LONDON, England -- England's finest football "exponents" were said to be apopleptic in sheer terror at the sight of a spinning ball, in what could be a telling insight into the reasons behind England's poor performance during the 2010 World Cup. Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, in particular, were stricken with a foreboding fear of the official footballs. A team insider, who wishes to remain anomalous, said that the lads "literally shat their pants" during most training sessions when the ball sacks were opened.
"The sight of all these balls falling out of their sacks had the lads quaking at the knees," the source added.
The way in which the footballs inexplicably kept bouncing off Rooney's knee during most of the matches may partly explain why he played like "a whining spoilt little girl." Gerrard had a slighly better time of it but is sufferering from pre-menstrual tension as a result of weeks of pent-up terror over the "terrifying balls."
As for Emile Heskey, the balls held no such fear for him. His excuse was that he is a genuinely embarrassingly crap player.