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Spurs are behind England’s success

OPINION: Congratulations to Tottenham for supplying so many players to the (most boring) England team (ever)

12 October, 2017 — By Richard Osley

ONE toad of a reader suggested the caption to this column should actually be “love him, read him, hate him”, as some sort of explanation to the weekly sequence of emotions that flow as it dawns on you that, yes, this is yet another attempt to explain why my team is better than your team.

The creativity that goes into rearranging the words to say the same thing for 52 weeks a year should be hailed at the annual newspaper awards, but, no, there are still people who phone up and complain that there is not enough positivity about Tottenham.

This week, I was reminded several times that it was Spurs who were leading the country to the World Cup in Russia and that we are indebted to Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and now Harry Winks, too, for our qualification. Arsenal have contributed nothing.

It is a fair enough point, so let me congratulate Tottenham on all that they do for us.

Well done, Spurs, for filling the England team with lots of players, and hearty congratulations to captain Harry for scrabbling in that goal against Slovenia and scoring a penalty against Lithuania.

Hold your heads up high, Spurs fans, it’s your boys who’ve got us there.

• ISN’T watching England boring? This isn’t a ground-breaking statement, but so many people are saying it now that it doesn’t feel like treason.

The People, having dozed off during every match Gareth Southgate has overseen as England manager (apart from the one where we almost blew it against Scotland) so far, are ready for revolt. You can feel it in the streets.

It’s true the situation isn’t helped that England matches are screened on ITV and this generally means they are set to the soundtrack of Glenn Hoddle. But, you know, that’s just the rabid UK electorate willfully punking things up again, isn’t it? Presumably, ITV does dutiful market research into its coverage and you people keep replying: “More Glenn Hoddle, please”. It’s anarchy.

And yet, you can’t blame the drowsy commentary for what happens on the pitch, stultifying sideways passes, narrow victories against weak teams and Jordan Henderson pratting about in the midfield.

Somehow even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got a game the other night. In their glorious near-misses, at least Wales and Scotland brought entertainment value. England, by contrast, are unwatchable.

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