We love international week here at "Bants", particularly when it's a competitive international double-header. Not because it's enjoyable- it seldom is- but because of the creeping, clammy panic of Premier League football fans who are confronted with the emptiness of their own lives like dying men staring into the depths of eternity.
|Not Ryan Giggs|
You see, Towsend's problem is not that he's a bad player. In fact, in the fullness of time, he may prove to be a very good player. Townsend's problem is that he isn't Welsh. Since the sumptuously gifted Chris Waddle was disregarded by Graham 'Turnip' Taylor in the early 90s, England has gazed covetously at Wales' improbable ability to produce left sided wingers of World Class ability. For a long time, that man was Ryan Giggs, then it was Gareth Bale, and now, well it's pretty much anyone with a left foot and a bit of pace.
Despite the fact that Giggs was never qualified to play for England, the myth persists in the media that this was a possibility. Not that he wouldn't have leapt at the chance, of course, as his toadying to the British Olympic Association (and its sponsors, whose money in no way convinced FIFA to completely suspend its own laws to allow the team to happen) demonstrated. Although, under the "gentleman's agreement" which exists between the so-called home nations, a player in Giggs' situation in the future- i.e. one who received 5 years compulsory schooling in a particular country- could indeed have chosen to play for England.
|Wore this on his brother's Mrs.|
|Liverpool's Harry Wilson|
For once, the overwhelming smugness of Dyke's grin may be forgiven.