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THE TRUTH HURTS

11 England stats that sound like bulls**t but are actually true

Includes a Martin Kelly cameo, John Stones being more prolific than Wayne Rooney and an ever-present Gareth Barry

England’s banter era will never die.

What better way to celebrate the first international break of the season by taking a trip down memory lane.

We’ve dug up a host of bizarre, unexpected and, quite frankly, stats that sound like absolute bulls**t but are somehow true.

Icons. Legends

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Icons. Legends

We guarantee that all of the below are accurate right down to the last detail.

Go fetch your Nigel Martyn shirt, sit back, relax and enjoy these absolute corkers…

1 The UEFA Nations League defeat to Spain was the first competitive loss at Wembley since 2007

We were robbed

EPA
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We were robbed

The nation is inconsolable after the Three Lions lost their inaugural Nations League outing. Just kidding, we all know it was just a friendly.

According to the record books however, it will go down as a competitive defeat for the Three Lions. Jobsworths.

The loss ended a remarkable run of 24 competitive games without defeat at Wembley (W21 D3), stretching all the way back to 2007.

Until Saturday’s defeat, the last competitive failure at the national stadium was the infamous defeat to Croatia in November 2007.

The wally with the brolly.

Iconic

Getty Images - Getty
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Iconic

2 Martin Kelly has the shortest England career to date

Bloody hell, crack a smile mate

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Bloody hell, crack a smile mate

Just two sad, lonely minutes in a friendly against Norway in 2012 is all Kelly has to show for his England career.

We did win that friendly 1-0, to be fair.

The ‘defender’ was called up to the squad for Euro 2012 to place of the injured Gary Cahill.

Sadly, Kelly didn’t make it onto the pitch, so those two minutes out in Norway remains his only ever outing for the Three Lions.

I can make jokes all I like, but he’ll still die with two more minutes for England than I will ever get.

3 John Stones scored more World Cup goals than Wayne Rooney in just one game

Prolific

Getty - Contributor
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Prolific

Look away now, Rooney.

Having scored twice in the 6-1 victory over Panama at the World Cup this summer, Stones surpassed Rooney’s World Cup tally, in just one game.

Despite being England’s record goalscorer, boasting 53 strikes for his country, the Rooney famously failed to ever perform at major tournaments.

World Cups in particular were when the Man United legend consistently forgot his shooting boots.

The DC United striker scored just the one World Cup goal for the Three Lions, a consolation strike in the 3-1 defeat to Uruguay in 2014.

Stones > Rooney confirmed. 

4 Rob Green was the first England goalkeeper to be shown a red card

Squad goals

Reuters
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Squad goals

Before he became public enemy number one after *that incident*, Green was staking his claim to start for England at the 2010 World Cup.

The goalkeeper had been a regular for Fabio Capello in the qualifying campaign for South Africa. What a time to be alive.

In the buildup to the tournament, Green was seemingly doing all he could to sabotage his chances, picking up a straight red card in a qualifier against Ukraine.

His dismissal in the first-half for bringing down an opponent in the box, confirmed his place as the first Three Lions goalkeeper to be given his marching orders.

Capello later forgave the shot-stopper, giving him the starting birth in England’s World Cup opener against USA. Great decision there, Fabio.

5 Theo Walcott has more goals than Robbie Fowler and Emile Heskey

Needs that shirt in a size down

AFP
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Needs that shirt in a size down

A perennial nearly-man, Walcott has flattered to deceive for most of his career.

We all hoped the former Arsenal man would be the saviour of English football, especially when he received a call-up aged just 16-years-old.

Sadly however, Walcott never turned up many trees in an England shirt… Or, did he?

It turns out that the pacey-winger boasts a respectable scoring record compared to some previous England big names.

Walcott has eight England goals to his name, one more than both Robbie Fowler and Emile Heskey.

He technically could still add to his tally. We can’t see Southgate picking him anytime soon however.

