The inevitable and endless navel gazing is well under way following England’s failure to qualify for the finals of the European championships.

The post-mortem will no doubt be a long, painfully drawn out affair without any satisfactory conclusion.

This much is true because we’ve been here before, plenty of times.

But watching the match last night I was left with one fairly clear and concise conclusion – England aren’t very good.

The unbelievable and self-generated hype that surrounds English football at all levels masks the fact that the quality is not there – Croatia passed the ball perfectly on a pitch that most English players seemed to be struggling to simply run on. 

England does not have some preordained right to success, it has to earn it like every other country.

I’m well aware that this is a very hard lesson to learn – I’m Welsh and a rugby fan, after all.

But I’m not sure, given the immediate post-match coverage, that it is a lesson anyone is ready to accept just yet.

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2 responses »

  1. Nick Scott Donald says:

    The five basic principles to follow when being an England football fan:

    1. God is an Englishman.

    2. He personally sent the great Captain Beckham down to lead England to unending glory.

    3. England ARE the champions… only the results prove otherwise.

    4. The Scots, Welsh and Irish are inferior, whinging followers of Satan.

    5. Any Briton – English or otherwise – who does not agree with 1,2,3 and 4 should be heckled at, loudly, and be verbally attacked with expletives for being unpatriotic.

    – Whether these principles are correct or incorrect is not for me to say.

  2. Paul Groves says:

    Nick,
    Spoken like a true Cotswoldian Scot.
    I did forget to add that whenever I’ve watched any English football lately – both international and club matches – I’ve been overcome by boredom. The matches just aren’t very good.

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