It might sound odd to say, but one of the problems with the reaction to the performance of the England football team is the hopelessly short memories of England fans. Take the last World Cup as an example. In that tournament England were appalling, and duly left the tournament early.
However, the awful performance was immediately spun as unimportant, because – with many new players thrust into the squad, and the ‘old-guard’ on the way out – the tournament was written off as a training exercise to prepare for the serious business of the European Championship two years later.
Now, we’re kicked out of the Euros, Hodgson has resigned, and his record is to have been rubbish in two tournaments. There is no memory to the reporting or the fans’ reactions?
Every tournament seems to bring with it an absurd ‘fresh-start’ or a ‘maybe-this-time’ mentality. Why don’t we remember just how bad we’ve been in the past and adjust our expectations accordingly? That would help armour us against disappointment.
The English public mind is in a state of denial, because it has an unjustified level of expectation in respect to the England team. If we simply accepted we are no good, the disappointment wouldn’t be felt.
Our tournament results don’t lie. Our refusal to reach honest conclusions, based on those results, is a type of lying: we’re in denial.
Are we stunned by shock, and do we wallow in disapointment, when an Englishman doesn’t win Wimbeldon? No, we don’t expect to win it, because the best English players in our mens’ game are Elton John and Cliff Richard.
If we accepted an ‘underdog mentality’ – like the Welsh have done, and it’s doing them no harm in this tournament – we would see everything as a success, and we’d feel good about the same performances which, while we hold onto the idea we are worthy of winning anything, are making us miserable.
Perspective is everything, and English football lost its perspective years ago.
The Empire’s gone; the country is a province of the European State; and our football team is useless.
The best thing for the FA to do is to disband the national team and accept it’s over. There’s no point in yet another round of boring speculation about who should get the job. What is the point in the FA appointing someone else, claiming he’s the ‘best man for the job’, having this man then go and achieve nothing whatsoever?
What’s the point?