USWNT Officials Caught In England’s World Cup Hotel, Adding Fuel To The English Fire

We’ve awoken the English sensibilities.

Is this it — the moment we all live to regret? Yesterday, a U.S. team administrator and her boss were apprehended whilst dozily meandering around the private rooms of England’s Fourvière hotel, which the rogue Americans could potentially use as a base of operations should they secure passage to the final at the expense of the Lionesses.

But what did they really see? Where they really there to simply pocket some free hotel soaps and toiletries before saying their au revoirs? Or where they there to snap photos of England’s tactics board, presumably one large ‘X’ on the right-hand side denoting Lucy Bronze with an arrow projecting directly to goal?

Does it matter? As Marcelo Bielsa painstakingly illustrated after Leeds United’s “spygate” incident with Frank Lampard’s Derby County back in January, much of the meticulous preparation and gathering of information before matches is instantly rendered useless at kick off — if anything, it’s simply a combative measure against feeling guilty about not working enough. By momentarily making sense of the incomprehensible amount of data out there, you briefly feel less anxiety.

What it has done, however, is heightened that monster of English power to a godlike fervor: that sensibility, that stiff upper lip, that reserved pride that swells into a never-ending refrain of “It’s coming home.”

We’ve allowed England the moral high ground, which is something you never, ever want to cede to the English.

“It’s not something I would want my team’s operations doing,” said Phil Neville, Harry Potter’s fifth year mate at Hogwarts. “England would not do it. I am happy with our hotel and we were training. I hope they enjoyed our hotel. It is not something we would do, send somebody round, but it is their problem.

“It’ll have no bearing on the game. To be honest I found it funny. I thought: ‘What are they doing?’ It is not etiquette. It’s not something I would allow from our organization.”

Oh no. Their problem. Funny. Etiquette. 

You can imagine Ellen White mumbling each word in sync with a violent shot taken during today’s training session at the Fourvière hotel.

And just outside that training ground, burrowed deep in some shrubbery affording a nice vantage point of that converted 19th-century hilltop convent, is the American team administrator, lathered in an accoutrement of free hotel moisturizers and conditioners, frantically sending a message back to Jill Ellis about the need to smash set pieces to the near post and let all hell break loose. 

It’s on. Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox. 

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