Passion Isn’t Everything: The Myth About England’s Football Team

Posted on June 28, 2024

Every time the England football team faces a setback, there’s an obligatory chorus of boring voices claiming the players lack passion. Pundits, fans, and critics alike bemoan the supposed absence of fiery determination, suggesting that if only the players showed more passion, victories would follow. This narrative, however, is utter twaddle. The idea that passion alone could transform England’s fortunes is not only simplistic but also totally misguided.

The Myth of Missing Passion

Let’s set the record straight: England’s footballers are not lacking in passion. The players are professionals who have dedicated their lives to the sport since they could walk. They train relentlessly, endure immense pressure, and represent their country with pride. It is what sets them apart from millions of other football players who don’t make the cut. Suggesting they lack passion completely overlooks the complex nature of football and the myriad of factors that influence performance. Seriously, do you think England players lace up their boots and step onto the pitch thinking, “You know what? I’m just not feeling it today”?

Over-Emphasising Passion

While passion is essential, over-emphasising it can lead to disastrous consequences on the pitch. Excessive passion often translates into poor discipline, leading to reckless tackles, dissent, and ultimately, red cards. A team brimming with uncontrolled passion risks falling into chaos rather than channeling their energy productively. It’s happened time and again with England.

Consider the infamous red cards and moments of ill-discipline that have plagued many talented teams. For instance, David Beckham’s petulant kick in the 1998 World Cup or Wayne Rooney’s stamp in 2006. Both incidents were borne out of excessive passion and cost England dearly. Apparently, passion isn’t always the magic ingredient it’s cracked up to be—unless you’re looking to become a burning effigy outside a flat roof pub.

Discipline and Tactics

In reality, success in football hinges on a delicate balance between passion and discipline. While the desire to win is obviously crucial, it must be tempered with tactical awareness and composure. Teams like Germany, France and Spain have demonstrated that a disciplined, strategic approach is more likely to triumph over raw emotion. The players in these successful teams of the last 20 years or so had passion, but it is controlled and channeled effectively within a well-structured game plan. When France, a great team, have lost that discipline, they have inexplicably fallen apart. The evidence is there for all to see.

Gareth Southgate’s tenure as England manager has seen a shift towards this balanced approach. His focus on fostering a disciplined, cohesive unit has yielded significant progress, taking England to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and the Euro 2020 final. This success wasn’t built on wild passion but on meticulous preparation, mental resilience, and strategic execution. But sure, let’s just blame their poor form so far on a lack of chest-thumping, caged tiger’s attitude and references to Churchill.

Impulsive Nonsense

Claiming that England Euro struggles are due to a lack of passion is not only impulsive but nonsensical. It ignores the reality of modern football, where tactical sophistication, mental strength, and technical skills are paramount. Passion alone does not win matches; it’s the ability to harness that passion within a disciplined framework that leads to success. Otherwise, we’d just pick the loudest fans from the stands and put them on the pitch. I’m sure that would end well.


As much as barstool managers want it to be true, the England football team does not suffer from a lack of passion. The real challenge lies in balancing passion with discipline and tactics. The narrative that passion is the missing ingredient for England is outdated, simplistic, and in truth, a bit moronic. Instead, the focus should be on developing a well-rounded team capable of maintaining composure under pressure, executing tactical plans, and, yes, playing with passion—but the right kind of passion.

So next time someone claims England’s woes stem from a lack of passion, remind them that football is a nuanced game or simply tell them to piss off. It’s not just about the fire in the belly and all that crap; it’s about keeping a cool head, playing with a cool head, and understanding that too much passion can lead to chaotic defeat rather than glorious victory. If all else fails, maybe we should just start recruiting from London based acting schools—they have passion in spades.

A Final Thought

As a final thought, bleating on about lack of passion is also self-defeating if you are a genuine England fan. Players, particularly younger ones out to show much they care, can get drawn into the accusations and lose the plot. We all know, or should know, how that ends up. Older players with fat bank accounts, big houses and boxes of medals might wonder whether getting perpetually called out by pub bullshitters is really worth it. Why play for England and get perpetually abused when you could be 5 starring it in the Carribean for a month? It’s domestic clubs who pay for mansions and Ferraris, not the English FA.

In an ironic twist, the myth of being perpetually accused of lacking passion may eventually cause it and the morons get their way. Sometimes I think that’s the way they like it. Their lives are shit so why shouldn’t everyone else’s be?

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