Saturday, 10 July 2010

They WERE loved

The England team failed in South Africa for many reasons.

Yes they were tired after a grueling Premiership season. Yes they are paid too much and like boxers can taste the high life and lose their hunger. Yes the tactics were static. 4-4-2 against Germany was too rigid and some change or flexibility would have created at least some element of surprise. However, such creative thinking was beyond a grossly overpaid management team.

The players did not have as many opportunities to drink beer together. Such bonding sessions are important to English culture and an Italian manager may have overlooked this factor. But a big reason for failure was that bloody excuse for a trumpet that many South Africans claim as part of their culture.

Much has already been written on the deadening noise which cancels out the usual crowd atmosphere of cheers and applause. The effect, however, on the England players was devastating. They could not hear their English support. More than players from most other countries English players need to feel loved. They have grown used to it. In England football has become a religion. A successful Premiership footballer is worshipped. He is a god.

But an English footballers divinity is suddenly called into question as soon as one realizes that they probably cannot string a sentence together or kick a ball in a straight line. This happened in South Africa. The English football team performance was as everyone knows truly abysmal.

But it was not all of their fault. They simply could not hear just how loved they were.

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