8 ways English football actually could stoop lower


"I didn't think England could stoop any lower from what happened in the summer at the Euros. Now here we are, a laughing stock of world football."

Alan Shearer's words following the departure of disgraced England manager Sam Allardyce will resonate with many a fan of the Three Lions. Big Sam lasted only one game and 67 days in the job - by far the shortest full-time reign as an England manager in history.

But is Shearer right? Could England stoop lower? We pondered a few ways it could...

1. A few awful fans could ruin everything... again

A man is arrested by police officers in downtown Marseille

So the manager didn't turn out to be all they were cracked up to be, but at least the fans are still the best in the world - right?

The scenes of the way England's fans acted at Euro 2016 shocked those watching at home across the world, as French hospitality was abused time and again.

Riot police monitor England fans in Lille city centre

To say all England fans are awful would be self-deprecating and wide of the mark, but if those select few were caught acting in such a way again English football would find itself in a deep, deep trench.

2. They could do a France in 2010

A French football fan in the stands

In April 2010 French TV station M6 reported French international footballers were involved in a prostitution ring operating out of a night club in Paris.

Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema, along with two others depending on reports, were taken to court accused of paying for an under age prostitute.

Franck Ribery, left, and Karim Benzema in French kit

Zahia Dehar is reported as being 16 or 17 when she slept with the players in 2008 and 2009, and in France prostitution is legal but only for those 18 or over. Dehar is now something of a celebrity in France and Ribery and Benzema eventually had the charges dropped in 2014 - it was certainly a low point though.

3. Or a France in 2015

French fan looks dejected

We promise we aren't just having a dig at France. In 2015 France and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema - yes him again too - was arrested for blackmail.

This time Benzema was accused of blackmailing his own team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape of Valbuena and his girlfriend. Benzema has not played for France since and could face up to five years in prison when the verdict is given on October 14.

That's not the way for team-mates to treat each other, right? Well, maybe you should see the next one...

4. They could have another player scandal

Chelsea's John Terry (centre) tries to shake hands with Manchester City's Wayne Bridge

In France's defence, England have already had plenty of their own scandals, and the debacle between John Terry and Wayne Bridge was one of the most high-profile of them all.

Terry, who is married with two children, allegedly had an affair with Bridge's ex-girlfriend and mother to his child, Vanessa Perroncel. The reported affair caused such fractures that Bridge refused to shake Terry's hand and Terry was eventually stripped of his England captaincy.

The last thing England needs now is another such divisive incident.

5. They could appoint a manager with less experience than Allardyce

Leeds United manager Dave Hockaday

In 2014 Leeds United appointed Dave Hockaday - despite his only managerial experience being at non-league Forest Green.

Hockaday lasted only six games, which to be fair is longer than Allardyce did in the England job. However, nothing would make fans feel lower than an appointment with such little experience - they were unimpressed by Big Sam's after all.

6. Or Andy Gray and Richard Keys

 Presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys

"Can you believe that, a female linesman? Women don't know the offside rule."

It was sexist comments like these which meant Gray and Keys lost their jobs presenting football on Sky Sports five years ago.

With their footballing experience, could Gray be appointed as manager, with Keys as assistant? Maybe the FA could appoint them, just as a bit of banter?

7. Or possibly Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage addresses the Ukip party's annual conference in Bournemouth with eyes closed

There was almost a poetic beauty in the way England exited the Euros just days after Britain voted to leave the European Union in June. Almost.

Farage was a key player in the Brexit process and would likely get a lot of support from those who voted to leave if he wanted to take up a new challenge after stepping down as leader of Ukip.

Although, judging by the Brexiteer's ability to remove Britain from international stages, we can't imagine England would last too long when the 2018 World Cup comes around.

8. They could try to play foreign players... again

Arsenal's Mikel Arteta stands dejected

For those of you who don't remember, in 2010 England almost put Arsenal midfielder and Spaniard Mikel Arteta, of Everton at the time, on their books.

Despite having resided in England for the required five years, in the end Arteta wasn't allowed to play for England because he had played for Spain at junior level - part of a little known Fifa rule.

Everton's Mikel Arteta stands dejected

Sourcing players from other countries, especially those like Arteta who can't make their own national teams, indicates things are pretty bad for the national team. If it happened now it might just be be more than their fans' pride can take.