FOOTBALL World Cups must put unnecessary strain on a Welshman.
Having not appeared in the tournament since 1958, and only then because the Suez crisis had made a farce of qualification, the Dragons have spent the last 56 years in the wilderness. Little wonder they’re always banging on about rugby.
For this summer’s event in Brazil, the closest a Welsh footballer has come to participating is either wearing an Alice band for the commercial breaks in ITV coverage or as a pundit whose CV is laughable compared to his colleagues on the BBC sofa.
Even the traditional schadenfreude of watching their enemy over the dyke lament the state of the English national side has been dampened by a universal lowering of expectations in the Three Lions.
And how confounding must it be for the rest of the world to ask why the future Prince of Wales is president of the English Football Association?
All of which should go some way to explaining the ever more erratic behaviour of the Young Brazilian Boys manager.
All his life a proud son of St David, the Welshman first began to show signs of mental fragility on the opening day of the competition. He turned up to the Emerson World Cup fantasy football auction three hours late wearing a replica Belgium shirt and made wild assertions about his nationality, like Tin Tin putting on a Welsh accent and telling Captain Haddock he did know the difference between an AC Cobra and a two tone BMW 525.
It was a matter of minutes before the Young Boys manager lost the power of addition, overspent his budget and forfeit his £75m Brazilian striker Neymar, becoming the biggest single victim of the Titus Bramble ruling ever recorded.
The next indication of the manager’s failing faculties happened a few days later. Under continued questioning on social media over his phoney Belgian credentials, the wayward Welshman set out to prove his place of birth was Brussels – previously his second favourite vegetable after leeks.
Paying little to no attention to the threat of identity theft, he tweeted an inconclusive photo of his passport to the world. Several individuals with supporting paperwork claiming to be the Young Boys manager have approached Emerson organisers since. The Belgian embassy have washed their hands of the affair.
By Wednesday it was clear the Welshman’s sanity was hanging by a thread. The manager published a pseudo-paramilitary photo on his Facebook page of himself in the same Belgium shirt he wore at the auction (has he taken it off in two weeks?), a flag, face paint, fag end jammed in his mouth, wearing pharmacy bargain bin sunglasses and a beret.
Metropolitan Police have increased security at local schools.
After the last 16 round of matches in the Emerson World Cup, only a few points separate the top few teams. It comes as little surprise that the Young Boys manager is nowhere among them.
Emerson table – post round of last 16