What happens after England lose….

There is more to life than football.

If you got angry at the football last night then you’ve probably got stuff going on in your own life that needs sorting out.

I think a bit of perspective is always helpful.


Send Back The Sun

If you receive a free copy of The Sun through your letterbox today just take a few moments to think:

  • Remember this is the same group as the News of the World that everybody has conveniently forgotten to be disgusted at regarding phone hacking because they rebranded as The Sun on Sunday.
  • No doubt they will be putting some wonderfully positive, ‘let’s all support England together’ message across.  They do not care for England.  The Sun cares for profit and power.  If they will gain profit and power they would have no scruples about tearing this country down.
  • Think intelligently about the advertisements that are being pushed in your face through your letterbox today.  What lies are they telling you?
  • How do you feel about EVERY child in the UK being exposed to the content of what is in The Sun today?
  • Just like every religion and political movement has an ideology The Sun also has an ideology.  How would you feel if the Royal Mail delivered a Christian tract or a copy of the Koran through every door in the UK?
  • Why have they chosen to take out the pornography on page 3 today but feel it is acceptable to sell it in newsagents and shops every other day of the year?

So what can you do with The Sun?  You could save it as an emergency stash of toilet paper.  Or here are four easy steps to removing it quickly from your property:

  1. Roll it up tightly
  2. Hold it together with sellotape
  3. Write this address on it: FREEPOST, The Sun, London E98 1AX
  4. Pop it back in the post box for The Royal Mail

You can also take to social media – hashtags #sendbackthesun #nomorepage3 #keepitup are helpful.  The sad thing is this strategy from The Sun will benefit them, we are a species that struggle to discerne good from crap.  However, the more people in this country who think intelligently about what this means and don’t allow the toxic messages to get through to them the better.  Have a think about doing your bit and spread the word that we don’t have to have this garbage come into our homes.

If anybody else has any grand ideas of how to respond I’d love to hear them.

World Cup Silliness

I love the World Cup.  I remember Italia ’90 with Bobby Robson, Roger Milla and those little Coca-Cola footballs.  I love the World Cup draw, so much so that I would usually do my own mock draw before the real one and then predict all the different results and decide who would win the World Cup in my world.

Maybe I’ve got a slightly better perspective on life, maybe not, but what a load of faff just for a few balls and a few excitable old men.  I mean, is it really worth all the glitz and glamour and ceremony?  Is it really sensible flying 1800 of the world’s media in to cover it all?  Sport is wonderful for so many reasons but I think we allow it to loosen our grip on reality and what is important a bit too much sometimes.

And then you get all the middle aged men ‘back in the studio’ debating for hours whether England should fly straight into the Amazon from Miami or stick to the original hotel in Rio.  And then they move onto whether it is better for us to actually finish second in the group so the climate in round two will be a bit better but then we might end up playing a stronger team.  It really is ridiculous.  I think we all know that the only factor that matters in deciding whether England will qualify for the second round or not is whether the players can actually be bothered or whether their egos remain the only thing bigger than their bank balances.

I am really going to enjoy the World Cup, I will be up at 2am in the morning cheering England on against the Azure.  However, let’s please keep it all in perspective.  It is only a game, and a pretty silly game at that.

Where is Montenegro?

Where is Montenegro people ask?

The answer of course is that Montenegro is at the top of England’s group!  I must say I am extremely proud of Montenegro, I love that country so much!

I think a draw was probably a fair result but it was clearly a more useful point for Montenegro than England.  The difference between the actual result and a win for England was the same as the difference in the passion between the two teams.

Group H

  1. Montenegro   14pts
  2. England   12pts
  3. Poland   8pts
  4. Ukraine   8pts
  5. Moldova   4pts
  6. San Marino   0pts

There is only one nation in the world who has played England at least three times and never lost…..any ideas!?  Not bad for a country whose population is less than the number of registered footballers in England!

I’m not sure how long the video below will stay on YouTube but if you want to relieve some of the passion from last night click below:


Euro 2012: England v France

Nice one England. You had me as nervous as ever in a major tournament, I didn’t enjoy the closing minutes but you did a fine job.

I think we’re in really safe hands with Roy Hodgson and I’d be really surprised if we don’t make it through the group now.  The team played calmly and well together but probably lacked the quality to see us look really dangerous in this tournament.  Oxlade-Chamberlain made an energetic innocent presence and there were some respectable performance by most of the team – Johnson, Parker and Welbeck stood out for me.

I think the result is outstanding to be fair, considering Hodgson has only been with the team six weeks and some of the best of the average crop of players we have were not there.  It’s noteworthy to look at the quality of the team that lost to France in the respective fixture in 2004 – David James, Gary Neville, Ledley King, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen.  We could have done with some of that quality in the team.

I think with a ref who’d allow us to build up some pressure and with Rooney’s world class quality we’d have won it.  Wish I could say I was looking forward to the Sweden match but at least I’m expecting a win now.

Warnock for England!

I have had a genius idea for guaranteed success (to a point) and restored national pride at the European Championships.  It’s not going to be a universally popular way forward but I think we should give it a go


Here’s the plan – appoint Neil Warnock as manager and then tell him he’s only allowed to pick players from the Football League Championship.  Warnock is gifted at getting great performances out of weaker players and they would play with infinite passion and not take their presence there for granted.  Of course we could not win the tournament but we’d almost certainly get out of the group and maybe fluke a quarter-final and semi-final win, which is the best we could have hoped for anyway!

I’m not taking my suggestion seriously, but seriously I am convinced it would work.

Also, can we nominate David Bernstein for Sports Personality of the Year!?

Goodbye, Montenegro

It’s my last day in Montenegro today and it’s a scorcher.  I was just at Stan’s house printing off my last sermon for tonight and the hotel reservations for the journey home – then I had the privilege of walking home.  There is only one thing I enjoy more than driving in Montenegro, and that is walking in Montenegro.  The sun was out, the temperature high and everybody out and about.  Kids playing in the fields, adults drinking and talking on verandas, and me walking the streets of my second home.

I am ready to return to England but I know in a few weeks I’ll be yearning for Montenegro again.  England seems a bit like a dream.  I can’t quite remember what it’s like – a bit like in the middle of winter when you can’t imagine what it’s like to be able to wear a t-shirt outside.

For those I’ll be leaving behind, thanks for a great welcome and a wonderful experience.  Take care of yourselves, keep in touch and I’ll see you soon.

And everybody in England – I’ll see you soon!