In a speech that made uniformed men cry, and provoked a flurry of telegrams from the Queen, Steve McClaren, tactical genius and supreme man motivator, called for England players to lay down their lives for their country, and to put internal squabbles behind them. In a speech that united even the disunited, McClaren called for nothing less than complete surrender by the Spanish at half time, that's how determined he is. Even though the match is a meaningless so-called friendly, there is long-running bad feeling between England and Spain, a proud footballing nation who've achieved nothing for many, many years. Defending his brilliant record, McLaren said:
'I'm not like Ericsson, no way. It's all about character, passion, commitment, tenacity, endeavour, grit, determination, and giving them a kicking.'
In the last meaningless friendly, a barrage of abuse provoked a flurry of verbal exchanges between the players, mostly in the tunnel and incoherent. But not any more. Out goes Beckham, and in comes the brilliant gritty, tough, and determined to keep his pants up, Joey Barton, who's a cheeky scouser. We're bound to win 10 nil. If you think the game's worth watching to see if Barton bares his arse again, email The Spoof.