In the world of the living there is a lot of speculation on the afterlife and how wonderful it might be. However, it turns out that life after death is pretty boring. After a munch on some manna and swig or two of milk and honey there’s not much else to do. That’s why so many of the late and great turn to In Off the Ghost to get their regular dose of football frivolity to spice up the mundanities of eternal life.
But when international fixtures come along, the soul crushing boredom usually returns with a vengeance. However, this set of fixtures seemed to be different. The long list of meaningless international friendlies was interspersed with still meaningless, but notoriously feisty international grudge matches. Brazil were pitted against South American rivals Argentina, Portugal faced their Iberian neighbours Spain, and England battled against their old enemies from across the channel, France. So, against their better judgement, countless scores of spirits tuned in to Styx Sports to watch a match-up that on paper was to die for, pitting two nations against each other that have locked horns throughout history. Unfortunately, the reality was a hideous England performance that dragged on so painfully it made the hundred years war seem like a breathless, five minute romp with Brigitte Bardot.
So, even though the vast majority of the celestial supporters who watched the game wanted nothing more than to forget it ever happened seconds after the final whistle, one of my cadaverous colleagues was desperate to dig up the rotting body of last night’s match and perform a pretentious post mortem especially for In Off the Ghost. She’s had a bone to pick with the English for sometime now and has finally decided to take out her fetid frustrations on football. Step forward French national heroine, Joan of Arc!
“I know it was only a friendly, but I always love to see our glorious nation beat the tyrannous English! And this time, it was on your soil, not ours. There may have been more at stake for me than for Laurent Blanc in our respective encounters with the English, but our young stalwarts Valbuena, Nasri and M’Vila survived a real trial by fire at Wembley Stadium. They fought with a bravery and skill that I would have been proud to show on the battlefield, and Nasri was a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of the game that he found no equal in all the ninety minutes.”
As Joan is well known for having a vision or two, I asked her what she thought the defeat meant for the future of Capello’s youthful England side.
“Of the love or hatred God has for the English, I know nothing, but I do know that they will all be thrown out of Euro 2012 if the continue to play like that. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. Capello’s adherence to his 4-4-2 dogma and approach play that is older than I am will surely put England’s football future in mortal peril.”
(All material in this blog is entirely fictional and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone, alive or dead, other than those of the author.)