In all actuality, shouldn’t we have seen this coming like some run away freight down the frozen road of Precedence St. set by all those England players before? A capitulation of the highest order, a failing against those we least want to fail against and lastly, an outcome that was so sure to happen, we all seemed to pull the wool over our very eyes and convince ourselves through sheer self fulfilling prophecy that it was somehow going to end different this time. Only it didn’t, and who knows how long it could actually be until it does.
How was it ever going to end differently and why didn’t I see this coming? A pizza is still made to taste like a pizza does with dough, cheese, sauce and toppings, regardless of who does the mixing. Fancy Italians and three piece suits do not a gourmet chef or World Cup winning side make.
This England fan was wrong all along. And as I sit trying to convince myself that a 2-2 halftime situation somehow leads to an England victory against superior athletes, superior tactics and superior planning, I’m left only with the realization that my heart felt passion for a football team originating for a home country other than my own is equally as odd in thinking a new chef can somehow make the same old ingredients somehow taste differently.
Yes England failed in the 2010 World Cup because they weren’t good enough, we get that, and we’ve read it over and over again since the match drawn with the US. But deeper and darker questions must now be asked by the footballing community and answered by the FA if England are to ever renew their stamp on the world’s game that has whittled with age and expired all those years ago. Tough questions that will need serious answers specifically concerning youth development, home grown managers and the bloated Premier League.
The core of the England national team now float away into international waters of regret and unfulfilled promise. Forever a generation that was pipped for glory, if not in 2006, then surely in 2010, the tired old English squad with their Premier League dreams of glory set sail for a much deserved vacation with pockets full of gold seemingly happy they’ll now have time for some much needed rest before the so called “best league in the world” resumes.
What many fail to realize is that as TV contracts are won, parachute payments are paid and transfer fees are negotiated, the next generation of English millionaires sit aside, waiting in the Premier League wings planning their futures before they’ve planned how they’ll break down a midfield with one less player, pass the ball out of trouble, link play to strikers or compete in a World Cup without getting “bored”. In a nation where the majority of footballers choice of club v country is an easier choice than which football boots to wear, one can easily start to see the origins of a mindset and mentality inspired more by bling than by basics spreading like a cancer across the hearts and minds of young footballers the country over.