The English football world is abuzz with the appointment of Roy Hodgson to the England bench. His larger jowls and presumed literacy were apparently enough to give him the edge over Harry Redknapp, much to the frustration of Spurs fans everywhere.
With the appointment comes rampant speculation over the squad selections ol’ Hodgie Podgie will make for Euro 2012. Will he bring the old guard that always finds new and more spectacular ways to fail? Or will he go for broke and bring the new kids to expose them to a big tournament early so they’re ready for the World Cup?
Here at Four Five Two, we’d like to suggest an XI that wouldn’t be too uncomfortable in a police lineup (note: there probably will be some overlap with Hodgson’s actual Euro 2012 XI). Play along, won’t you?
David James (G): We’ve got to bring him out of retirement since the current crop of England keepers are all a bunch of altar boys. James got caught in February doing 90 mph in an old Vauxhall Astra. Because smart football thugs don’t speed in Ferraris. If James doesn’t want in, there’s Dean Gerken (Bristol City), who allegedly got drunk one night and took a piss in public.
John Terry (D): Duh. You saw this coming a mile away. Besides the Euros, Terry gets to go to court this summer to defend himself against racism charges stemming from an alleged incident with Anton Ferdinand. Oh and he schtupped Wayne Bridge’s wife.
Anton Ferdinand (D): Rio’s little bro would probably love to line up for England right next to his best bud John Terry. Anton got himself into a bit of a mess in 2006 when he was charged with assaulting Emile Walker in a night club. He was later acquitted after claiming self-defense. He was also questioned by police recently over an incident at another night club involving El Hadji Diouf.
Zat Knight (D): The Bolton defender was once arrested at his mum’s house for heroin and cocaine possession. There aren’t as many druggies on this list as you might expect.
Ravel Morrison (M): The half-Jamaican youngster’s been fined recently for making homophobic comments on Twitter, not to mention last year when he was given a referral order and fined after admitting to witness intimidation.
Jermaine Pennant (M): This one’s pretty new. The Stoke winger’s been arrested this week for an incident in which he allegedly assaulted a woman at a night club, then went out and crashed his car, resulting in a DUI. This isn’t his first DUI either. I hear he can even send in crosses with a court-ordered monitoring bracelet around his ankle.
Stewart Downing (M): Another winger in the pokie. Liverpool’s master of the wayward cross was arrested in January for punching his girlfriend in a night club. I say, these boys should stay away from the night clubs, shouldn’t they?
Joey Barton (M): We’ve plugged him for England captain in the past, and I think the recommendation still stands. Never one to back down from a fight, he’s done hard time for assault, and that’s precisely the kind of experience you need to head up your All-Thug XI.
Steven Gerrard (M): Good ol’ Stevie G was arrested in late 2008 for yet another night club incident. He was charged with assault and affray and ultimately cleared (probably because he can afford expensive lawyers), but you just know anyone who enjoys Phil Collins is probably a little bit criminally insane.
Luke Rodgers (F): A bit old and mediocre for England, I know, but we’re short on strikers and Luke would fit right in here. He’s recently been declared persona non grata by the U.S. INS, which cost him his contract with the New York Red Bulls.
The eleventh man in Hodgson’s All-Thug England XI has been preemptively red-carded and suspended. Actually, I’ll let you suggest the eleventh man in the comments. Have at it.