World Cup Special – England Loses And Looks Back In AnguishJune 29, 2010
We’re out of the World Cup. Quelle surprise. All the jingoism, all the bear baiting of the Germans, all the tat bought with the St. George stamp, all the hope and prayers of a victory as we became dewy eyed about 1966 meant absolutely nothing, because England became Germany’s bitch as they were turned over and shafted by four goals to one. The England defence was so poor, they may as well had just walked off the pitch and let the Germans get on with it. That’s a Sunday afternoon I won’t get back. It was particularly galling because while I was inside the Rich Mix, an arts centre in Bethnal Green, with other fans collectively holding heads in hands, the weather outside was glorious. Of course it was my choice to watch the match, but it was a painful experience.
And so we move to the post mortem, otherwise known as the blame game. Capello is getting it in the neck and he’s currently fighting the calls to quit. The players are getting ripped for being overpaid prima donnas who don’t put in anywhere near the kind of effort you see in smaller teams like Japan or Ghana. My neighbour Afiz, who I bumped into as I trudged towards the door of Pie Palace, said that the team should be made up of good players from lower divisions, not just the superstars of the Premiership. I would go further. I think we should be not an England team, but a United Kingdom team, made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I mean look at the USA, who lost out to Ghana last Saturday. They gave it everything, moments of sloppy defending notwithstanding. I’m sure their team is made up of people from all parts of the states. It’s not the East Coast, West Coast, Mid West or Southern States of America team. Neither is Brasil made up solely of players from Rio.
Now there’s talk of Harry Redknapp or David Beckham becoming the next manager. The turnstile for England Manager is getting awfully busy. Bounce out as many names as you like. If Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, or God, himself were Manager for the England team, it wouldn’t make a scrap of difference because there’s something fundamentally wrong with the spirit and the heart of the players. Success, or failure in sport, or anything else in life come to think of it, is defined by the attitude. There has to be a rock solid belief in yourself, which you’d fight for, because there’d be plenty of negative chat outside and inside your head to throw you off course, and in the case of a team event, there has to be a collective purpose. If there’s many in body, but one in mind, you can do anything. If, however, there are many in body, but many in mind, nothing remarkable can be achieved. It will take some work, but one day, when the culture of English football is transformed, the Jules Rimet Trophy will be ours. Whether it will happen in my lifetime is another story, but I still live in hope, in the face of bitter experience.
Here’s a video created by the BBC. It’s a rallying cry to England featuring Brian Blessed, possibly the loudest actor in Britain. He’s so loud he could drown out the sound of Concord and not even break into a sweat. Nice video. Shame about the score.