Thursday, August 23, 2007

Same Ol' Same 'Ol

England football fans have got the national team they deserve. This is 2007, for those of you who are unsure about the fine detail, that means it is the 21st Century. So, why for the love of everything, do English supporters feel the “patriotic” need to boo and jeer other countries national anthems? It is not childish, a bit of a laugh or amusing. It is puerile, disgusting and pre-mediated stupidity that confirms all the worst stereotypes of English thuggishness that has become the accepted norm in Europe. Grow up and learn some respect. It is a far superior anthem for a start, one that doesn’t preclude atheists and republicans from being patriotic.

As for the team itself, well what do we expect? England have been in serial decline, well since the game was codified in the 19th Century. One brief moment of glory and a couple of near misses. England doesn’t produce players that are intelligent enough to understand how to interpret an essential change of tactics. Nor, do we employ coaches who are talented and able to implement a bit of tactical ability. 1966 was 41 years ago, it is entering in the mists of time that World War II has started to be clouded by.

Wembley Staduim is the great monument to the folly, myopia and greed that is the F.A. A place that is starting to look like the (vastly overpriced) gravestone of the English game. England have a coach whose path of failure was unanimously predicted from the start. (That is 3 wins in 9) Players whose inflated self-worth equates to an extra 5 grand a week being an insult. Administrators who have zero real football experience (being TV sport editors and club chairman don’t count) and so on and so on and so on.

There is a an Oscar Wilde quote with origins far earlier, that best sums up the English Premier League; “When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers”. That is the Premier League.

The F.A. wanted to revolutionise the English game, modernise it, propel it to glory. The fans were seduced, a whole new ball game rang Sky TV. Great new stadia, expensive foreign imports, it was going to be the sporting equation of Harrods.

Guess what? They were spot on about the Harrods connection. What did happen? Foreign owners came in and the prices went through the roof and the quality improved a bit.

As for the English game you ask? Well, not much good happened there. 2 champions league winners from 16. 0 national wins from a possible 7. Clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Bolton fielding whole teams without a single English born player.

How many English players were signed by the 'Big 4' in the close season?
Manchester United: 1 Owen Hargreaves, born in Canada trained in Munich
Chelsea: 1 Steve Sidwell, free transfer from Reading, not a starter.
Liverpool: 0
Arsenal: 0 (Well surprise, surprise)

Nothing will change because the fans seem happy to trundle along to a stadium in the wrong place, with a team that doesn’t know how to play, a coach who isn’t good enough, an administration that isn’t qualified and fans who don’t seem to mind.