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England: We’ve Never Known Success

I’ve supported England since 1980. In the 32 years since, England hasn’t won a major international trophy. I’ve never known what it’s like for The Three Lions to win silverware. But I have suffered the agony of defeat, watched plenty of embarrassing performances in tournaments, and had my hopes raised and my heart broken too many times.

It’s just not me either. None of the footballers on the national team have won anything for their country. Other than a small percentage of English older adults, no Englanders knows what it’s like to be a Germany, Italy, Spain or Portugal. Yes, even Portugal. All three of those teams have been in a major international final. England has nothing since 1966. The closest they got to a major final was a World Cup semi-final in 1990 — 22 years ago.

So with England fans and players finding themselves in a position where the team is two wins away from an appearance in a final, it’s no wonder that nerves are beginning to set in. While most of the players on the England team have tasted major trophies, it’s not the same at an international level when your entire country is behind you, not just a section of a nation.

Sometimes we forget that England has never tasted recent success. Our Premier League clubs are so successful in European competitions that it sometimes distracts us, even if the footballers playing fot the English clubs aren’t very English. But when we focus back on the national set, the history, memory and pain of disappointment and defeat sinks home.

This Sunday is an incredible opportunity for England to begin to erase its history of pain. A win will match us up against a Germany side that is so good, they’re scary. But if England can get there again, the belief among England footballers will surge. The players will stand tall, and play with pride, knowing that they’re so close to being a name to be remembered in history.

England can win. They just have to believe in themselves. We do, too.

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  1. yahoo

    June 23, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Aren’t you Welsh? and you support England?

    • The Gaffer

      June 23, 2012 at 6:23 am

      I was born in Wales, but my father is English. And since Wales has never qualified for a major tournament since I’ve been alive, I support Englland.

      The Gaffer

  2. Sammy

    June 23, 2012 at 3:11 am

    I hate England. I always want them to do badly and always hope that they lose.

    • The Gaffer

      June 23, 2012 at 6:23 am

      Sammy, who do you support then?

      The Gaffer

      • Sammy

        June 23, 2012 at 6:42 am

        I’ve been supporting Greece but now that they’re out I support Italy for the rest of the tournament

        • The Gaffer

          June 23, 2012 at 8:44 am

          Who are you going to support after Italy gets knocked out tomorrow? 😉

          The Gaffer

          • Sammy

            June 23, 2012 at 9:27 am

            Hmm …. Italy are quite a strong team too and I believe it’ll be too early to write them off so easily just yet. Will they get knocked out by England tomorrow? We shall see. Wanna bet?

  3. trickybrkn

    June 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    A Welshman supporting England for 32 years… there is just something very very wrong with that. I suggest you watch The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain…

    • The Gaffer

      June 23, 2012 at 6:24 am

      I’ve watched it. I feel Welsh, English and American. It’s a weird mixture, I know.

      The Gaffer

  4. Alex Wolcott

    June 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    One of the great beauties of the sport is that if you are in it you always have a chance. No one thought Chelsea had a shot at the CL with UEFAlona, Madrid, and Bayern making up the other three slots.

    I’m still psychologically scarred by the Southgate penalty try, so I definitely don’t want to see it come back to penalties again if we get to Germany. But first thing’s first – deal with the Azurri!

    • dust

      June 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      LOL fortunately the incredibly unorganized approach that El Tel took towards penalties is not likely to happen again. The story of southgate stepping up because no one else had the nads too and that they hadn’t discussed who would take them should it come down to that. Just unbelievable considering the quality of football he had us playing to get to the semi finals.

  5. jtm371

    June 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I can see England beating Italy but i don’t think they have a chance to beat Germany but after this last season and CL anything can happen. I think Terry and Lescott will be the downfall if they get past Italy.It will be fun to watch i hope i am wrong.

  6. Guy

    June 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    “England can win. They just have to believe in themselves.”

    …….and get past midfield.

    I think we can beat Italy, but feel it would take a miracle to outscore Germany, unless we could take them to penalties. However, I hope that would not be our game plan.

    • dust

      June 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      If we beat Italy, I don’t think Germany offer the biggest test, Its pretty well documented my thoughts/opinions on Englands manager and playing style, but with that said a team like Italy and Portugal have the x factor combined with the discipline that coupd undo england in their current format/ style.

      The Germans don’t have that, they play good football but don’t have a real x factor, it’s well disciplined fast football, but that can be frustrated. Sure you have to play well but that is to be expected. Italy and Portugal have players that can unlock defenses on a whim if they want. Ozil had great technical ability comes close but doesn’t have the physicality of Balotelli or Ronaldo (or a Rooney).


  7. AZ_Saint

    June 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    England cannot control midfield and as such have little or no chance of progressing unless Lady Luck smiles on them (again) and Italy somehow spurn all the many opportunities that come their way. If we string even 5 passes together AND move up the pitch doing so even once it will be a miracle.

  8. Paul

    June 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    It is just interesting how different english football philosophy is. For example I hear all the time that Carroll is unplayable when he’s on his game but when you actually watch the game you see that being unplayable(as pundits are fun of saying about Carroll) has nothing to do with skills or technique, just Brute strength

    • iancransonsknees

      June 23, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Yet it’s okay for everyone to wank over Zlatan?

  9. okechi analaba

    June 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    You must be dreaming to believe the english team can go all the way….pure fallacy

    • dust

      June 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      There is no real football fan that doesn’t “dream” of their country winning a major trophy.

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