It has come to my attention that many unfair vitriol has been levelled at English footballers past and present, if not so much for their skills on the field but as a result of their pervceived lack of intelligence and intellectual prowess.
These slurs are singularly unfair.
As ever, the prime victim or the sneers is Wayne Rooney. This is ridiculous. I mean, it is not so much Rooney as his detractors who lack brain power. It is obvious that none of them have heard of his greatest discovery - it was none other than Wayne Rooney PhD who both posited and proved the existence of Rooney's muon, an elementary particle believed to be instrumental in the electromagnetic process. Rooney's doctorate in particle physics, o ye who sneer, is not some honorary bestowal.
In addition to these spurious claims of Rooney's stupidity, this band of liars also aver that the England talisman lacks humility. Nonsense! Indeed, so free from arrogance is he, he wished to name the particle "Ferguson's muon," in deference to his manager at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson. It was Sir Alex who first turned Wayne on to the wonder of elementary physics. However, Wayne had to settle with having the muon take his own name as Sir Alex had already proven the existence of the Ferguson quark, back in 1974 whilst taking an Open University degree in between jobs.
It is not only in the field of science, however, that English football possesses luminaries: Kevin Keegan's "Self Portrait in the Style of Pablo Picasso" is expected to sell for a six figure sum at a Sotheby's auction in August. A fan of the former Manchester City and England gaffer's work is current Three Lions supremo Fabio Capello, who knows a lot about art, being Italian and thus sophisticated and all. Another of Keegan's canvasses, "Jack Charlton: A 20th Century Portrait," which depicts the former Leeds United and England defensive maestro making yet another towering headed clearance against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, recently earned Keegan a cool £3.5 million when it was bought by an anonymous collector believed to be based in Thailand.
One of Charlton's fellow ex-defenders, Gareth Southgate, Knight of the Bath, is a published historian, most recently publishing an insightful biography of Demchugdongrub, leader of the Japanese puppet state of Mengjiang during the era of the Second World War. Another of Sir Gareth's essays, which appeared in a compendium of Chinese history edited by Kin Jong Il, explored the similarities and differences in policy approaches of the Jin and Qing imperial dynasties. His contributions in the field of Tungusic linguistics are also rightly applauded by experts in the field.
A word also for Ashley Cole, who is no slouch when compared to his estranged wife, the noted wit Cheryl. He recently gave a keynote speech at a white dickie bow dinner at the Bank of England on the current financial situation. His analysis and proposed remedies were both revolutionary and far reaching, and it is believed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt. Hon. George Osborne, has consulted the left back in preparing his emergency budget. I only saw the speech via a rather crackly weblink, though Cole's ideas really captured my imagination and I will seek to apply them in my daily life.