And so the England team has been announced, with a few surprises for those who love giving Roy Hodgson a kick up the Rs. Roy's clearly not worried by headline-writers and tweeters looking forward to "Woy at the Euwos" or bemoaning the exclusion from the squad of Nintendo Wii-O Ferdinand. I imagine that someone has even tweeted that a certain club manager has called on Roy to welease Wodewick (from international duty). But our Roy/Woy has met the wibbers head-on.
Who cares that England fans have prepared to goad him for years by adding an "r" into the national team's name ("Eng-er-land"), just look at the 'r's on the team he's picked: Gerrard, Terry - hell, there's even a call-up for Andy Carroll. And John Ruddy. Of Norwich! Norwich - even the spelling is designed to confuse Hodgson. Yes, Roy's clearly ready to take on all this shallowness. It wouldn't surprise me if he arranged a pre-tournament friendly with the Republic of Ruritania.
I suspect that speech impediment fans will fight back by trying to confuse the England manager. Interviewers will start asking whether he plans to play Theo Ralcott alongisde Rayne Rooney. Or they'll invent an English grandmother to ask why he hasn't selected Sergei Rebrov or that talented youngster Joe Ranks-Highlyinrome.
The thing about speech impediment jokes is they are, to use a footballing term, woute one. We need to get them out of our system so we can get on with supporting the team. I remember when Steve Coogan did his first Paul Calf show, when "bag of shite" was the machine-gun catchphrase every comedy fan kept shouting. Coogan/Calf opened the show by getting the audience to say "bag of shite" over and over again. They got it out of their system so he could then move on to other jokes. It sounds like a plan we should adopt for the Euros. So here, in case you missed it, is the England Cheap Joke XI, to help us get this out of our system. It is, of course, if you can pronounce it, 4-3-3.
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