With football madness reaching fever pitch when England successfully beat Slovenia yesterday in the last of their group matches, a colleague suggested we put together our best Pest XI football team.
So with suggestions from various colleagues we have come up with the following 4-4-2 formation for a range of pests. The only other football team made up of animals we could collectively recall was the Disney film ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks‘ – lions, rhinos, ostriches and other large animals battling it out on the pitch… Anyway, back to our team list.
The Rentokil Pest XI
So, let’s start by putting a Herring Gull in goal. Have you seen how aggressive they can get when defending their nests in the breeding season? Nothing would get past them – the ultimate goalie for this team.
In defence you’d want some pests that will do anything to protect their nest (sorry ‘net’) from attack. Perhaps some wasps – their ability to sting repeatedly might deter the other side. Bees would get dropped, they’d die in the act of their first tackle – no stamina, tsk tsk! A millipede would be very practical, simply for its imaginative use of space, and loads more legs on the pitch would obviously come in handy. The common house spider would be an amusing sight on pitch, it would wind its web around the opposition and stop them in their tracks. Our final defender? The bed bug, it is very resistant.
Now for some creative midfielders. The confused flour beetle and crazy ant are renowned for their erratic, maze-y type running style which should open up just about any defence. But I’d leave the Drugstore beetle out of the squad to avoid any doping scandals! We also suggest the female German cockroach – yes, the female. These devoted mothers-to-be can carry around egg cases containing their young for up to a month until they are ready to hatch – so the ideal midfielder for holding on to the ball.
Mice would have to play out on the wing, and would run up the wall-floor junction, sorry line, all day. Rats would not get selected for the team because they would stay back in their familiar half and not venture forward unless they knew it was safe (definitely playing with fear, but a ‘fear of the new’, or neophobia to give it it’s correct term).
You would have to definitely drop squirrels though, whilst good at getting the ball and holding on to it, they would then promptly forget where they put it. Equally, house flies would be useless as they would be attracted to any yellow cards given out and forget about the game in hand.
For the strikers, we’re thinking that maybe fleas, with their ability to use their hind legs to jump to great heights (up to 200 times their body length) will be good enough in the air to get onto any ball and stick it in the net. And how about pairing it up with the ghost ant, since nobody would see it coming….
And finally, not forgettting the Manager. A termite queen – with the ability to direct a group of players of different skills to work together effectively as a team. She uses pheromones to control their behaviour and gets them to work for her selflessly and tirelessly. Maybe thats’s what Fabio had pumped into the dresing room before yesterday’s match
Questions, just for fun:
- Who would you sub from this Pest XI or who would you bring off the bench?
- Did you spot the significance of the team numbers, can you explain them all?
(Thanks to Neil for his original idea, all the brilliant pest suggestions – mostly Andy’s, and Matt’s comments too to bring this idea to life.)