Sloppy and Indifferent: The Problem with English Football

There’s no point in denying the truth. England are still suffering from the same illness that has been eating away at them like maggots for the past few years. Their interests lie in money and a shameful celebrity status that glorifies them and reports degrading behaviour such as cheating on their brainless, annoying WAGS. They are paid £100,000 a week. Is it any wonder, therefore, that when it comes to playing for their country, the drive and passion (which, for them, is driven by money) simply isn’t there?

English football players seem to have no comprehension of what it is to stand proud simply for the fact that they have the honour to wear the shirt of England. They seem incapable of setting aside their lust for millions of pounds in order to retain some old-fashioned pride. This is a great insult to the numerous fans who place their faith in them; if you really are being paid so much money generally as a footballer, at least have the decency to perform to the standard that is expected of you.

Take the Euro 2012 competition. After their absolute failure to even qualify some years back, faith in English football had reached an all-time low. Hence why there were hardly any fans who followed them to the Ukraine. Wayne Rooney’s petulant, ungrateful snipes into the camera didn’t do England any favours. However, when they succeeded in their few first games and miraculously found themselves facing Italy in the quarter finals, everyone’s faith was restored and thousands more fans chose to support them in the stands, many using up savings they had acquired for months. Even my own faith jumped back into play and I truly believed that England had transformed their complete apathy into pride.

But how foolish. England seemed to start off well against Italy but the truly strongest side soon became apparent. Italy, by right, should have won something like 10-0. The opportunities they had were incredible, including a goal that was declared off-side. They only won on penalties, which lives true to the English curse for losing in this area, a curse that is probably more of a self-fulfilling prophecy if anything.

However, even if England had achieved a miracle and beaten Italy, there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the worst team won. For England was way behind Italy in terms of strength, speed, agility, coolness and team playing. England were sloppy, sluggish and undisciplined. The worst of the lot was Wayne Rooney. What exactly is that lethargic lump of lard even doing on the pitch? He has shown himself to be average at best when playing in the Euro/World Cup; he was slow, lumbering, red-faced, seemed to be out of breath most of the time and missed a couple of golden opportunities. Really …. is this the best England has to offer? The amount of times that Italy had possession of the ball and actually had the courage to take shots show how unbelievable it was that England made it through to penalties at all. England were weak; they were cowardly and hesitant; they passed the ball to Italy on numerous occasions and, physically, it was as though they were all recovering from a hangover the night before (apart from Carroll who was described as a ‘bull in a china shop’ and Joe Hart, the only player worth mentioning in a non-negative light, who kept cool and confident at all times). There would have been no glory if England had won on penalties and, quite frankly, the Germans would have been laughing their heads off; they would have known that the final was in the palm of their hands.

The best team (by miles) won. But the core of the problem does not lie in lack of talent for England. It lies in a mix-up of priorities. My suggestion is to cut their salaries to the point where they can just about afford a mortgage on a 3 bedroom house; quit glorifying Wayne Rooney as though he were some kind of legend, which he is not; stop reporting their celebrity philanderings, which no one even cares about anyway, except for minions with mundane existences. Let them truly WANT to hold that cup in their hands and teach them the value of national pride. This celebrity-obsessed world has seeped into the heart of football and, unless this way of thinking changes within society, England fans will continue to be disappointed. Don’t listen to those idiotic commentators who praised England for their “courage” “big hearts” and “team spirit” when in reality we all know that there was no team spirit (clearly demonstrated by their non-ability to effectively pass the ball to one another and keep it for more than 30 seconds). As for their “big hearts” if their hearts are so big, why is it they cannot find enough heart to feel the passion of playing for one’s own country and simply desiring glory, rather than money?

It pains me to write as I have. But England leaves me with no choice. This is the fault of the FA, the media and us, the people, especially those deluded ‘fans’ who will still continue to drone on about how wonderful England are and how much ‘fighting spirit’ they have, not realizing that this way of thinking is contributing towards the lack of care shown on the part of English players. Forgive me, but some of us prefer not to bestow praise where it is not due. Praise is to be earned, not a God-given right. When we decide to stop feeding the unjustified egos of the England players by showing the same indifference towards their personal lives as they do towards playing for their land, we may be fortunate enough to see an improvement. Until that day arrives, we can continue to be disappointed by players that are capable of so much more than what they display, all thanks to greed, immaturity and selfishness. Three lions? I saw only mice on the pitch, mice who ran away rather than attacked with full force. Bring them home … and give them a kick up the backside.


About skyespitfire

I tend to describe myself in several different ways when asked: 1) A tiger in the Chinese Zodiac. 2) A tornado that sweeps through people's lives. 3) A fed-up misanthropist who ironically has oodles of compassion for her fellow man. Aside from that, I am also 27 years old and based in London, England.

Posted on June 24, 2012, in England, Euro 2012, Football, Soccer, Wayne Rooney and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. How true…Wayne Rooney England’s Pele, don’t make me laugh, he is not fit enough to tie the great man’s bootlaces let alone be on the same level. When England can consistently play in finals of any competition, then and only then can they be said to be a good side. Up until then we are average and that is more than they deserve.

  2. I would love the fawning, hero worshiping press to adopt this factual hardline with our players, who never seem to cop for any of the blame. If I read “spirited” in any report today, I fear for my sanity. Sloppy, unfit, tactically incompetent, outclassed, battered, outmanoeuvred or plain and simple outplayed will suffice. The next press reports we will subjected too will be the “depressed” or “recovering” (yep, ok) players at their 7 star holiday resorts looking forward to the next £100,000 pay check. With the the majority of the public feeling sorry for them. Pathetic.

