Ever wonder what kind of dog English soccer players would be if they were dogs? (How much wood would a woodchuck chuck?….)

At twelve noon the natives swoon and no further work is done, But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

– Noel Coward.

Special for you, just before the high noon kick-off against Trinidad and Tobago is the first installment. (With special thanks to wikipedia where I found most of the dog information & photos, and FIFA for the headshots of those mad dog Englishmen.)

Michael Owen – Striker.
Jack Russell Terrier.

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“Come on Michael, Go to the Net!”

– intelligent, high-energy breed. Always ready for a sprint to the net.
– Built for speed and strength, they will always be ready to play. I hope he’s ready to come back to Liverpool next year…
– They lack the nervousness that makes so many small dogs “yappy”
– rarely bark without good reason. Michael Owen never dives – and doesn’t complain to refs the way other strikers do.
– their fearlessness can scare off a larger animal – like Centre Backs – but their apparent unawareness of their small size can lead to a lopsided fight if not kept in check.
David Beckham – midfield
Beagle
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– very good temper and gentle disposition.
– intelligent, but are stubborn and may be hard to train (perhaps because they train themselves on the pitch kicking ball after ball after ball.)
– They are an especially loyal breed (Ing-ger-lund!) and are very friendly (look how much he smiles).
– They rarely show signs of aggression and are excellent with children – especially kids named Brooklyn.
– They howl (in a higher pitched voice) instead of barking.
– get along with other dogs, provided that they (the other players) have been socialized correctly. You know, say nice things about Sven Goren.
– playful and energetic dogs who enjoy long walks and shopping excursions with their free spending wives.
– Being scent hounds, if released, they may follow a scent (ball) endlessly or will incessantly try to tag along with other dogs (in the midfield) regardless of cars, referees, mud, or the sudden appearance of Roy Keane’s cleats.
– Beagles are pack animals, and can be prone to separation anxiety from Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, or Victoria Posh Beckham.
– That said, they are best in pairs (ie. with Posh) if they are going to be alone on a beach somewhere away from the eye of the paparazzi for long periods of time.

Peter Crouch – Lanky striker
Whippet.

whippet_coleman.jpg“someone kick me a ball… i’ll miss it”
– called a “poorman’s greyhound”
– not generally aggressive
– generally quiet and gentle dogs, content to spend much of the day sleeping.
– not suited to be guard dogs due to their trusting and unsuspicious nature
– however tend to attack cats (soccer balls?) that stray onto their territory – key word is stray, as if it makes no effor to get the ball itself. ?

Owen Hargreaves – Canadian born midfield
Rat terrier

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young owen in the Calgary foothills
– Rat Terrier is an American dog breed. Or is it Canadian? Or is it Welsh? Oh wait – wikipedia says the Rat Terrier type originated in England.
– normally cheerful dogs, but there are occasional dogs who are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment. For example, people asking the why he didn’t play for Team Canada, or to unexpected noises like the Canadian national anthem, or people such as English fans saying he shouldn’t be on England.
– they can be bonded to and protective of their owners – especially when they’re owned by Bayern Munich. Perhaps England should watch out for any “Owen” goals he might “accidently” give up should they meet Germany later in the world cup.

Wayne Rooney – striker
pit bull (obviously)

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“who wants a piece?”
– when it bites, it doesn’t let go.
– confidence and loyal temperament.
– In addition, they have an extremely high pain threshold. Even if they have a broken foot, they’ll still want to but put in the match.
– As athletic and energetic dogs, “pit bulls” need to be exercised frequently. Thus a reason why the Coach may put him in today against Trinidad and Tobago.
– need I say any more?

Sven Goren Erikkson – Head Coach
Swedish vallhund

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“And there he is…the coach leading England out of the tunnel for what promises to be a very big day in Germany…”
– The Swedish vallhund was bred to herd cattle (or soccer teams), catch vermin (don’t know how this relates – wait, unless it’s a dig at those useless Neville brothers), and guard the house. The house being that little shed where they keep the reserves.
– The Swedish Vallhund (SV) finds new uses for toys. Like the time Sven Goren Erikkson (SGE) said “Lookit everyvun, the new adidas ball! Let’s kick it into the net!”
– they are quite good at problem solving – as in “Should I choose David Beckham as Captain? Why not”.
– The SV enjoys being stimulated by learning new tasks – like “What kind of smile should I use when my team hoists the Jules Rimet trophy and takes the whole thing when this whole World Cup finishes?”

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