Category Archives: Football

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.