Back of the Net's Paul Watson reports on another blow for Roy Hodgson and the Football Association...
The Football Association have revealed that their latest attempts to turn Wembley Stadium into a fortress fell foul of a number of building codes.
England went down 2-0 to Chile and then lost 1-0 to Germany – the first time the Three Lions had suffered back-to-back defeats at Wembley since 1977.
In the press post-mortem that followed the Germany game, some experts asked why Wembley Stadium had been allowed to turn into a mere football stadium having been a large, permanent military stronghold for much of its history.
The FA have hit back, explaining that they had passed detailed plans on to Brent Council that would have rendered Wembley Stadium impenetrable by invaders or opposition teams, but building permission was denied.
“We’re only too aware that our national team is playing its games in a football stadium at present,” an FA spokesman told FourFourTwo.
“It’s a situation we are doing everything in our power to change. We all know that in a modern stadium where the opposition can simply walk in and play unhindered we have very little chance, but Brent Council, in their wisdom, weren’t even willing to grant us permission to dig out a modest moat.”
The FA were also denied licence to crenellate or build machicolations, a decision which seriously dented England’s chances against Germany.
“Mertesacker looked commanding, but would he have looked so authoritative with wave after wave of flaming arrows raining down on him?” our FA source continued.
“It seems there’s suddenly a stigma attached to sneakily slaughtering your foes, but we never had these problems in the past. In the 1990s we used to put Stuart Pearce out there for God’s sake.”
The old Wembley stadium was famous for its twin towers, which provided the home side with a huge geographical advantage.
Few England fans will forget the joy of seeing a promising opposition attack snuffed out by a well-timed deluge of burning oil or the enduring image of an advancing Helmut Haller being felled by a bucket of excrement during the 1966 World Cup final.