This week’s win against Poland that saw England qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next year has been marred by reports of offence caused by Roy Hodgson’s half-time team-talk.
In it he referred to an old NASA joke, in which the punchline was ‘feed the monkey’. On this occasion clear racial connotations were attributed to the comment considering the player in question was outstanding winger Andros Townsend.
Of course, once you realise the context, there is clearly no offence implied and none to be taken - even Townsend came out himself and said he was not offended. Wayne Rooney also backed Hodgson on Twitter, although with the expected poor grammar skills.
But the issue, as far as the FA are concerned, has now had a line drawn underneath it. But I agree with Joey Barton, who yesterday stated that the fact this was leaked from the dressing room was the major issue. While I would stop short of the language he used, referring to the person in question as a ‘snake’ there is no doubt this is a divisive problem.
Somebody who was in that dressing room leaked the information to the press, which obviously gives cause to concern in relation to how behind the manager these players really are.
Blame has been attributed willy-nilly on Twitter, with unsubstantiated rumours claiming it could be one of many England internationals or coaching staff. But we can confirm that the one person it definitely wasn’t, despite receiving allegations in that manner, was Ashley Cole.
Because he wasn’t even there….
Here is his Tweet on the matter …
The hashtag #blameAsh has however caught on, with people blaming him for all sorts of bizarre issues …
Here are some of our favourites…
Lost my oyster card so am running late. Am going to #blameash when I get in— Al Nelligan (@NelliganA) October 18, 2013