England manager Steve McClanger confessed last night that he had always been a fan of David Beckham, and said that he thought he was "the best player the world had ever seen". There was a storm of controversy, however, over the manager's use of some particularly bad language.
He was speaking after England had snatched a draw from the jaws of victory in their first game at the New Wembley Stadium. Brazil equalised with a goal deep into stoppage time and, as the TV cameras focussed on McClanger, lip-readers could quite easily see the England boss say "Shit".
Brian Barstool of the FA has been quick to defend McClanger, saying:
"He's a Northerner."
England failed to excite the 88,000 crowd, and most of them had gone for a burger by the time John Terry put them ahead on 68 minutes. In the dying seconds, however, Ribas Diego took advantage of some lax defending to nod the Brazilians level, and it was then that the foul-mouthed McClanger really got going.
It's not the first time the England boss has lost his temper. After their last game against some minnows which they somehow managed to scramble past, he used the word "bloody", prompting 14 people to complain to the BBC for airing his comments.
Alan Hansen the Scottish pundit, speaking on BBC TV after the match, said:
"He should lead by example. Using a word like that gives the players the wrong message. You'd never have heard Sven Goran Whatsisname using that kind of despicable language. McClanger should wash his mouth out with soap."
McClanger now takes his squad to Estonia for Wednesday's crunch game against more giants of world football, hoping that his team don't give him any more cause to use such guttural filth.
"I'm going to try and keep my mouth shut this time", he said.