Speak fucking English!
Itâs amazing how a sport like football, so focused on skill and fitness, has a fan base that appears to be, to a large extent, fat and drunk and more than a little clueless when it comes to the basics like eating, talking and walking for more than a few hundred metres.
Today, of course, I am part of the beer swilling stream, the burger munching herd, happy to call any one of them friend as long as they are wearing the right shade of blue, which is, of course, the colour.
Wembley itself is still too big to take in. Itâs widescreen, surround sound, CGI, so many people it almost feels like youâre not really there. Up on Level Five itâs not so much the high life as purely vertiginous. In Row Eight I feel a mixture of air sick, because of the height, and sea sick, because of the waving blue waves. Is there such a thing as size sick? Like car sick but much, much bigger?
On the wall next to the toilets a poster tells us to text ASBO to 41138 if we see any antisocial behaviour. Actually i made that bit up. We must text SMOKE for smoking, HPO for homophobic chanting, presumably because homophobic is hard to spell and itâs probably not in predictive text, STAND for standing, STAB for knife crime, STINK for bad smells, JT for adultery and CGI for slight feelings of disconnection due to the size of the arena.
The people in charge will endeavour to send help as soon as possible because this is England, our England, the culture, the land of fair play and rules made to be broken, and that is how things are, how they always have been, how they always will be. Amen.
Game on and the first half is a stalemate. So thereâs plenty of time to stare menacingly at the opposition supporters, even if we canât quite see the whites of their eyes, or even what they look like atall, and spit and snarl through damaged teeth and shout angrily, because some of them probably have funny Brummie accents – speak fucking English, why donât you speak fucking English!
And Iâm thinking, if we hate Villa because they are northern bastards, by whom we will never be mastered, and they are only 120 miles up the M40. And if we hate Tottenham, which we surely do, with a passion and they are only on the other side of the city. Then what is this merrie England that we will be supporting this Summer in the World Cup?
What is this England that the FA (sponsored by Eon) is shouting about, that Carlsberg (a famously Danish lager) is encouraging us to text about? Way down below, in the arena, on one of those moving electronic billboards there is a text from John in Redbridge, sent to Carlsberg and it says: COME ON ENGLAND< YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU. Country, what country? The countryâs all city now mate and thatâs divided and riven and fat and ugly and drunk and probably beats up itâs wife or at least cheats on her like our gladiatorial hero JT or at least would if it got the chance but it never does because itâs so fucking fat.