Maybe Walcott should have been a striker after all?

6 David Beckham picked up ten more yellow cards than Stuart ‘psycho’ Pearce

He’s a big softy at heart

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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He’s a big softy at heart

Beckham is the third-most capped player for the Three Lions, an accolade fitting of such a player.

It turns out however that the nation’s sweetheart actually has a dark side.

Goldenballs holds an unfortunate record for his country, as he is the player to be shown the most yellow cards.

Beckham’s tally of 15 bookings topples some of England’s most notorious hardmen over the years, the most surprising being Pearce.

The man nicknamed ‘psycho’ is actually a big pussycat in comparison to Becks, who would have thought it?

7 Danny Welbeck has more goals than Teddy Sheringham

Wele

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Wele

Continuing the theme of goal-records that make you question everything you once believed, here’s a juicy Welbeck stat for you.

Dat Guy continues to be ridiculed despite his respectable tally of 16 Three Lions goals, second only to Harry Kane in the current squad.

Welbeck’s record stands out further in comparison to some previous England greats, including Sheringham.

The former Man United and Spurs man scored just 11 times for his country, a tally that Welbeck turns his nose up at and ridicules daily.

We all know that Welbeck should have had one more against Spain too.

8 A host of distinctly average players have more caps than Michael Carrick

Nope, I don’t remember this happening

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Nope, I don’t remember this happening

Carrick ended his international career with just 34 caps to his name, the first of which came back in 2001.

The metronome midfielder’s appearance tally is nothing to be ridiculed.

It does become a bit of a joke however when you realise that numerous criminally-average players ended up with more caps.

Stewart Downing (somehow) racked up 35 appearances for England, with Shaun-Wright-Phillips bettering that with 36 caps to boast of.

Gareth Barry blagged his way to a whopping 53 Three Lions outings, with Phil Neville racking up 59 for his country.

As a nation, how did we allow this to happen?

The golden era

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The golden era

9 Paul Scholes scored more goals than Paul Gascoigne

Not known for his goalscoring

Getty Images - Getty
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Not known for his goalscoring

The battle of England’s famous Pauls has a winner.

Scholes racked up 14 goals during his Three Lions career, a decent return for a midfielder who wasn’t exactly known for being prolific.

The tally of the ginger maestro is made even more impressive when you realise that he netted more than Gascoigne.

Gascoigne, a player whose characteristics are what the current squad are crying out for according to Southgate, scored just ten times for England.

Southgate wants English football to find the next Gascoigne, when maybe we should actually be searching for the next Scholes?

10 Gareth Barry has made the most appearances under different managers

This man captained the country

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This man captained the country

Barry hoodwinked a plethora of England managers. Fair play.

The part-time taxi driver has made the most appearances for England under different managers, proving he is the ultimate teacher’s pet.

Barry’s 53 caps between May 2000 and May 2012, came under eight different bosses, including three caretakers managers; Howard Wilkinson, Peter Taylor and Stuart Pearce.

The metronome midfielder then featured for Kevin Keegan, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren, Capello and Roy Hodgson.

You have to applaud him. Maybe everyone else saw something that we didn’t?

11 Stuart Pearce was once the senior team, U21 and Team GB manager all at the same time

The holy trinity

Times Newspapers Ltd
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The holy trinity

We guarantee that you don’t remember this glitch in the Matrix.

Pearce saw his reputation grow after enjoying relative success since becoming England U21 manager in 2007.

His antics with the young Lions meant he was rewarded by taking caretaker charge of the senior team for one game in 2012.

Pearce’s sole match in charge was a 3-2 loss in a friendly against Holland. Poor ratio then, nothing compared to Sam Allardyce’s.

As well as juggling the senior and U21 sides at the same time, Pearce also took the reigns for Team GB at the 2012 Olympics at the same time.

Talk about working overtime.

> Pep

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> Pep

Bring on 2022.


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