With Glen Johnson a major doubt for England’s friendly in Oslo this evening news reaches the Cutter that new coach Roy Hodgson has placed both Danny Mills and former Forest full-back Steve Chettle on stand-by to deputise for debutant Martin Kelly.
The young Liverpool reserve is now Hodgson’s only recognized right-back for the fixture and there are fears within the camp that he may not last the full ninety minutes due to a lack of match sharpness, a predicament that results from him being a substitute for virtually all of last season.
Johnson’s injury – an infected lack of talent that flared up in training – has thrown the best-laid plans of Hodgson into disarray with open panic setting in amongst the coaching staff as to their lack of other options.
In desperation the speech-impaired gaffer is believed to have trawled through his previous clubs in a bid to locate anyone of English heritage. An uncomfortable phone call to Fulham’s Chris Baird, where Hodgson was overheard shouting “Can’t you just drop the accent for one day and pretend that you’re from Somerset? No, no, don’t ‘begorrah’ me you useless Enya-loving f***” all too sadly highlights the manager’s plight.
Other calls made to actual Englishmen Bradley Orr and Middlesbrough’s Justin Hoyte alas came to nothing as both are presently injured. Meanwhile a personal plea made to Gary Neville to come out of retirement also fell on stony ground with the rat-faced pundit now believing he is the second coming of Christ due to his successful stint at Sky.
With no other options available to him Hodgson then used his extensive contacts in the game to track down Danny Mills and surprise choice Steve Chettle. Mills has agreed under the proviso that he gets paid but doesn’t play, a contractual clause he allegedly always insisted upon throughout his long undistinguished career, whilst Chettle needed to be reminded that he was once a professional footballer.
The Cutter spoke to a backroom member of Woy’s staff who admitted the dearth of quality right-backs in England was becoming something of a problem.
“We’ve even imagined the perfect candidate and just wished he existed” the couch said wistfully. “He’d be a title winner ideally. Athletic, mobile, strong in the tackle and a powerful threat going forward. You know what, if we’re indulging in fantasy here let’s also say he was the best right-back in the Premier League this season.”
Our source stared into the middle-distance and dreamed of how wonderful that would be, a trace of a smile lighting up his face before the harsh reality of having to rely on reserves on the international stage once again hit home.
“I think the situation is getting to the gaffer and he’s now becoming a touch delusional”, he confided quietly. “He keeps bringing up this fella who he says would be perfect but try as we might we can’t find a Wichards playing anywhere”.