The Germans are coming. A battle royal awaits on England’s green and pleasant land. Or does it ?
Alas, the English Commander-in-Chief, Lord Southgate, finds himself in a right old cheese’n’pickle. Shorn of his big guns, including Captain Kane and Master Alli, his resources are severely depleted. Indeed, the men that he will be leading to the battlefield tonight resemble back up troops from the Auxiliary Balloon Corps, the part time Territorial Army and the young cadets.
The experienced and ruthlessly efficient Germans will hardly be quaking in their boots at this motley crew. They will approach this battle with their usual military precision and will expect to leave the home of English football victorious, feeling happy and glorious.
For the English squadron, bereft of their heavy artillery, having no midfield general to lead from the front and, worse still, lacking any foot soldiers with pace to outflank and outmanoeuvre the German defence, they will be looking to Commander Southgate to devise a foolproof cunning plan.
However, on the evidence of previous and recent battles, the chances of the English Commander coming up with a plausible and effective plan must be considered severely remote. So, in his hour of need, he may need to consider alternative strategies and he could do far worse than try and rouse his troops with some Churchillian rallying calls.
General Gareth must stand tall in front of his charges, abandon his sensible schoolteacher persona and launch into his best Churchill impression, urging them to “defend our island, whatever the cost may be, to fight them on the beaches, to fight on the landing grounds, to fight in the fields, and in the hills; and never to surrender. For this is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure”. It worked for Churchill, what hope Southgate?
However, secretly inside, he may be thinking of the words that Churchill uttered days after he came to office in May 1940 – “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”. Indeed, maybe that is all he can realistically ask for and expect tonight.