Tuesday 19 June 2018 by Chris Ballard

Gareth Southgate apologises for letting down tabloid hacks with unexpected England win


Gareth Southgate apologises

The England manager has said sorry to tabloid headline writers for starting the World Cup in Russia with a win.

Barely holding back tears Southgate said, “What can I say? I take full responsibility. I got it wrong.

“We started too well. Our movement was too good. There were a few good moments when we missed some chances that my dead granny would have buried, but overall it was just too convincing, and for that, I can only apologise to the pun-happy tabloid hacks back home.”

Captain Harry Kane was also in pieces. “To win it in the manner we did, in injury time, must be particularly galling,” he said.

“Those goals – especially the second – will haunt me for the rest of my life, I’m sure I’ve deprived the nation of some amazing Tunisia-related puns.”

“Oh you bloody have,” explained one tabloid sports writer. “We had some great Tunisian puns ready – TunisiAIN’T, ‘Out of TUNE’, though no-one could find a good north African substitute for a turnip.”

However, not everyone is so downhearted. England supporter Simon Williams said, “You have to think about the bigger aim – to go out on penalties in the knockout stages.

“To do that, we need to get out of the group which unfortunately means winning a game or two. With three points on the board, we’re in a fantastic position to lose in far more painful fashion in a couple of weeks.”

As far as Southgate is concerned, he’s just trying not to dwell on things he can’t change. “We just have to go again,” he said.

“There are a few things I want to work on in training – conceding from set pieces, for example – but my lads have a fighting spirit as terrible as any previous England team and I’m confident they can show that.

“It’s Panama on Sunday – they’re incredibly shit but I think we still stand a great chance of losing.”

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