Nev's Knockdowns

We’re singing for England…or are we?

It’s at about this point in the World Cup build-up that you start to run out of pre-tournament shenanigans to pass the time.

Congratulations, @harrykane – our captain for the @fifaworldcup. ?

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You’ve given up on the sticker book, you’ve watched Beckham’s free-kick against Greece 38 times and you’ve reluctantly accepted that you got Senegal in the office sweepstakes.
Team and captain predictions are now defunct. Gareth Southgate has already revealed Harry Kane will lead a squad almost entirely comprised of left backs.

There really is only one thing left to do: listen to England’s World Cup song.

The three lions have produced a genuinely mixed bag when it comes to tournament tunes of yesteryear. Baddiel & Skinner’s Three Lions for Euro 96 is as iconic as it is catchy, whilst World in Motion by New Order is a synthpop anthem that epitomises why football was at its coolest in the 90s. Ant & Dec’s We’re on the Ball effort in 2002 was admirable if slightly naff, and then there’s Vindaloo by Fat Les – a song that does everything in its power to be terrible and yet still manages to be bloody brilliant.

Now for the stinkers. James Corden aimed his magic wand of dreadful at classic R’n’B in 2010, teaming up with Dizzee Rascal to destroy Blackstreet’s No Diggity with a cover entitled Shout. And who can forget 2006’s World At Your Feet by Yorkshire band Embrace, which has been listened to by approximately seven people.

Whether they’re brilliant or atrocious, World Cup songs are all part of the fun. That’s why I was generally hurt to find out that England will not be endorsing an official tune this year. The Telegraph revealed earlier this month that the FA have decided not to commission an official song for the tournament, repeating the decision made in 2014.

Is nothing sacred anymore? What is music good for if we can’t be treated to a few cheesy verses of football funk every couple of years? If the FA are reading this – and I think we can be fairly certain they are – I’m demanding a song be made for our boys in Russia. And don’t just get Coldplay to write some tosh dripping with footballing cliché, or ask Little Mix to cover God Save the Queen. I want the players to get involved.

Ready. Set.

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I want to harvest the spirit of 1970’s Back Home but with a modern twist. Why not let Harry Maguire release a Post Malone cover? How about teaming Jordan Pickford up with Calvin Harris? Isn’t it time we let Phil Jones lose on the EDM scene?

Brand new ?⚽⚽ #Ace17 #NeverFollow @adidasfootball @manchesterunited

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A tournament without a soundtrack is a tournament destined for failure. Thankfully, as is often the case, Will Smith has saved football, announcing that he will be releasing a song for Russia 2018 tomorrow. I’ve always been a firm believer that anything Will Smith can do, Eric Dier can do just as well.

Come on England, let’s have a sing-song.