbish, and six inches away from being labelled a love-rat.Let’s not forget that Theo Walcott was once proclaimed as the future of English football, despite having the touch of the Badger when it comes to kicking a ball (the Badger’s sharp claws often make it difficult for close control). All Walcott possesses is the ability to run across a pitch quickly, so by this logic, Dwain Chambers and the Anfield Cat could both be stars for the English national football team. But since Sven saw fit to bring him to the 2006 World Cup when he was seventeen, having made a grand total of zero appearances for Arsenal’s first team, he was subsequently blown up by the media to the size of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. When everyone realised he wasn’t close to a complete player, and never would be, he was shrunk to the size of a condom, and is now playing at a lower standard than he did three years ago. Walcott is not the only one; media expectation has crushed David de Gea into a shrivelled version of his former self (figuratively, of course. He’s always looked that underfed).Meanwhile, the English football team is in search for a new manager. The Badger can only assume that Prince ‘Arry of Tottenham will be the latest man to follow in Hamlet’s footsteps and drink from the poisoned chalice. His appointment will inevitably be followed by unrealistic high hopes, subsequent failure to reach the heights of the anointed ’66 team, calls for a foreign manager, firing and stoning.Fabio Capello left the English post because John Terry was stripped of the captaincy, but the Badger agrees with the FA’s decision to punish Terry. He should be punished by the FA, if not for being awful, then for everything else he’s done in the last two years, for which it seems his only punishment has been to miss a handshake with Wayne Bridge. If anything, the Badger thinks the punishment hasn’t gone far enough, since Terry didn’t come home to find David Bernstein in bed with his wife.