Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How to beat Australia

Well, it seems as though England have now won the opportunity to be thrashed again. As a pub-frequenting Englishman, I feel it is my patriotic duty to pass on my advice to the England administration, on how they may avoid this.

Now, much has been made of “matching the Ozzy intensity” and “being more determined to win” etc. etc. You know the sort of thing I mean – strong mental side of the game, and all that clap-trap. I decided to search “intensity” in Google images and, amongst the many pictures of cats, there was this:

This is an “intense” person. Would you describe this man as normal? Quite. But, if we keep asking for the England team to look intense, they will, eventually, all end up like this bloke.

“Intensity” is part of the Australian game. Ozzies have been brought up on a deep-seated need to win and do well at sport. Why? Because they are a messed up nation of weirdoes. Think about it: this is about a bunch of grown men poncing about on a bit of grass waving about bits of wood. Is it worth the effort? Getting worked up about bits of wood. Really?

“Yes” says the weirdo Australian “I could get worked up about global poverty, world peace and making lots of money. But I decided to invest ALL my mental efforts in dominating the attack of Lower Dingo’s first XI.”

This is the wrong way to look at sport. It treats it as if it was important. Consequently, the Ozzies don’t play within the spirit of the game. They play in a prattish way, pushing their weight around and trying to intimidate the opposition.

“Bugger skill” say Ozzy “I’ll bully ‘em. Then I’ll win. And that is all that matters.”

This can spill-out onto acts of violence, racism and simple prattishness.

No one can compete being bigger prats than the Ozzies, so, what is needed, therefore, is for the Englishmen to use our absolute advantage: No Fear of Failure. The Ozzies are TERRIFIED of losing, it actually affects their soul when they lose. We Englishmen are well-acquainted with our ol’ chum Failure. It frees us. It liberates us.

Once we realise we cannot win, we cannot lose. The melting away of mental anxieties is in itself a serious mental edge. What is needed is nonchalance. Ease. Charm. Thus, I propose, bringing back amateur cricket. Perhaps Flintoff can pursue his career as a politician. Strauss can return to the Manner, and “dabble in crickers on the side”. Maybe David Nevin can bowl us some of his fierce leg-cutters. It doesn’t matter if they don’t do too well, it’s the taking part that counts.

This will infuriate the hell out of the Australians. Creating a total collapse of confidence, over-reaction and mental disintegration, meanwhile, the indifferent Englishman will saunter in and politely win the game.

There are some cliches to support my argument: He who cares, loses. Fight fire with water. The past: it’s the way forward.

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