Sunday, 13 June 2010

Here we go (again)

Well, don't the great English public just love to have a scapegoat to tear to shreds?
I sometimes think they would rather have purported villains to vilify, than heroes to celebrate.
Public hangings, dunking witches and chaining perceived baddies up in the stocks so they can have rocks thrown at them, are all practices that have been consigned to the past.
The angry mob mentality that existed in medieval times still prevalent however.
Fuelled by ridiculous media hype, millions of complete idiots who've had no interest in the national team for the last four years, suddenly become experts on a subject they know nothing, or very little about at best, overnight and think England should be world beaters thrashing every single team they play.
Not entirely the most realistic expectations you'll ever come across me thinks.
And when they don't (and they really won't be doing y'know), it's time to join the clamour to put the boot in.

Previous victims of press fuelled hate campaigns have included such England greats as Tony Adams, David Beckham and Bobby Robson.
Robson was mocked and called Booby Robson in one sensationalist newspaper headline in the wake of the opening game of Italia '90 ... I think he shoved that particular broadside back down the collective throats of the press hatchet men.

You wouldn't know it, but having qualified for the World Cup finals in a group where they lost only one game (once they had already guaranteed reaching South Africa), but won all of the others, including a very impressive double over Croatia who they beat 4-1 away and 5-1 at home ... the England team only drew their tricky opening game in the finals against the USA.
That's all ... nobody got killed, it's not going to spark off the next world war and it won't even trouble Channel 4's Big Brother coverage.
So why all the knee jerk over reaction!?
It was always going to be a tricky game from the outset, but don't let the facts get in the way of a bit of melodramatic and OTT outpouring of public grief and anger.
"We should put them all on the plane back home now!", "Your shite Capello", "Why have they picked Rob Green anyway?", just three imbecilic comments I've seen on facebook these past couple of days ... and the so called sports journalists with their 'expert opinions' have been even less flattering.
One qualifying group game played, one draw, one point, what is the problem exactly?
Should they all be on the plane home?
Well no, we're actually obliged to play two more group games, at the very least.
But the person who posted that remark, in response to my polite line of enquiry that went along the lines of "You know fuck all about the England team, I bet you can't even name the teams we beat to reach the finals", said "Germany and Mexico"
The victory over Germany was in 2001, which didn't actually have any bearing whatsoever on reaching this years tournament ... and although the boundaries for European qualifying groups get more far fetched every competition, I don't think those imaginary boundaries actually extend as far as Mexico just yet.
Is Capello shite?
Why am I even quantifying such a crass remark?
His record, both with England and prior to his current employment, is very impressive.
England are very lucky to have him.
And Green's selection ... look, if you've actually seen any of the qualifying games from the 2008-10 campaign, you would know he's there on merit.
He dropped a bollock on Saturday night, but so did certain other players who shot straight at Tim Howard with the goal at their mercy ... they're not getting singled out for criticism.
Backlash is back in fashion again, just like it is every time England are taking part in a major tournament.
And all those cretins who are ranting at the indignation of having to put up with a national team who can only draw against "the likes of the USA" (a very useful team who are actually in South Africa because they qualified too) will be singing "I'm England 'til I die" and the top of their voices in the pub if Slovenia get beat on Friday.
Get a grip! No pun intended Rob Green ;-)

There are a lot of genuine England fans, unfortunately there are a lot more bandwagon jumpers who like to wear 'their' shirt with 'pride' every four years, who really just use the football as an excuse for a monumental piss up ... there is a massive demarcation between the two groups.
Alas the latter is greater in size and much nosier and that puts a lot of people off of being a part of the former.
And going by some of the sights I saw on my way home on Saturday night, I can't really blame them.

Beckham, Adams and Sir Bobby came back stronger from the press campaigns against them, whether Rob Green will or not remains to be seen, he's certainly already had more than his fair share of bad luck.

Maybe England will give the experienced David James a game on Friday, or Joe Hart could get the nod, but probably sticking with Rob Green is still the best option and will remain so for the remainder of the tournament, but that's up to Fabio Capello and unlike several million of his detractors at present, I still think he's the best person to make that decision.
There are a whole load of sports writers and faux England fans just waiting for Capello's team to blow it in their next two games so they can cream their pants and kick off with their "See I told you so!" anger tantrums.

I'll leave the closing grand finale to the idiotic drunk who accosted me half way up the hill on the way to my house from town on Saturday night. "He's picked the wrong team, we always pick the wrong team every time, we didn't even play Eric Cantona when he was by far the best f***ing player in the Premier League. They just pick their favourites not the best players"
Shut up!