‘ Ban International breaks’
> Like the US presidential election, you know it’s going to end badly one way or another
HOW ABOUT we forget international breaks and just take a break from this form of the game full stop.
What is the point of the England football team? I’ve been puzzling over it for a while, but cannot provide a genuine answer.
Getting picked for England used to be the ultimate honour. It meant the world to those privileged few and this reflected in their attitude towards achieving success.
For the likes of Sir Bobby Moore, Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst it provided them with the platform to claim the ultimate prize and change their lives forever.
But times have changed – and not for the better.
With the odd exception, like Italia 90 and Euro 96, all England have done is turn faithful supporters into a bunch of masochists.
For the record the official definition of masochism is, ‘a person who is gratified by pain and degradation, that is selfimposed or imposed by others’.
“Others”, of course, being, the current members of the national team, who have doled out nothing but pain for two decades now.
England games should be the highlight of a season, but they have become the opposite – lowlights full of let downs, laborious football and predictable outcomes.
We all know what will happen. England will secure qualification for Russia 2018, probably with Gareth Southgate becoming the permanent manager in the process.
Then we will go to Russia and make a mess of things once again, Southgate will get sacked and the wheel of woe will have turned full circle once again.
What purpose does this whole process serve? Like the US presidential election, you know it’s going to end badly one way or another.
There was nothing honourable about how England crashed out of Euro 2016 to Iceland this summer, forcing Roy Hodgson to quit in shame minutes after that fateful game in Nice.
So much for honour. There was nothing honourable about how his successor Sam Allardyce lasted less time in charge than those Chilean miners who got trapped underground in 2010.
Players drift through the years collecting caps, but there is no evidence to suggest that turning out for the Three Lions is anything more than a selfcentred exercise in boosting their egos, profile and chances of landing lucrative sponsorship deals.
Deep down, the crux of the problem is that England players don’t believe they are good enough to win a major tournament.
You can’t blame them either, because they aren’t. Unlike the rugby, cricket and even hockey teams, there is no prospect of winning a major trophy.
How many of the current squad would get in a current World XI? None. How many would get in a World second XI? None.
Wayne Rooney might be our most capped outfield player and record goalscorer, but he won’t look back on his international career with great fondness because it is a catalogue of failures at major tournaments.
His personal achievements are his to cherish and should be applauded, but being with England is ultimately about the team and it’s success. Or lack of it in this case.
International football involving nations like England and Scotland has been left behind by the Premier League and Champions League.
The vicious circle of the failing Three Lions will keep going round and round though, ruining the reputation of players, managers and believers along the way. – Daily Star
Scotland’s James McArthur (left) vies with England’s Wayne Rooney during Friday’s World Cup 2018 qualification match at Wembley stadium. –