In the great patriotic tradition of our age, England has done some football and men are arguing about it online.
This time, it’s reactionary pork chop Piers Morgan giving his unsolicited opinions about the England versus Tunisia match.
“MY ENGLAND VERDICT,” he began, as the internet shuddered. Then he launched into a tweet of inane post-match analysis:
MY ENGLAND VERDICT:
Very sharp 1st half.
Very poor 2nd Half.
Brilliant finishing by Kane.
Horrific finishing by everyone else (especially Mr Lingard).
Tunisia will win 2020 Olympics wrestling gold.
VAR only works if they use the bloody thing.
Job done. Move on. pic.twitter.com/2LA0rU5XLU
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 18, 2018
This came just before the nation’s friendliest shirt-wearer Gary Lineker reasonably responded to criticism of the England team:
“Never ceases to amaze me how easy some folk think World Cup football is. Have you watched all the so called big teams? It ain’t that easy, especially against tough defensive opposition. I suppose those that are so critical haven’t been there, though. Night all.”
Never ceases to amaze me how easy some folk think World Cup football is. Have you watched all the so called big teams? It ain’t that easy, especially against tough defensive opposition. I suppose those that are so critical haven’t been there, though. Night all.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 18, 2018
But Morgan was having none of it, and proceeded to launch into a long, public and tedious bout of footballsplaining to Lineker, England’s record goal-scorer in FIFA cup finals.
“Do you feel the same way about people who’ve never been a politician constantly spouting off about politics & telling politicians how inept they are…” he asked Lineker, who has been vocal about politics, in a remarkable pot-kettle response.
This own goal wasn’t lost on Lineker, who turned it around on Morgan: “Do feel free to carry on spouting off about politics and telling politicians how inept they are, Tubs.”
What followed was an increasingly combative debate about England’s performance in the match, with Morgan taking a swipe at Lineker’s tax arrangements – “always been too busy filling out my tax returns” – when it was, fairly reasonably, pointed out that he has never played professional football.
Lineker eventually concluded by sticking the (golden) boot in: “May I remind you that I have one more Golden Boot than you.”
A beefier version of some parallel footballsplaining also happening on Twitter, between historian Simon Schama and former England striker Alan Shearer.
Schama accused Shearer of underestimating “the inevitable stomach-knotting teeth-gritting nervy wrench of the first game”. To which Shearer responded: “You do know that I have played in these games right?”
You do know that I have played in these games right? https://t.co/dyzvsH9Olp
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) June 18, 2018
Finally, men learn what it feels like to be mansplained to.