Winning Isn't Everything - The Welling United Fanzine

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Wednesday 23 August

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The England Thick Tank
Deep in the bowels of the Estadio de Luz, the current England manager is joined by the two previous incumbents in the post and his current skipper to plot the downfall of the host nation in the quarter-final of Euro 2004.

Thank you for coming gentlemen. I need your help to devise a strategy to beat the Portuguese on Thursday.
I would love it, just love it if we beat them.
David Beckham's mobile phone rings.
OK... yeah... I can do that... yeah... how much?... sorted.
Everything OK David?
Yeah boss. Can we make this quick though ‘cos Pizza Hut want me to film an advert.
David, you have got to focus on your football.
David's mobile phone rings again.
Hi babe... yeah... yeah... OK babe... I’m in a meeting with the boss at the moment. Yeah... yeah... I got your text... see you later babe.
Is Victoria ok David ?
Dunno... that was Rebecca.
Could you turn that thing off David - we have to concentrate.
Yes, you’re right Sven - we must have the right karma.
Right let’s start with our defence.
Kevin gets up to leave the room.
No Kevin, please stay. You might learn something for Manchester City next season.
Have you thought of playing three at the back? Quite a few sides have tried it.
Sven spits out his coffee.
Three at the back! Are you mad? All the best international teams play with a back four as do all the top sides in the Premiership. Name one successful team in recent years that have played with three at the back?
Tottenham Hotspur.
I think he said successful, Glenn.
Enough of this nonsense. The back four is doing extremely well.
Yeah boss, you’re right - that Gary Neville bloke is brilliant and his brother is pretty useful too.
Not sure about Sol in the middle - seems to lack a bit of focus to me. Perhaps I should fix up a meeting with Eileen for him. What do you think Sven?
No thank you, Glenn, Sol is fine. Right, what about our midfield? We haven’t quite got it together so far. I am thinking of going back to the diamond for the Portugal game.
Diamond lights...
Yes, thank you, Glenn. We don’t need reminding.
I want to play in the middle boss. Please... pretty please...
We’ll see, David. So, if I try the diamond who should play in front of the defence.
Ledley King for me, Sven.
But he is a centre half - everybody knows that.
Is he? I must call White Hart Lane when I get back and tell them.
Nicky Butt for me, boss. What a player, he's nearly as good as Gary Neville.
He’s injured, David, and probably won’t be available for the rest of the tournament.
What about Gareth Southgate?
He’s not in the squad, Kevin. Besides which he is not a midfield player.
Are you sure?
It will have to be David, Lampard, Gerrard and Scholes. They are my best four midfield players but can I play them all out of position?

Well you’ve managed it a few times.
Right, what about the front two then?
I think that I would leave Rooney out, Sven. He doesn’t look sharp to me and he’s not contributed much so far has he? I’ll see if Eileen can fit him in for a session next week.
Mmmm... what about Heskey 'in the hole' behind Owen?
Ah yes, ‘eskey. I’d forgotten all about him. (Ed: I wish you bloody well would)
Have we finished yet boss? I promised Victoria I would be in by eleven o’clock and the big hand is coming up to the nine...
Not quite, David. We have to study the opposition as well and look at their strengths and weaknesses.
Do we? Damn. I knew I missed something when I was in charge.
Right, gentlemen, the Portuguese team is based around players from Porto who have just won the Champions League so they will be strong. What about Figo, David?
Fig-who?
Luis Figo. He plays with you at Real Madrid.
Oh Figgsy... got you now. He's a real diamond, boss.
Diamond Lights...
Oh God, he’s off again. I think we need to keep a close eye on Ronaldo, Sven.
Der... what a thicko. We’re playing Portugal and everyone knows Ronaldo is Brazilian.
We have to watch Pauleta too, Sven. Quick, good movement, lethal in front of goal.
Yes, thank you, Glenn. By the way he is suspended.
David's mobile rings once more. He answers and moves to the corner of the room, whispering.
Yes Victoria... No Victoria... I’ll talk to them Victoria... I’m sorry about that.... what can I do? Yes... yes... OK.
Are you sure everything’s all right, David ?
Victoria’s upset that “Roomania” has taken over in the press and she’s only on page seventeen of The Sun today. All I said was what has happened in Eastern Europe must be very important.
Thank you for your time gentlemen. David, don’t forget there is a light training session tomorrow, starting at three o’clock when the big hand is on the twelve and...

White Socks