Which England player is your uni?

Are you looking for irrational, sweeping generalisations? Are you trying to jump on the World Cup bandwagon? Well, you’ve come to the right place…


With the World Cup just two weeks away, it’s time to find out which England player best represents your university.

Sorted in alphabetical order for your convenience, welcome to The Tab’s completely fair and not at all mean-spirited or cliché-driven guide to England’s World Cup squad and their corresponding universities:

Birmingham – Glen Johnson

Both are big names in their respective academic/pacey fullback domains, but why? Considering one of them represents our second city and the other is in our starting eleven, we all secretly believe they should be better. But we keep quiet, because they are the best we’ve got. Also, of all the names on our list, Birmingham students are obviously the most likely to steal a toilet seat.

Bristol – Luke Shaw

Trendy lid? Check. Surrey background? Check. Private school alumnus? Check. Luke Shaw is the classic ex-public school posh boy turned wannabe edgy Bristolian, desperate to shake his sheltered teenage years and embrace the “real world”.

Hanging out on that edgy street corner will not change who you are, Luke

Hanging out on that edgy street corner will not change who you are, Luke

Cambridge – Joe Hart

Ok, let’s just make this clear, Cambridge and Joe Hart are obviously really, really good, but, fuck me, don’t they know it? And what’s worse, they want everyone else to know it too. If you haven’t seen Joe Hart’s dandruff/Mexican potato snack adverts, you clearly haven’t been watching enough daytime TV, and we all know about Cambridge’s self-satisfied superiority. A message, then, to Joe and Cambridge: being the best in England does not make you the best in the world.

Ok Joe, we get it

OK Joe, we get it

Durham – Frank Lampard

Franky Lamps is the sort of guy who would unashamedly wear bright red chinos and think he doesn’t look like a total knob, just like the lads up in Durham. There’s no doubting he’s a class act, but maybe Lamps/Durham just never quite reach the levels you’d expect. Plus we can guarantee that every single Durham student took a Latin GCSE.

Exeter – Jermain Defoe

Exeter and Jermain are magically brought together by their undeniable status as perpetual back-ups. Much like Exeter is filled with failed Oxbridge applications, Jermaine Defoe is simply waiting by the phone, hoping for Welbeck to pull a hammy. Now plying his trade across the pond, there are certainly worse places to be than Surrey-on-Sea or Defoe’s new home of Toronto.

You can hide all you want, Jermain, it won't change the truth

You can hide all you want, Jermain, it won’t change the truth

Edinburgh – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

You can’t help but feel for Edinburgh and the Ox. Both of them seem to be constantly forgotten: Edinburgh is never thought of as a top 5 university and AOC is never in the running for a starting place. It’s a shame really, because when you think about it, both of them are actually quite good.

Imperial – Steven Gerrard

As Alex Ferguson would doubtlessly claim, Imperial are a top uni, but not a top top uni. Stevie G and Imperial are also brought together by an enduring sense that they will never have the things they want the most: a Premier League title for Stevie, and girls for Imperial.

Keele – Ben Foster

We can only imagine the horrors of Keele University. Rumour has it that, upon arriving, every student cries “no, this won’t do…this won’t do at all!” before scampering home as fast as they can. Unfortunately, if your initial plan was to go to Keele, the odds are that you won’t get in anywhere else, so you’ll have to return, tail between your legs. Fear not, Keele students: you have a friend in Ben “retired from international football, now I’m back” Foster.

He'll be back

He’ll be back

Kingston – Jack Wilshere

Creative, snazzy, but lacking any sort of end product, Kingston and Jack Wilshere have plenty in common. No one really knows where either of them belong as well: is Kingston part of leafy Surrey or cosmopolitan London? And what of Jack Wilshere, is he some sort of elegant Andrea Pirlo-esque playmaker or a grouchy Gennaro Gattuso hatchet man? Both of these will probably go down as two of life’s great unanswerable questions.

Another day, another lecture at Kingston University

Another day, another lecture at Kingston University

Leeds – Daniel Sturridge

More than any other footballer, Sturridge echoes the self-appointed hipster capital of England. With his love for wavey garms and new, edgy music like Banks, D-Studge would fit in seamlessly to house nights like Brotherhood and Flux.

Leeds Met. – Danny Welbeck

Not quite as quick, crafty or potent as Uni of, Welbs is essentially a shit Daniel Sturridge. Both of them would leave an essay until the last minute, but while Sturridge would swag away with 1st class honours, Welbeck would be stuck in Desmond 2:2 land.

