Dear The FA,
I appreciate this may be a pre-emptive enquiry as Mr Capello still holds the post of England manager. However, I would like to tender both my interest and availability for the post.
Three Lions. This is our national football emblem, said to embody the fiery passion and dominance of a tripartite of regal moggies. Our exploits in the competitive arena over the last few years suggest Ligers are a more apt symbol.
If you’re not aware, the liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion (Panthera leo) and a tigress (Panthera tigris). On paper, this would seem a formidable duality of two of nature’s most dominant and powerful mammals. Right? Wrong.
The problem is that the genetic splicing of these creatures leaves some semblance of each, but at the expense of a multitude of crippling somatic inefficiencies.
On paper, they should be an unstoppable force of some of Mother Nature’s more conquering genus and lineage. Unfortunately, ‘on paper’ surmounts to little more than a collection of squiggles of mock squid ejaculate on pulped trees.
‘On paper’ is a wonderful example of the clichéd nomenclature which acts as a precursory excuse to inevitable underachievement and the collectively mourned failure of our ‘Golden generation’.
‘On paper’ the collection of players we have should place us firmly at the forefront of football brilliance and achievement. In reality, during the last World Cup for example, we limply observed these brilliant individual footballers incompetently shuffling around like cumbersome middle-aged pornographers.
This is not the action of a pride of lions, more the ineffectual splicing of idiots.It is time for a change, a change of both regime and ethos.
So, here is a brief outline of my plans:
I will attempt to infuse the self-effacing English spirit with mysterious Eastern teaching methods. Imagine, if Sir Alf Ramsay were to adopt a Mr Miyagi-style sensei to craft these rough diamonds into a sleek footballing necklace of success.
The England dressing room is essentially a medieval cauldron of walking erections, fencing each other as they jockey for alpha status. This ‘culture’ stems from a constant stream of hot air being blown up their collective golden apertures, often baseless.
No more. Under my management, the players will be treated like detainees. They will stay in Travel Taverns. There will be only 11 beds available and those will be attained based upon performance in training. The remaining players will be forced to sleep standing up in the yard.
Aside from the usual technical methods, I will be bringing a number of new initiatives to the table, including cognitive behavioural therapy to redress maladaptive thought patterns, neutering, squad fishing trips and mild torture. And bouncy castles.
Any big cat handler will attest that the dominant/submissive dynamic is critical to the rearing process. I will adopt this method in my management. No team talks, no collective messages; each player will be directly man-managed on a personal and rotational basis to maximise individual and symbiotic respect to quash the irreverent pack mentality currently exhibited.
One day, I will perhaps take Rio Ferdinand to the pictures; another might see Ashley Cole and I visit the library. John Terry will stroll with me along the South Bank, flitting between galleries and Wayne Rooney...well, I’ll probably just play Connect 4 with him or something.
But what have you done Mark, I hear you ask? What are your achievements? It’s a fair question.
I accept that I am perhaps an outside bet at first glance, but Ssshteve Van McLaren was appointed as England manager despite his inability to manage a buggery at a barn dance.
Attached to this mail is a screen shot of my last management campaign with Blackburn Rovers on Championship Manager. As you can see, my record is astounding.
Ten points clear, a +80 goal difference from 29 games, an unbeaten league season; all this despite the shoestring-budget I was afforded by the frankly unhelpful chairman. I also achieved FA Cup success in the same season and can send you a further screen shot to ratify this should you desire.
I also guided Rainford Rangers under-11s football team to league and cup glory in my first season in charge, even despite the fact that my captain had a tendency to cry and wet himself during important matches.
Also, at a park one day last summer during the World Cup, I managed a collection of my friends for a game we were challenged to by some local youths. Despite the appalling fitness and hangovers displayed my troops, I presided over a magnificent 23-20 victory. Spritely youthfulness and ability is no match for ruthless tactical nous and unbridled psycho-battery.
I believe these statistics speak for themselves and I would be delighted for the opportunity to discuss more at the interview stage. If you do need further persuasion, please find below a couple of references.
There has been much debate about the need to revert to an English manager. I would like to allay any concerns of my suitability on this front. I know that you’re no slouches down there at FA HQ so you will have noticed that my surname. I am not a thoroughbred Englishman.
My Danish heritage (along with a dash of Irish, a touch of Scottish and a sprig of Latvian), should not discount me as I can confirm that I was born and bred of these Isles and although I may have the occasional propensity to eat raw bacon and pillage a homeland or two, I am as English as Greg Rusedski and Lennox Lewis.
I look forward to restoring national pride and transforming our ‘3 Ligers’ back into the lions we want them to be. I believe I am the man to transform the fortunes of our beloved national football team, who have caused so much upset and slept with so many girls they are not married to.
“I’ve only known Mark a few months but in that time I have seen evidence enough to confirm that he would be the ideal candidate to really shake things up. Is that alright Mark?”
Simon Binns, editor, Leeds Confidential.
“He doesn’t play by the rules my boy, but he gets results, God damn it.”
Steve Jorgensen. Father.
“Who? Is he that odd-looking lad who sits in the far corner?”
Mark Garner, publisher, Leeds Confidential.