Are England the Real Deal?

Posted on September 15, 2023

Some time ago, probably around 2010, I gave up watching England playing football. It was like watching Groundhog Day. Same old shit about passion, desire, love of the badge and so on. It never worked and nearly always ended in bitter tears, sending off’s and a gammon onslaught about not caring enough.

White Noise and Caring Too Much!

Much of England’s problems always appeared to revolve around caring too much. Wound up by tabloid headlines, players would go thundering into challenges, up for a fight against the dastardly Argies, Krauts, Spiks and Frogs. Players would pose for The Sun dressed as St George and references would be made to wars against Germany. Germany were still Nazis, the French and the Italians cowards. The Argies had invaded a shitty bit of land somewhere in the South Atlantic (Gotcha!).

That attitude always backfired in the end. Any near misses in tournaments came virtue of luck that ran out against anyone world class. The World Cup in 1990 was a good example. It was a special one for me and many of my peers due to our age at the time. However, take off the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia and England were appalling for much of it. Last 16 and Quarter-Final victories versus Belgium and Cameroon were pure drama laced with bucketloads of fortune. Class teams knew they could make England fold in the end. England caved in, in the penalty shoot-out, losing to the cheating Nazis.

Football is a Profession

Gareth Southgate may or may not have some technical flaws as a manager but what he has done is remove emotion from the equation. He ignores the right-wing nut jobs on social media and demands his players show the same attitude. This could not have been highlighted any better than in the game against Scotland, a willing, improving team, slowly getting ideas above their station.

As Scotland got involved in all the ‘Auld Enemy’ passionate stuff, England went about their business wondering what all the fuss was about. To the England players, this wasn’t a grudge match, it was just a game of football against a reasonable, pumped up team, that needed dismantling. Scotland looked like England of old, England looked like Germany of old. When some unknown Scottish player tried to pick a fight with Jude Bellingham, it was embarrassingly funny.

Job Done – Move On

After the dismantling was complete, there was no gloating. The job was managed without fuss and to claim bragging rights over a team ranked at number 30 in the world would be disingenuous. Without being taunted, Scotland didn’t really know how to respond. They couldn’t be nasty or bitter because they had been outclassed by a team that did a job on them and went home. Scotland aren’t really England’s rivals anymore. Just like Tranmere aren’t Liverpool’s.

From where I sat, it looked to me that England have finally worked out what professionalism is. They are highly paid athletes who are instructed to carry out roles under the instruction of their manager. They are not paid huge sums of money to work under the instruction of populist fuckwitts like Piers Morgan or Richard Littlejohn. It’s about time, but England got there in the end. They are working for the FA, not populists and barstool bullshitters.

Can England Win a Tournament?

To win a tournament is not easy. Belgium and Holland should have won World Cups but didn’t. Everything can be in place for success, then out of nowhere, a poor refereeing decision or an opposition wonder goal can destroy everything. England recently dominated France in a World Cup quarter-final and blew it. That has to be a lesson learnt.

However, with the ability of the players at his disposal and the professionalism to control everything that is controllable, Southgate has the tools to oversee the best England team in history. If international football was a league where everyone plays each other twice, England or France would run away with it in a 2 horse race. Unfortunately, knock-out football lends itself to luck and disaster.

What I am certain of is this. If England ever ditch Southgate and revert to relying on passion, three lions on the shirt, and impulsive reactions to media and social media retards, they will win sweet FA.

Have a nice weekend.

No Replies to "Are England the Real Deal?"

    Got something to say?

    Some html is OK

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.