January 10, 2014

England men facing the axe

England have the staff the size of a small country, and some of them may be deported

Graham Onions: has giant shoes to fill, which he can't © PA Photos

There have been dark hints of personnel changes within the ECB's famously overcrowded coaching and support operation, while some on the playing staff are also looking nervously over their shoulders. It's all a bit hush-hush, but here are the most likely casualties

Unnamed senior player
Reason: keeps scoring more runs than other players. Must go. All his fault.

Team kit man
Some players turned up in wrong kit, like Matt Prior said. Need to make an example of somebody.

Graham Onions
Once again failed to take a single wicket in the Ashes.

Assistant video analyst and best boy
For failing to deliver video evidence of how to play Mitchell Johnson.

Michael Carberry
Brought in to do a job, i.e. be a brilliant Test match opener at basically the first time of asking and defy the Australian attack for days at a time while also scoring freely all around the wicket. Failed. Next.

The media
For unsettling the side by failing to report that we had in fact won the first three Tests, thus contributing to a cycle of negativity.

The Australian media
For disgraceful bias pro Australia.

Cookbook writer
Eighty-two pages and still nothing with backbone, spleen, guts, heart or cojones.

Tim Bresnan
Been groomed for fall-guy role for some years. Like everything this very useful cricketer does, he'll walk the plank with commitment (just a bit slower than had been hoped).

Worrying technology that allows players to communicate without an official ECB press officer there to help them. Must be stopped.

Obviously first choice would be to keep him in the fold but Gilo has already shown his versatility with left-arm spin, useful runs down the order, fielding, being a great bloke to have around the dressing room, coaching Warwickshire, selecting, designing and ordering pottery, presiding over the ODI side, being good value on the golf course, stepping into the Test role when needed, wearing needlessly youthful wraparound sunglasses and he can definitely put his hand up and do a job in the sacrificial lamb slot if needs be.

People definitely not to blame
Cooky, Belly, Priory, Rooty, Broady, Andersony, Flowery, Giles Clarkey, our good friends at Sky TV-y, all our important commercial partners including: Red Bull, the Chicago Bulls, Boggleby And Bstard Venture Capital, Jaguar, Puma, Lynx, Sex Panther, Yorkshire Tea, Yorkshire Grit, Yorkshire Pudding, Nat West, Nat King Cole, the lovely Cheryl Cole, Stowford Press, Duncan Fletcher's Forward Press, and especially most definitely not Flowery again.

All quotes and "facts" here are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)
Read an extract from Alan's new book Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects, here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Simon on January 12, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    Ya missed Swanny mate! He made the utlimate cricketing sacrifice to give the perennial sacrificial lion, Bressy a Chrissie pressy! Actually as a documented joker, I half expected Swanny to roll into Sydney saying it was another jape designed to get Chrissie at home with the rellies. In fact, if Swanny's reasoning was he couldn't back up to 30+ overs in 2nd innings, why hasn't he stuck around for the ODI's & T20's?

    Ya also missed Monty; apparently Cooky didn't think he was capable of backing up for a second 3 over spell!

  • Denis on January 12, 2014, 0:15 GMT

    No wonder they performed like 3 year-olds with diminutive infantile names like Cooky, Belly, Broady, Trotty - can you imagine the Invincibles being Braddy, Keithy, or more recently, Kally, Dravy, steynie? Warnie is more logical as he really is still kinda infantile. So I think you nailed it - it's the nicknames! I mean the Brits really do this even to Generals. I mean, after all, Monty, and to top it all, in that era, Winnie!!!!

  • RAJARAMAN on January 11, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    " Unnamed senior player - Reason: keeps scoring more runs than other players. Must go. All his fault" ... Most funny and shows how wrong English team performance analysis is

  • Channan on January 11, 2014, 0:05 GMT

    Bell bats very well at # 5. Keep him there. One of the greatest batsmen in the world batted at #6. No shame in that. You are looking for an opening batsman and one for your number 3 position. Root at #6. Try not to screw around with this guy. He is for your future. And lest I forget, a good spinner if you have one. That's your team. Looks like you want to drop Prior. Not now.

  • Richard on January 10, 2014, 23:45 GMT

    Obvious fall guy is Swanny. He's gone now so you can pan him all you like. Plus he has that annoying tendency to think and speak for himself by not sticking to the officially approved acceptable quotes guidelines.....AND he plays that 'Jungle Music' Rock and Roll!, all things well documented to cause society, and the British Empire to collapse. Take India, for instance, they'd never have gained their independence if the players were all still listening to Vera Lynn!

  • Baruch on January 10, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    How about the permanent scapegoat Pieterson? If a person smiles and appears to have a mind of his own and does not deify Flower then he must be suspect.

  • Ali on January 10, 2014, 21:31 GMT

    English people have such great creativity, for example nicknames" Broady, Swanny etc.

  • Android on January 10, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Haha the English are verynice blokes. They never have excuses when they lose.they take it on the Chin like a real man does. Good Luck team England for the future Endeavors. by the I supported the Aussies...they are just fun fellows to be around. I'm a south African.

  • Pankaj on January 10, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    Good read. Where does this leave Stokes? On the fence? Or on the plank? Can we have a follow-up article focussing on how to enhance the import content now that there are obvious vacancies?

  • KR on January 10, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    Hilarious - especially Cooky, Belly, Priory, Rooty, Broady...

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