With a startling run to the World Cup semifinals this summer, England not only captured the hearts of a nation, but most of the world, too.
One of the ways they did this was by being fun. Don’t adjust your headsets, you heard me - England - England - was fun. There were a number of contributing factors to this new phenomenon, including clever set pieces, young players, and exciting matches.
More than anything, though, what set the 2018 Three Lions apart was their personalities. They seemed to enjoy playing together, and it showed. It was a refreshing change of pace from the dour Gerrards and Lampards of years past.
If you enjoyed these aspects of England’s World Cup run, I have good news for you. The boys are back, and they’re still up to no good.
The lovable overachievers are gathered again, this time for the new UEFA Nations League. UEFA wants you to believe this is serious business, and England defender Kyle Walker agrees.
In fact, Walker has gone so far as to commit - on camera - not one, but two separate murders of unassuming teammates. One can only assume that they were not performing up to par, but whatever the reason, I now present them to you here. Turn your sound on for both.
Sorry Harry lad @HarryMaguire93 @England pic.twitter.com/cgSGXgKRLY— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) September 5, 2018
Poor Harry Maguire. Not so long ago, he was a country’s darling, heading in goals from set pieces with his extremely large noggin. Here, though, Harry is clueless. He has no idea what kind of fate is about to befall him.
Walker performs the rare no-look nutmeg, glancing Maguire off as if to assuage any potential fears Harry might have had. When the deed is done, Slabhead looks at the camera as if to realize that his life will never be the same. He’s been megged, and it was recorded for posterity.
New Dele challenge . @dele_official @England pic.twitter.com/s12bBrmkf6— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) September 6, 2018
Regrettably for his teammates, Kyle Walker did not end his rampage with Maguire. A fellow perpetrator of the meg was next on his hit list, and though the trick was improvised, it was no less devastating.
Here, Dele Alli appears to be discussing something with a member of the coaching staff, or perhaps a trainer. Unlike Maguire, Dele’s back is turned, making the meg easier, yes, but also ruder.
Walker doesn’t need a match ball for this occasion, whatever’s lying on the floor will do. Dele’s unaware, so he must pay, and there’s a bonus in Harry Kane being close by to laugh at him. Much like Maguire, Dele quickly realizes he’s been had, and on camera, to boot. The music that Walker adds on to the end of these videos only adds to their tragedy, and we hope that two of England’s finest will be able to recover.
The nutmeg is one of the most humiliating occurrences in sport. Akin to getting dunked on in basketball, it represents a simple dominance by your opponent, the idea that they have such power over you, something so banal as a ball going easily between your legs is doable, and even amusing. We can only hope and pray that Kyle Walker doesn’t target Jordan Pickford next.