Uefa president Michel Platini has warned the Football Association that he just can’t help being negative about England and he expects this to carry on right through to the 2018 World Cup.
“I can’t help it,” he said. “My friends call me ‘déplantoir’ (trowel) because I’m always having a little dig.”
The once brilliant French midfielder has no idea where this all stems from. The son of an Australian father and Scottish mother, who all lived on a farm with his Welsh grandparents says he has been addressing the problem.
FIFA encourages a buddy system of ex-players for high-ranking officials and Platini’s buddy is Franz Beckenbauer, a man who is thought privately to like to stick the knife into England at every given opportunity. Whether this will help Michel in the long term is unclear.
The former Nancy player did however point out that England are in his top four to host a World Cup. “I can’t really say which bids I would throw my weight behind and everyone deserves a fair chance. Crap teams can make great hosts. South Africa have shown that just recently. My only criteria has been that the host mustn’t be an island,” said the lovable Frenchman.