England. For some time now, players from all over the world have grown up dreaming of leaving their home nations for the bright lights and big paydays of the Premier League. Other than the exorbitant salaries, has anyone ever figured out why? What, exactly does England offer other than gossipy media, “Route 1” tactics, and precipitation?
English soccer is a veritable land mine where foreign players are forced to navigate their way through old-timey hooliganism, second half anti-football against Chelsea, and unplanned run-ins with Joey Barton. It’s a wonder that anyone makes it out alive.
Case in point: West Ham’s Enner Valencia, who is now sidelined with most ludicrously English injury possible. The Ecuadorian attacker is set to miss this weekend after being taken to the emergency room due to serious lacerations resulting from stepping on shards of a broken tea cup in his home. No doubt, the cup was tossed out of a nearby window by some spoiled aristocrat after tea time, upset by something they read in the Financial Times about “the poors.”
“Enner has had an accident at home and has cut his big toe quite severely on a broken cup. It has been stitched. We’re not exactly certain but we think it will be too soon for him be considered for the game at Arsenal on Saturday. It was a freak accident at a time when we could have done without it due to our lack of available strikers.”
Don’t believe West Ham boss Sam Allardyce for a second when he calls Valencia’s injury “a freak accident.” I’ve never been to England, but I assume the streets are lousy with broken tea cups and other stereotypically British health hazards. Somewhere in the Mid-Sussex League, a promising 11-year-old prospect probably tripped over a loose scone that made its way onto the training pitch, the dryness and brick-like nature of which breaking his ankle and derailing his career. Because it’s England, home of one of the richest and most lauded federations and league systems in the world, these stories go unreported.
Enner Valecia’s injury could ignite social justice activists, and inspire them to finally expose England for what it is: a dull, long-balling death trap.