Oh England My Lionheart
Our plucky homegrown footballing talent shows it’s easy to earn obscene amounts of money, be adored by millions and turn in performances that would embarrass a sub standard pub team.
The game last night nailed any doubts that English football is at a low ebb, disappointment at the World Cup and more lately the Macedonian Part Time 3rd Eleven holding them to a draw just being more grist to the footballing mill. Yes individually on paper they look great, brilliant even, and yes most Saturdays they look great too. But could this be because they are amongst some of the best overseas talent that TV subscriptions, over priced replica shirts and bungs can buy? Get them to kick a ball about with fellow Englanders and it all goes ‘Pete Tong’.
The biggest criticism will undoubtedly be aimed at Steve McClaren, and as the man in charge he should sholder some of the blame, but I’d not be so quick condemn him as many have done. The eleven multi millionaires on the pitch didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory, some of them seemed half asleep, some distracted like they’d left the iron on or like Wayne Rooney in search of their long lost mojo.
This isn’t a problem that’s going to sort itself out over night. The lack of the all the things McClaren said he wanted to see from his players, “character… pride… passion… attitude… an English performance” is endemic and the causes manyfold. Until the Premiership is slapped by the hand 0f reformation, the FA grows a spine and players renumeration brought under control, England will contine to be the international footballing standard for under acheivement.