Written by Monkey Woods
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Monday, 25 June 2012

image for England Penalty Jinx Strikes Again!
Out of the frying pan, into the Ash-tray

The England football team's interest in the Euro 2012 championship was finally put to bed late last night, after another nail-biting penalty shoot-out defeat - this time at the hands of Italy.

The game had ended 0-0.

Not even goal-line technology could save England this time, as the Italians scored four penalties to England's two, with slow-motion replays showing that the ball had clearly passed over the line in each case.

The two penalties that DID NOT cross the line were the two that were taken by England's pair of Ashleys - Young and Cole, or Cole and Young, if you wish - the only two Ashleys ever to play for England.

England were completely outplayed by the Italians, and manager Roy Hodgson admitted that his gameplan was merely to contain the opposition for as long as they could, hoping that they'd get the chance to nick it in a penalty shoot-out.

Said Hodgson:

"Everything was going according to plan until we we got to penalties. It was only then that we realised we are shit at taking them."

But the gritty England boss defended his players. He laughed:

"The buck stops with me. I am the manager. I pick the team. The penalties? You can't blame the lads for missing them. It's down to me."

It seems as if the name 'Ashley' may be a bit of a hindrance when it comes to taking spot-kicks, because Chris Waddle, who missed one in the 1990 World Cup semi-final against Germany, had a nephew called Ashley, and Stuart Pearce - a villain in the same game - had a drinking buddy that worked with a lad named Ashley.

In another amazing coincidence, former international Gareth Southgate, who flopped when asked to step up to take a penalty in the Euro 1996 tournament, has a neighbour who has a cat named Ashley, and Coronation Street star Steven Arnold met with a gruesome on-screen death - being crushed to death after a derailed tram caused a roof to collapse on his office - whilst playing the doomed Ashley Peacock.

The name appears to be a jinx.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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