We wrote this for a grown-up website, but they didn’t want it, so we’re fobbing it off on you lot instead…
Dress them in orange and change their names
From the Pavilion End, James Van Andersen; and from the Nursery End, Stuart den Broad.
Feed them spinach
Tell them it’ll make them like Popeye – Popeye was a winner. Perhaps downplay the vomiting, dizziness and breathing difficulties that Abdul Razzaq experienced in 2005 – thought to be brought about partly through his overzealous spinach consumption.
Tell them that cricket was the real winner
Then ask them if they were playing against cricket on Friday. No? Then they can’t possibly have lost, can they?
Divide the squad into two and then get the two halves to play against each other
Surely one side HAS to win. Yes, one side also has to lose too, but tell those players that England won and that they’re integral members of the England squad, therefore they all contributed to the England victory – which, to be fair, they probably did.
Tell them the World Twenty20 isn’t being decided by victories
No, the real measurement of success is ‘momentum’ and whether they’ve won eight games on the trot or been embarrassed by Dutch part-timers, England always feel like they’ve got huge momentum.
Somehow persuade them that the match against the Netherlands finished after the first 11 overs when they were 100-0
You might have to design and manufacture one of the memory wiping neuralysers from Men In Black, but we’re trying to convince England that they’re not losers here – that’s the really big ask. Huge, probably-impossible scientific developments are a cakewalk in comparison.
Arrange a morale-boosting fixture against a load of part-timers
Admittedly, that didn’t work all that well on Friday, but perhaps if the fixture were scheduled on a weekday between nine and five, when all the opposition’s best players are at work, things might turn out differently.
Never, ever play major world tournaments ever again
If there’s one thing guaranteed to make England look like losers, it’s this kind of a competition.
Ensure all TV and media coverage focuses on major England victories, even if they were four years ago and England have been thrashed by the same oppostition since. This really shouldn’t be too tricky to put into practice.