Monday, March 27

All aboard for lazy stereotypes and a humdinger of a final at Wembley | Football


Between England’s imminent Wembley showdown against Germany on Sunday and today’s eagerly-awaited outcome of the Wagatha Christie Libel trial, these are halcyon days for women in football. But in a week where the legacy – or conspicuous lack thereof – of the most jingoistic, self-congratulatory opening ceremony in Olympic history has been high on the news agenda, it seems more imperative than ever before that the English women’s game continues to make hay while the sun shines on their sport.

You see, The Fiver’s assorted cousins ​​are rooting for England’s brave Lionesses before the final at Wembley, with only a handful of notable exceptions. By a handful, we mean everyone except our English cousin, Repressed Morris Dancing Fiver, whose offer of complementary tickets for the final to assorted relations have all been turned down.

Much to his chagrin, knobbly stick-waving stereotypical Irish cousin Theme Pub O’Fiver; bagpipes-playing, See You Jimmy-saying Scottish cousin Shortbread McFiver and valley-dwelling, cheese on toast-eating Welsh cousin Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch Fiver all seemed curiously unenthused about accompanying him to the game, and upon being asked why sheepishly confessed they’d had a better offer. Rather than banging out fat lines and sticking firecrackers where the sun don’t shine, they’ll be oompah-ing it up in the away end at Wembley with their ruthlessly efficient German cousin Vorsprung durch Tin und Lederhosen Fumfen instead.

Elsewhere in the away end of a Fiver full of lazy stereotypes, Franz Beckenbauer has done his bit to ruin the Lionesses narrative by tipping his countrywomen to win in the most cliched style imaginable. The German legend expects Alexandra Popp and chums to rain on any prospective English Wembley parade by not only winning the final but doing so on penalties.

“A draw after 90 minutes,” he predicted. “In extra time, both teams score one goal each. Penalty shoot-out. And that’s where our women win, because they are physically and mentally better.” While his comments on him are likely to look good stuck up on England’s dressing-room wall, the nagging concern for Repressed Morris Dancing Fiver and other England fans is that history suggests he’s probably right.


“I’m not having brie. It’s a waste of a cheese isn’t it? A waste of a cheese” – Rotherham United boss Paul Warne discusses the big issues as the Championship season gets ready for kick-off.

A ‘waste of a cheese’, earlier. Photograph: Anna Blazhuk/Getty Images


Get your ears around a bonus edition of Women’s Football Weekly right here.


“Maybe I live in a bien-pensant bourgeois bubble but I’ve not really encountered any sniping and snarking about the Euros. So the tone of recent Fivers (and indeed a lot of coverage) seems weirdly and unnecessarily defensive, and in any case the people who need to be told off aren’t going to be reading, are they? Can we please just enjoy the thing without feeling the need to respond to idiots every time we talk about it?” – Nick Wiltsher.

“You asserted England have taken an early advantage with their white kit preference trumping the German green (yesterday’s Fiver). May the memory of Günter Netzer not be stirred. As a schoolboy I remember him cruising through England’s midfield 50 years ago imperious in his green shirt by him ”– Paul Jennison.

“Jens Lehmann took a chainsaw to his neighbour’s house? (yesterday’s Fiver). Relax, friend. It could’ve been much worse-Mike Wilner.

Send your letters to [email protected] And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Rollover.


Aymeric Laporte will miss the Community Shield and six weeks of Manchester City’s season after undergoing knee-knack surgery.

Meanwhile, Jürgen Klopp showed he understands how football works as he said he did not wallowing in misery after losing out on Big Cup and the Premier League last season. “It’s sport and we accept the rules,” he blabbed. “One point more is enough after 38 matchdays, and one goal more is enough in a game.”

Everton striker Ellis Simms has swapped Goodison Park for the Stadium of Light in search of more first-team experience by signing a season-long loan deal with Sunderland. “He’s a big lad, who is direct, quick and mobile – and he’s been a serial goalscorer,” Sunderland boss Alex Neil chirped.

A 'serial goalscorer' gets to work.
A ‘serial goalscorer’ gets to work. Photograph: Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC/Getty Images,

A tip of the hat to West Ham for opening the London Stadium up to homeless peopleproviding clothing, hairdressers, dental checks, banking support and pie and mash.

And Brighton’s Marc Cucurella has slammed a transfer request under Graham Potter’s beard in the hope it will jumpstart a move to the Etihad Stadium.


The countdown continues to the Women’s Euros final between England and Germany. Nick Ames explains why this is the perfect showdown. Our writers have downed tools to allow the readers to tell us what they have made of the Euros. It turns out, they have enjoyed it. And Leah Williamson has been boss at the back for England without making a tackle.

Huddersfield start their Championship campaign against Burnley tonight. Will Unwin spoke to Jem Karacan and Dimi Konstantopoulos about how teams can bounce back from playoff final disappointment. Meanwhile, Andy Hunter looks at how Vincent Kompany’s Burnley can recover following relegation from the Premier League.

Vincent Company
But will Vincent Kompany get a pub named after him? Photograph: Paul Greenwood/CameraSport/Getty Images

Ben Fisher has also been lurking in the second tier in order to have a little chat with QPR gaffer Michael Beale about his footballing brother Steven Gerrard.

Prime yourself for the Premier League starting next week with our previews of Fulham and Leeds.

North of the border, Ewan Murray reckons it will be the Queen’s Celtic or Pope’s Newc O’Rangers for the title.

Get your fill of transfer title-tattle in The Rumor Mill.

And if it’s your thing… you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. and INSTACHAT, TOO!

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