Archive for June, 2010

Football(er)’s coming home

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Eurovision it is then.  The score of 4-1 on Sunday is the only scoreline that has not flattered the England football team.  Germany identified the lack of quality in the English game very early in the tournament and I do not understand how everyone else did not.  Chris Waddle has voiced all England’s thoughts on the World cup performance.  There is something seriously wrong.  The English team do not appear to have the ability to pass the ball consistantly like many of the foreign teams, including Ghana, Japan, even America, all of whom have the ability to play themselves out of defence rather than the long clearance adopted by England, which also seems to be their favoured form of ‘attack’.

England’s exit from the competition after a dismal campaign should introduce a touch of realism into the quality, cost and expectations of our local, overpaid and over-rated players.  Managers (both home-grown and foreign) have come and gone since 1966, without success; it can’t all be down to them (although it has to be said, they do pick the teams – and do they pick ’em?).  If Heskey is a strong contender for the team, I don’t care how fit the squad is, it is not good enough.

Where the fault is (Waddle has a theory) I know sweat FA.  Is it the FA?  Is it the manager?  Is it the number of foreign players in our premier league sides?  Or is it more fundamental?  The flawed concept of protecting children from failing or being on the losing side?  As our standard of living falls, perhaps it will create a will to win – something, even if it is only Eurovision.  ‘Football’s coming home’ should win a few sympathy votes – and show we haven’t lost our sense of humour.

Familiarity breeds confusion

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Our footballers are apparently not familiar with the sort of ball being used at the World Cup.  It certainly seems to elude them much of the time.  I wonder if they are confused with the make up of the teams.

Most of the England squad are accustomed to playing with more foreign players in their club teams and I think they are getting confused  about which other players are on their side.   It would explain a few things, wouldn’t it?

Optimism gone mad?

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

What is it about the English that creates this out of character flamboyance and optimism before major sporting tournaments, like the world cup, Wimbledon even?  Most of the time our media is full of gloom and doom (it will return for the Budget) predicting the end of the world as we know it.  We only seem to be ‘happy’ contemplating one disaster after another.  When the weather is good the prediction is either that it’ll be so sunny we’ll all die of skin cancer, or it won’t rain again ’til next June, or, of course,’ it won’t last’.  There is rarely any positive outcome predicted from a particular event.

Why is it then that, like Nelson, (the whole of) England expects the football team to do well and bring home the cup?  On the basis of most of their games I wouldn’t expect them to do particularly well in the FA cup.  Perhaps it’s similar to the unfathomable optimism of anyone who does The Lottery – the chances of winning are so small it is difficult to understand why so much is ‘invested’ in it.  Perhaps it’s to do with our support for the underdog?  It must be to do with our sense of humour – well I think it’s funny.

A good run in the cup is supposed to be good for the economy – Bookies and pubs do well and perhaps women go shopping while the husband is distracted?  What happens in the aftermath of disappointment?  Like bankers, the overpaid stars return to their lucrative pastimes and everyone can concentrate on the mess we are likely to make of the Olympics and on the possible miracle that Fabio will perform in four years time.  Perhaps they’ll do well in the earlier European competition (Eurovision needs a bit of a boost).

And, while England are still in the world cup, I think it’s perfectly acceptable for people to take time off work to watch the matches – provided they’ve booked it as holiday.