Wednesday, 30 June 2010

England Expects - Perhaps Too Much?

Am I alone in thinking that the wailing and gnashing of teeth about England's exit from the World Cup is something of an overreaction? To read the press (all of it) and to hear the bitter comments of returning England fans on the TV, you would think it was a national disaster on the scale of the fall of Singapore, 1942. While I can understand that fans who have spent a lot of money to travel to South Africa are fed up about their early return, the reaction of so many to losing one football match is quite baffling. It seems to be taken as a national humiliation and a sign of loss of virility - and it's not. Aftter all, England beat Australia at cricket and Andy Murray went through to his next round at Wimbledon. Why don't we celebrate events of that kind?
 In my opinion, international football has become an unhealthy national obsession which leads to unrealistic expectations of England International players.  I think that those expectations are part of the problem, as the players are so clearly aware of what is (unfairly) expected of them. Let's save our soul-searching and scapegoating for something (and someone) else. These men in the picture below are not dealing drugs, helping the Taliban or cutting public spending. In a few weeks time, they will be heroes to their home club supporters all over again. Let's save our opprobrium for the real villains who blight our lives.


  1. As someone who has little interest in sport, I get fed up of all the media hype that surrounds the World Cup: there's no escape from it, and it winds the supporters up to unrealistic expectations. I also get disgusted by the racism, especially in relation to the Germans, which helps perpetuate World War II stereotypes that should have been consigned to history long ago. Only the tabloids use the term 'the Hun' nowadays, but each usage links for a new generation a simple game of football to the most blood-soaked war in history.

    If I were a footballer, I would view those 'fans' who viciously slag off their own team for losing with the thought: "With friends like these...". Disappointment is understandable, but the reactions of some fans (undoubtedly a minority, but a noisy one) can be quite disgusting; England doesn't have a divine right to win, and it's not a national betrayal when we lose.

    As you say, Geoff, the players are not the villains in our lives. However, I think it's fair to question whether they are worth their inflated salaries.

  2. Most footballers are Prima Donnas, however I am a huge football fan.

    Our England Team were in a very troubled state which stopped them performing as a team. You will read all about it in two weeks time when the injuction is lifted. John Terry demoted from Captain due to his affair, replaced by Gerrard as captain who has just had an affair, so how do you think John Terry feels about that ?

    It all kicked off behind the scenes. We will hear all about it in two weeks time, the Judge thought it was inappropriate for the information to be leaked during the world cup.

  3. I am glad that we got knocked out by Germany, if we had played Brazil or Spain we would have been totally humiliated ! these teams are playing so well ! Great to watch !

  4. This Commons motion has been tabled: "That this House expresses its great disappointment at England's pathetic exit from the World Cup finals; believes that they let this country and their supporters down; further believes that an urgent inquiry should be held into the state of the national game; and firmly believes that many Premier League players are grossly overpaid and under-perform."

    I'm glad the country's problems are now all sorted so that they can waste time and [our] money on such populist fripperies.

  5. I thought that only Alice had passed through the looking-glass!