Win, lose or bore...England won't change

The Three Lions face a couple of critical World Cup qualifiers in the coming days.

As former England manager Graham Taylor used to say, the first game against Montenegro will be "a real test".

As Taylor's assistant Phil Neal used to say, the second game Poland will be "a really big test". Win both games and Roy Hodgson's men are on the road to Rio.

Lose either game and the players will be shakier than Jack Wilshere when he's caught smoking.

Skipper Steven Gerrard has called the Montenegro and Poland contests the most important England games since the last important England games.

So here is a definitive guide to what you can expect in the next few days, depending on the results. If England beat Montenegro...

The English will be considered runaway favourites to win the World Cup - by the English.

Fifa might as well hand Gerrard the trophy now to save time. Publishing deals will be signed among key England players to release autobiographies, which will be scheduled to come out within days of the World Cup final (about two weeks after the Three Lions get knocked out of the tournament).

If England draw against Montenegro... Hodgson will praise his brave boys (England players are always brave when they earn a point against 11 able-bodied opponents).

His tactics of employing nine players to stand in a line and join hands on the edge of the penalty box may be questioned, particularly by Wayne Rooney who could only communicate with his teammates via WhatsApp.

If England lose against Montenegro... England will be called the worst national side in the history of mankind - by the English.

Fifa might as well kick them out of all tournaments now to save time.

Publishers consider a three-for-one deal for their upcoming autobiographies.

Harry Redknapp will say that the English Football Association (FA) cannot tell a football from a tennis ball.

Then he will say it's nothing personal. Then he will wait for Hodgson outside Wembley and kick him in the shin.

If Jack Wilshere scores a goal...

Expect his effort to be called a Lucky Strike.

If Joe Hart gets injured...

John Ruddy should play. That's not a reflection on Fraser Forster's ability, but it's just hard to take anyone called Fraser Forster seriously.

He could be the next Gordon Banks, but he still has a name that's a cross between a comic book superhero and a 70s porn star.

If England take an early lead...

Fans will gather around those supporters with trumpets and sing: "der der der, der der dun der, dun der, der der, der der der, ENGLAND!"

It may take time for newcomers to learn the words. In fact, Wayne Rooney still struggles with the chorus.

If Montenegro take an early lead...

Wembley will be quieter than the White Hart Lane dressing room after Andre Villas-Boas said: "You played a rubbish team with no strikers and lost 3-0. Any theories?... no, not you, Ravel Morrison, this isn't your dressing room."

If the game is 0-0 at half-time...

Expect Wembley stewards to discreetly wander around the stands and gently wake the supporters. Hodgson's England matches do come with health warnings: "Do not watch while sleepy."

If England win both matches...

There'll be street parties, a public holiday and Hodgson will receive a knighthood.

England will demand that Fifa hand over the World Cup immediately. Sepp Blatter will present the trophy, arriving on a silver chariot pulled by Nepalese labourers.

If England lose both matches...

There will be hostile calls for Redknapp to replace Hodgson - mostly from Redknapp.

The Premier League will be blamed - mostly by Hodgson.

The players will be blamed - mostly by one another in their upcoming autobiographies, which will be given away in supermarkets with packets of washing powder.

There will be over-the-top, nasty, spiteful idiotic calls for Hodgson's head on a spike - mostly from Redknapp.

If England fail to qualify for the World Cup... A nation will be plunged into mourning. A few supporters will make a case to the United Nations for Hodgson to be charged with war crimes.

Everton fans will say Ross Barkley should've been a regular. Liverpool fans will say the same about Daniel Sturridge.

Southampton fans will say the same about Daniel Sturridge. They love Rickie Lambert, but they're not daft.

Disillusioned idealists like Gary Lineker will demand that the English FA completely overhauls its entire coaching philosophy from top to bottom, calling for more qualified coaches, smarter coaching sessions for small children and better academies based on the Spanish and German models.

The English FA will offer Hodgson a new contract.


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