Liverpool – Raheem Sterling

Everyone thinks he has loads of kids, but come on guys, that was just a rumour, he’s only got one (at 17 years of age). Geez. Liverpool students and Raheem Sterling are constantly misunderstood. Just like Liverpool students aren’t all going to steal your hubcaps, Sterling probably hasn’t impregnated every woman in the country (yet).

I'm the real rockstar. You don't understand me

I’m the real rockstar. You don’t understand me.

Loughborough – Phil Jones

The jock of the squad, when Phil Jones isn’t laughing at Lallana for being a nerd or wedgying Phil Jagielka, he’s lifting weights and headbutting things. A good lad to have on a night out, but unbearably boring during the day, Phil is the typical fresher without a bright future.

Phil Jones when he's not wedgying Jags

Phil Jones when he’s not busy wedgying Jags

LSE – James Milner

So dull he’s almost exciting, James Milner is still a more than capable footballer and, after four years at Manchester City, is filthy rich. The life of accountancy, economics and finance at LSE would run Milner close in terms of sheer boringness, competency and monetary gain.

Manchester – Leighton Baines

If only it was the 90s and Britpop was still around, Leighton Baines would be right at home in Manchester. Perennially strumming out Wonderwall on his guitar and combing his sideburns, Bainesey would be stuck in the Tower and constantly complain about its Thatcheresque design.

Newcastle – Chris Smalling

United by their terrible fancy-dress decision-making, Newcastle and Chris Smalling clearly love a good party. It’s not hard to imagine Smalling joining the Toon’s most famous exports, the gang of Geordie Shore, in a disaster-strewn night of £1 triples, tears and testosterone-driven brawls.

Chris "Jagerbomb" Smalling with his best pals

Chris “Jagerbomber” Smalling with his best pals

Nottingham – Jordan Henderson

Run-of-the-mill. Middle of the road. Boring. Whatever you wish to call it, Jordan Henderson has all the personality of a Gary Megson press conference. Unfortunately, Nottingham students fit a similar bill and, much like our boy Jordan, were invested in heavily at a young age to get them to where they are today.

Jordan would love the Crisis photo-booth

Oxford – Adam Lallana

You know that guy that went to Oxford from school? The really talented, yet endearingly unassuming one? Adam Lallana is that guy. He left for his first England squad gifted, self-effacing and likeable, but returned a changed man, just like your mate. Now all he talks about is how he has found true “intellectual stimulation” and how tough it is going to a “proper university”. Douche.

Clattenburg’s right, you’ve changed

Queen’s Belfast – Fraser Forster

The odd one out. Sure, they have both done all right away from England, but do they really belong on this esteemed list? In reality, they are both just there to make up the numbers.

Hello? Is there anyone there?

Hello? Is there anyone there?

School of Oriental and African Studies – Ross Barkley

The ultimate hipster’s choice in the totally unspecific fields of Scouse no.10s and Oriental and African-centric universities, Ross Barkley and SOAS are kindred spirits. Undoubtedly a wildcard, both Ross and SOAS deserve unreserved respect for their flair and unabashed desire to be niche.

Ross would almost certainly DJ (terribly) at a house night

Sheffield – Phil Jagielka

In four years time, pub quizzers up and down the country will despair as they struggle to remember the answer to the question “who partnered Gary Cahill at centre-back in England’s last World Cup game?” Just as poor Jags is eminently forgettable, so too are Sheffield forever on the outskirts of the elite universities.

Hey guys, what's going on? Guys? Guys what you talking about

Hey guys, what’s going on? Guys? Guys what you talking about?

Sussex – Jon Flanagan

Despite being neither a red brick nor a Russell Group university, Sussex still bizarrely rides on the coattails of the so-called ‘elite’. Similarly hard working and talentless, Jon Flanagan has somehow got a free holiday to Miami with the rest of the England squad even though he will never make more than four international caps.

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UEA – Rickie Lambert

We may be generalising here, but we are pretty sure that every single person east of London is a farmer. With his agricultural playing style, beetroot factory background and rugged stubble, Rickie Lambert would be right at home in the East where they still eat by candle light and haven’t discovered 3G (probably).

Warwick – Gary Cahill

Quietly overrated, no one really thinks of Gary Cahill or Warwick as elite, yet they would still make a lot of people’s top ten lists for no apparent reason. Plus, if you wanted anyone in a fight against a racist swan, it’d surely be Gary Cahill.

York – Wayne Rooney

If any university was going to shag a grandma, it’d be York.

If you look closely…

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