Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player


Oh come on, England

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The other day, I saw an impressive piece of World Cup merchandise in a shop. Merchandising is a multi-million dollar business, of course. Retailers and businessmen have wonderful imaginations when it comes to creating magnificent products to reflect our national pride and faith in the team.

  I wasn’t sure, at first glance, that this item flew the flag for English sporting glory at its proudest. Who is the target market? The traditional English patriot? The reverent Japanese tourist? The friendly Scot? Having watched last night’s match against Algeria, however, I’m now thinking that perhaps we get the merchandising we deserve. Come on, England!

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C Scott at 4:53 pm on June 19th, 2010

I suspect friendly Scots here in Glasgow, a city built on rum, tobacco and sugar, and still unhealthily indulging in all three, would draw the line at the cultural and physical unhealthiness of England World Cup Spam.


Jack at 5:59 pm on June 19th, 2010

So sad to watch england play like a pub team. They seem to play a lot better for their club, why not the country? Ummmm!
At least the brits are flying the flag with pride in Vegas!


GT at 6:28 pm on June 19th, 2010

Sums up England well…Perfectly represents not only the comments of our footballers but our new government ministers… Tasteless and past their sell by date.


Roger S at 6:33 pm on June 19th, 2010

Since the Eighties, no one has been allowed to think that they are a loser.

Education has gone down the tubes because examination pass results have been set at a level where everyone passes.

Anyone, that is anyone at all, can go to university… if they want to.

All the above, though, only applies internally. Once you enter the real outside world you’ll find out how average you really are.

The UK loses out all the time because in all walks of life we are simply not as good as we have been led to believe.

The Wealth Creating Industries have gone abroad and our Premier League Footballers come from abroad.

Why does England lose out even at football? Simples.


Lego at 9:43 pm on June 19th, 2010

The classiest bit of England merchandising I’ve seen to date is a Saint George cross satellite dish cover, which I’m sure would set off any middle class residence to a tee, & all neighbours would absolutely love.

*SIGH* England, where do you start. I want to slam them, but I half wonder if they’re choking under the pressure of expectation, so everyone booing and calling them names will just make it worse. But then, part of me thinks that’s an excuse they use too often.

Doesn’t help that the manager keeps putting probably our best player at present, Gerrard, on the left, where he’s totally wasted. But enough of tactics, as there’s already 10 million armchair managers.

I just wish we were playing with half the heart the US team are playing with at present, who made a great comeback yesterday.


Rich at 1:27 pm on June 20th, 2010

Harsh, but fair


LC at 3:54 pm on June 20th, 2010

Quite extraordinary.


The Tim at 5:58 pm on June 20th, 2010

That’s one piece of spam I won’t delete!


Ginger Pogue at 8:47 am on June 21st, 2010

Come on Slovenia for Wednesday!!!  Send the English for an early bath (and Spam sarnies).


MDW at 11:43 am on June 21st, 2010

If you’re going tacky you should go all the way with it, I’m away next weekend with some friends and we’re trying to buy union jack shorts (we have a 1982 day planned). These will be so far up the tacky scale that they end up in ultra cool (or maybe not)

As for the team on the pitch everyone should take a deep breath and relax, we will win on Wednesday and go through to the knockout phase so what’s the problem, any regular watcher of the great game knows that your team can play like Scotland or Ireland one week and then Brazil the next ;-)

Look at the 86 WC - we lost to Portugal then drew with Morocco before battering Poland and then going on to win it (what we didn’t win it?) OK we should have won it


John at 1:15 pm on June 21st, 2010

Fried Spam…nice.  Little flecks of burnt fat all over your neutral carpet… oh dear.  Now, where’s the Shake n Vac when you need it?
Come on, England, let’s put the freshness back!!!


Markjb at 7:58 am on June 22nd, 2010

Vicky darling,
I had an amazing story/comment, explaining the England team’s performance and it came in with 8 characters left. But then when I submitted it the blog said it was over by 2 characters, so it was lost.. forever.
I hope the England team does not lose because of this! x


Victoria Coren at 11:44 am on June 22nd, 2010

I’m so sorry! But also surprised - comments aren’t meant to be lost - if one is rejected (for being over long or if you write the code word incorrectly) then you’re meant to be able to hit the back button and return to the comment and edit it…


Markjb at 3:16 pm on June 22nd, 2010

Hi Vicky
I’ve tested it and, on my computers, it doesn’t work that way.
Anyway, I’ll add a briefer comment re England’s performance. Never go into a match thinking (or saying) you can win it without playing well!
Good Luck!


The Tim at 3:37 pm on June 22nd, 2010

Markjb - you should do what I do and save the message in a Word file before pasting it into the blog. I’ve salvaged at least one overlong message by doing that! You can also check for speling misstakes and ensure that none of the message is mis


RomanticRecluse at 5:31 pm on June 22nd, 2010

Why do lots of people watch football matches on TVs in pubs?  I don’t like to brag but I’ve got a TV in my house.


TheTim at 7:19 pm on June 22nd, 2010

Actually you need two TVs this week as they’re being played simultaneously.


Simon Hawkins at 10:42 pm on June 22nd, 2010

My favourite world cup tie-in spot so far has been Co-Op lettuces presented in a football patterned wrapper. The most disappointing gift for a child ever?


Ginger Pogue at 5:46 pm on June 23rd, 2010

England into 2nd round - BOO HISS!!!!!


C Scott at 8:39 pm on July 14th, 2010

I think we’ve found the target audience: http://bit.ly/acfTWK (via @emmalouisenicol)


Victoria Coren

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