  3. Congratulations on your article. You are making an excellent point, albeit not they way you intended…
    I don’t think it is about money or lack of passion due to no revenue (which is not true anyway!) You could give them the gold deposit of Fort Knox and still they wouldn’t be able to play better. A trophy for England, fame for the rest of their lives and post-mortem and all you can think of is motivational shortcomings due to some stinking pounds?
    If English fans, media, pundits and officials still think it’s a matter of money to form a decent squad, all is lost for England and won’t bring the slightest change in the future as in my humble opinion quite the opposite is the case.
    It takes stamina and patience to form young players, it needs commitment from the clubs (owned by foreigners, managed by foreigners who couldn’t care less for the English national team) but the PL managers of course will put on gloves when coming up with requirements how a club should be run. After all it’s this imported money that Scudamore needed to buy his house in the Hamptons.
    England FC has sold it’s soul to investors from the US, Russia, Iceland and the orient. A mere 20% of the clubs are run by English managers, the top four, five, six (whatever you prefer) are run by foreign coaches. Why in the least should these guys bother about England, 1966 or penalties? BTW, it seems to me that even when it comes to managers, English football relies on their money.
    It is totally hilarious to blame the players for playing like they did. They cannot play better. Money can’t buy quality for the national team like it can for clubs. It’s the stars from abroad who make most of them shine in their clubs. Of course you have talents like Gerrard, Walcott or Hart (the only ones who would be wanted outside England, others have the quality but nobody wants the circus behind them) , but in the end English football is simply riding their luck that one day somewhere someone will walk in the door and be ready to be a quality player.
    England FC have received numerous shots across the bows over the past 15 or so years, yet they have always been deluded by their poster boys, the influx of foreign money and players, the money for TV rights and merchandising, the international success of their clubs that they totally failed to see the elephant in the room.
    Everything so far has been solved with money and you suggest above to do the same, to hang a bigger carrot in front of the donkey and it will run faster, but here you have reached a point where money will only have a limited influence and above all it will cost you rather time than money to finally make the change the English team needs.
    You need youth academies, a playing philosophy in under-age teams, football boarding schools, decent scouting and continuity. You need a press that sees the big picture or at least shuts up when it doesn’t. You need to force the PL clubs to play by these rules, to fulfill these requirements. You need the backup from FA and PL, you need officials who don’t fear the press, a manger who has an idea, a concept, who allows influence from outside the football business when it helps, who has the guts to try new things or to import things that have not been invented here.
    You can lean back and wait for the improbable coincidence that at one point in the future 11 players with English passport, who fortunately excel at different positions, run into the football business and start playing together only to bring you another trophy. Or you start to realize that there are things you can plan, you can promote, you can influence where money is simply NOT the necessity you made it out to be.

  4. Hi Jack, thanks for your comment.

    While I understand the point you are making, to say money is not a valid factor in their poor performance is something I cannot agree with. Whether we like it or not, the circumstances surrounding the football have an impact on the way they perform. Why is it that Wayne Rooney will perform much better playing for his home team than he will for his own country? The priority is not on values and stamina/patience as you stated; it is on glorifying the footballers with this ‘celebrity’ status that has been shoved down their throats. But they can be blamed just as much as those in charge of them; they are their own individuals, are they not? With their own minds? They are free to choose whether to have pride in their country or not. And they choose not to.

    Solving this issue with money was not about dangling more carrots in front of their heads; it was about teaching them the value of playing a game where money is not a motivational factor and pride simply is, by taking that money away. Everything you said holds weight but there can be no denying that their ridiculous salaries and the constant reporting of their personal lives has played its role.

    When you are so familiar with being at the heart of a shallow, materialistic world, anything that runs deep tends to disappear: this includes pride and honour.

    • I think England need a do-over on a much bigger scale.
      The league is hyped and so are the players. Too much is built on players from abroad, the ratio of foreign players is 62% compared to 49% in the Bundesliga and 37% in Spain. ( And that’s the complete squad. One might check on the regular starting line-ups.
      England is a tax haven for footballers. They are not coming over because of the nice weather. Everything is blown out of proportion due to money from oil and what not.
      The ones responsible don’t care about the national team as it won’t bring them any revenue in the short run. (You cold argue that it would eventually, but I don’t see these people realizing it.)
      If the English team is full of players who refuse to run their hearts out as long as there’s not enough money on the table, they are obviosly the wrong ones. Thanks for all, but good riddance. But I doubt it in general. In their clubs they are used to play along those other billionaire toys. Maybe they are frustrated because these toys usually won’t hold an English passport and the team members turn out to be mediocre once separated from their foreign support.
      I think that foreign players should be seen as the silverware for any league. In England, it seems they choke the home-grown talents who hardly find a spot in the starting line-up.
      Such a change won’t come easy. In Germany it was lack of money that made clubs rethink their approach. They HAD to risk something, throw them into cold water. Take Stuttgart. Suddenly there were Khedira and Gomez. With the money English clubs have at their disposal, why bother develop a player when you can as well buy someone?
      So after all, given the glory that awaits English players should they return home with a trophy, I simply cannot not believe that it’s a lack of motivation but rather the lack of a decent institution behind that keeps an eye on the bigger issue rather than on revenue. In my eyes, the Premier League with its current structure is the biggest threat to the FA.

  5. i love england and english football; always have, always will. and it was nice to see them all singing the national anthem. That, however, does not win a tournament and i think you are bang on with everything you say. Its important that we improve our young players. England has a good history of good football players, there’s no reason why there won’t be more.

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    early in the dawn, since i enjoy to learn more and more.

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