The biggest reason to bring football crowds back? To drown out the players! Fans flock to social media to poke fun at Gareth Southgate and and England stars’ ropey rendition of the national anthem ahead of Wales clash at empty Wembley
- England beat Wales in a friendly at an empty Wembley on Thursday night
- No one was present due to Government regulations amid COVID-19 pandemic
- It meant everyone at home could hear England’s stars sing the national anthem
- Fans flocked to social media to poke fun at their monotonal vocals
Everyone in football wants fans back in stadiums as soon as possible, and England’s friendly against Wales on Thursday night provided an entirely new reason.
This time it wasn’t because no one was there to cheer any goals or sing any songs, indeed it was plain that supporters were needed even before kick-off.
At an empty Wembley everyone at home was treated to the full vocal range – or lack of it – of Gareth Southgate and his England stars as they lined up for the national anthems.
England’s players were lampooned on social media for their vocals in the national anthem
With no one in the crowd, everyone at home hear Gareth Southgate and his players
As the camera panned from the England boss in the dugout to his players on the pitch, their monotonal singing was, unfortunately, plain for everyone to hear.
And social media was quick to poke fun at Southgate, his team and their ropey singing.
One fan took to social media to say: ‘Even if they can’t sing they should at least know the words’, while another was particularly enraged: ‘Absolute disgrace from both teams singing the anthems! They should be ashamed’.
Some pined for the old days when England players would sing God Save the Queen with gusto, even though their efforts were drowned out by the crowd.
Users on social media were quick to poke fun at the likes of Jack Grealish and Conor Coady
Though England hit a bum note in the buildup, they want on to beat Wales easily on the pitch
One tweeted tweeted, ‘They’re representing their country they should be bellowing it or at least know the words confidently’, while another said: ”That attempt of the national anthem was pathetic! Bring back the old days when playing for your country meant something.’
There were also calls for fake crowd noise to be pumped in specifically so they didn’t have to hear the players.
Though they hit a bum note in the buildup, it proved a routine evening for England on the pitch.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck a goal on his debut, while Conor Coady and Danny Ings also got themselves on the scoresheet in the second half.
On ITV, Ian Wright and Roy Keane had earlier vented their frustration at the Government for not allowing football supporters back into grounds already.
It was England’s first home game since the coronavirus pandemic in front of an empty Wembley Stadium, and Wright could not believe how members of the public can visit the Royal Albert Hall or even watch a football match in an enclosed cinema but not attend a match in an open-air stadium.
It has been announced recently that 4,700 spectators can attend London’s O2 Arena for a concert in December and a crowd of 57 per cent capacity will be allowed at the Royal Albert Hall for events around Christmas.
The former Arsenal and England striker told ITV on Thursday: ‘Yeah I’m very frustrated when you see the size of Wembley and how they can social distance in it.
England beat Wales 3-0 in front of an empty 90,000-seater Wembley Stadium on Thursday
In line with government regulations amid the pandemic, Wembley was empty on Thursday
‘People will be worried about the concourses but when you look the measures they are doing (to get us in the ground) – and you’ll have to up that – I can’t understand how people can’t be here.
‘When you look at the Albert Hall and cinemas and seeing how they close the curtains (in cinemas when people watch games in there) – why can’t we get fans back in now? Look at the lower league teams, they are suffering.’
Fellow ITV pundit Keane predicted that smaller professional clubs will suffer due to the continuation of behind closed doors matches and even thought that 10,000 fans could have attended the England match on Thursday evening.
The Irishman added: ‘Clubs will go bust, if you look at the situation tonight – you can’t tell me there can’t be 10,000 people in there tonight.
‘It’s frustrating and bizarre at the moment.’
Fans are currently allowed to watch matches in a cinema (left) but not in a stadium (right)