After back-to-back wins over the Germans, it’s now time for “Harry’s Heroes” to take a well-earned rest and go back to enjoying their respective retirements. For Mr Redknapp himself, however, time stands still for no-one and after recently declaring that he hasn’t ruled out a return to management, we have news for you Harry.
Paddy Power has received a leaked document outlining the script for a third series of ITV’s fly on the wall documentary only this time, “H” has to try to put together a team of England misfits for a series of matches which culminates in….well, you’ll just have to read on won’t you.
The working title of the show is understood to be “Euro Not Fit to Wear the Shirt”.
— The ITV Hub (@itvhub) May 21, 2020
Icons such as Paul Merson, Matt Le Tissier and David Seaman have had their time in the spotlight so where does Harry start as he tries to put together a squad to take on more of Europe’s best? In goal will be former Wimbledon and Chelsea keeper Dave Beasant. The man from Willesden is best remembered for winning the FA Cup with The Dons back in 1988 and becoming the first keeper to save a penalty in a final.
And he’s also become infamous for missing eight weeks of the season through injury having dropped a jar of mayonnaise on his toe.
With two England caps to his name and a brief stand-in appearance for Seaman in series two, big Dave gets the vote (only make sure you put locks on the kitchen cupboard doors).
Mel Sterland won a solitary cap for his country in 1988 and by 1991 he was already yesterday’s man after being skinned by Ryan Giggs in the famous Leeds v Manchester United trilogy that took place over seven days. Not even Graeme Taylor could find a place for Mel (who won a First Division championship at Elland Road in 1992) in his England set-up, which is surely enough to convince any hardened professional that it’s time to hang up the boots.
The other full-back berth goes to Michael Gray, best remembered for his penalty shoot-out miss in the Championship play-off final in 1998. Gray got his big England chance under Kevin Keegan (who didn’t?) but after four appearances it was obvious he was only good enough to play international football at Subbuteo level.
The centre-half pairing is interesting – interesting in the fact that the two players selected were about as competent at international level as the Chuckle Brothers. First up we have former Man City hardman Keith Curle whose performance against Denmark at Euro 92 was so inept, he never played for his country again. His defensive partner will be Earl Barrett. Earl who we hear you say? You know, the guy that played for Oldham in the early 90’s and won three England caps and who is now Academy Coach at Houston.TX.
Still none the wiser? Forget it then and let’s move on. Our midfield foursome is the stuff of nightmares so step forward please Messrs (Carlton) Palmer, (Seth) Johnson, (Steve) Stone and (Geoff) Thomas. Ex-Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Palmer won 18 caps for England, but to this day nobody knows how or why. He will be best remembered for rolling out of a West-End nightclub the worse for wear in the early hours and in full Wednesday training kit, just hours before a league game against QPR.
Seth Johnson’s only England cap came against Italy, but at the time his stock was high – that’s why Leeds paid Derby seven million quid for his services in 2001 before sending him back to East Midlands for a knock-down price three years later. Steve Stone played nine times for his country in the 90’s, but it was a crazy decade in which anything went, such as Tony Adams dating Caprice.
Former Palace stalwart Geoff Thomas has raised millions for cancer research and we salute him for that, but it doesn’t disguise the fact that he famously missed a one on one goalscoring chance against France in 1992, attempting to chip the keeper and somehow managing to send the ball out for a throw-in.
Up-front the producers have gone for sheer muscle and no fixed ability in selecting John Fashanu and the team’s oldest player, Luther Blissett. “Fash the Bash” had a reputation at Wimbledon for being a bully on the field and a natural leader (so he gets the captains armband) whilst having the football skills of a pissed-up Ninja.
Fash claimed to be a martial arts expert, but you’d never see Bruce Lee fall off a wall whilst being interviewed on Football Focus.
Big Fash is partnered up top by Luther Blissett who was once so highly regarded that he secured a dream move from Watford to AC Milan. Many fans of the Italian giants regard Blissett as their worst ever import after helping them get relegated to Serie B, while an unfounded myth says that Rossoneri executives actually got him mixed-up with his Hornets team-mate John Barnes, whilst on a scouting mission.
His poor performances for the Three Lions ensured he got the nickname “Miss it Blissett”.
EPISODES TWO & THREE:
After an extended first episode to enable Harry to construct his team of failures, it’s now down to business and “H” arranges some competitive action for his new charges by entering them into a walking football tournament.
Redknapp knows how important it is to build up confidence, so a series of games against opposition containing mostly out of shape 50-year-olds looks like the perfect place to start. These matches will then be followed by a friendly 11-a-side kick about against the grown-up version of 80’s kids TV favourites Jossy’s Giants.
Despite starring in another cult show of the 80’s and 90’s, ITV stalwarts Ant n’ Dec are pencilled in to start for The Giants, as there contract at the network states they have to be included in every fu****g programme made.
As the inevitable injuries start to stack up, the producers are keen for Harry not to get his black book out to search for replacements, but to leave it to them to craftily insert the odd ringer or two into the side in the hope that the viewer doesn’t realise. During the series we will get the chance to catch up with the players as they talk about life after football and in Fash’s case, whether he ever got off with his Gladiators co-host Ulrika Johnson.
There will of course be drinking, there will be fall-outs and there will almost certainly be a chance for Fash to try to convince us that he really is a martial arts expert, as we head towards the main event and a titanic tussle between England’s shitiest and a Rest of the World XI made up of players who’ve become infamous, rather than famous.
At the time of going to press the producers are unsure as to whom the final squad will comprise of, but it’s believed that former German goalkeeper Harald “Toni” Schumacher is interested as is ex-Swedish star Tomas Brolin, but only if he’s allowed a head-start on the post-match buffet. The one player they are understood to be keen to bring in is Mwepu Ilunga – he’s the guy who ran out of the Zaire wall and booted the ball away against Brazil in the 1974 World Cup, though whether they can secure their dream team targets for the series finale remains a closely guarded secret.
“Euros Not Fit to Wear the Shirt” is set to air in spring 2021 (but don’t quote us on that)