Within 17-minutes of their Champions League clash with Roma, Liverpool saw Englishman Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stretchered off the field. A scan on Wednesday revealed a knee ligament injury, meaning Ox won’t be traveling to the World Cup with his England teammates. When Zlatan Ibrahimovic said, “Lions don’t recover like humans,” he wasn’t talking about the England squad. As a direct result, England have come up with a new approach to help them avoid injuries ahead of future World Cups.
In wake of this calamity, England manager Gareth Southgate called an emergency meeting with his coaching staff last night.
“We just can’t take risks at this stage,” said Southgate. “I’m gutted for Alex, and I won’t let this happen to any more of my players.”
While the discussion still is ongoing, Southgate confirmed a few of the new initiatives his England camp are putting in place to ensure the players stay off the field, and therefore, out of the hospital.
#1 Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli encouraged to dive
This first one is a cracker. Gareth is actually encouraging his notable diving offenders to simulate in matches. The theory behind this decision is for them to each earn enough yellow cards to warrant a suspension from the rest of the season.
“If they cheat, they can’t play,” said Southgate, “and if they can’t play, they can’t get injured.”
#2 FA to allocate Harry Kane 10 extra goals
We all know the only thing Harry Kane cares about is winning the Golden Boot. He sniffs out goals like a rabid dog searching out a fox. The problem is, Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah can’t stop scoring and Harry isn’t keeping up. The FA plans to award Kane 10 extra goal, which will hopefully work the same way as ananaestheticc does when a doctor’s patient won’t lay still.
#3 Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Ross Barkley and Gary Cahill told to keep on doing what they are doing
There is nothing like a total loss of form from the Arsenal and Chelsea players to prevent them from getting enough game time to even have a chance of getting injured. They haven’t appeared to play any football since the New Year. Well, not any decent football anyway.
#4 Jack Butland to fake a cold
Too many cold and rainy days in Stoke have worn Butland down… apparently. Poor little Jack will be watching his team from the sideline with a bowl of soup and a cup of tea. When questioned on whether Joe Hart has any special rules or not, Southgate said he didn’t really care and the West Ham stopper could go skydiving for all he cared. Bit harsh.
#5 Jamie Vardy is having another party
He loves a party, doesn’t he? It’s may seem incomprehensible for a professional to prioritize partying over football, but hey, look at the Arsenal’s team from the 80s. Gareth has shipped Jamie off to Magaluf until the season is over. Vardy is apparently thrilled.
#6 Southgate working one-on-one with Martial
If this season has taught us anything, it’s that Jose Mourinho won’t play Rashford and Martial in the same team. Southgate has hatched a cunning plan to hold one-on-one sessions with the Frenchman, to ensure he’s good enough to keep Rashford out of the United starting 11.
Is Southgate crazy, or are these ideas going to be the difference maker in Russia? At the end of the day, healthy or injured, nothing will help the Three Lions when they inevitably find themselves taking penalty kicks in the quarterfinals to seal their fate.