PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA – A tearful Fabio Capello, manager of England’s World Cup football squad, announced he had taken it upon himself to “put down” the entire national team in a shed behind their training ground yesterday.
“We all witnessed what occurred against Algeria on the pitch and it was terrible for all to watch,” said Capello to a stunned press corps. “The lads too were in misery. You could see in their eyes that the will to play on had disappeared. When that happens, there is only one thing a manager can do really – take the team into a shed out back behind the grounds and end their pain.”
According to assistant coaches, Capello called a team meeting at midfield yesterday and began discussing how the team would approach its next match with Slovenia. His staff then quickly circled the players and herded them down the tunnel to the shed.
Wayne Rooney, sensing what was happening, reportedly broke free. Chasing the speedy striker around the ground, team trainers took several hours to corral him. According to Capello, he consoled the lad by patting his head and staring at him lovingly before putting him down with a single rifle shot that “echoed for what seemed like forever.”
Describing the reactions of the different players, Capello commented: “You could see it in Steven Gerrard’s eyes. He knew his best years were behind him and it was time to go. Wayne. He didn’t want to die. He said he had a lot more good football in him. The others all took it surprisingly well. They dreaded being trotted out there for one more go. I think the prospect frankly terrified them more than death.”
England fans around the world expressed a mixture of sadness, resignation and acceptance for Capello’s move. Summing up the general feeling among the Three Lions faithful, Peter Davies of Suffolk said, “God, I’ll miss those selfish, overpaid, bloody pricks.”