Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Worst Football Team in the World

The part of me that I like loves cricket; the part of me that I hate loves football. Also I did slump into an orgy of love while watching the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final in a pub in Earls Court, but that was a temporary aberration. Last night the moment the ball bounced over Paul Robinson's foot to give Croatia a 2-0 lead over England, I finally slayed the part of me that I hate. The English league is the richest, most pampered and best supported in the world. Yet the national team is no more than eleven ill-tempered haircuts in search of a salon. Discounting for all their privileges and wealth, I think there is a reasonable case for saying it is the worst football team in the world. The reason I hung on until now was that, as a child, I watched Manchester City and felt a warm glow of belonging. Also my brother was at Wembley on 30th July 1966 and he came home as the happiest human being I have ever seen. But forty years later, it's all over. At the national level, the game has seen a gradual and now total collapse of ethos. And, in the last analysis, sport is only ethos, anything else is just inane brawling. Say what you like about cricket, it is not yet that.

10 comments:

  1. Sports journalists sharing with political hacks an inability to see wood for trees - understandable, I guess, they have to writing something - there is no surprise that the debate this morning is about tactics and the rightness of McLaren as a manager. The complete and abject absence of a team ethos - of sport - is not mentioned. Until it is, repeatedly and angrily, nothng will change.

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  2. the online pixieOctober 12, 2006 3:38 pm

    Knowing how you like anagram comments, check out the comments on the top two stories on http://gordonsrepublic.blogspot.com/

    he's the editor of brand republic, this is his blog. some brilliant anagrams.

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  3. I could not agree more. Last night wasn't about the failure of tactics or even individual skill, but about the absence of team spirit. Where is the supposedly great captain we have in John Terry? Where is the determination to fight and the embarrassment in failure? They should demote every single one of them and let them fight to get back into the team. They might then remember why the want to be there.

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  4. Ah neat, thanks. But don't you mean acrostics? First letter of each sentence or am I missing something?

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  5. And what have we here? Lampard, Rooney and Gerrard are on the 30-man Fifa shortlist for world player of the year. Player? In football no-one can hear you scream.

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  6. They ARE the worst team in the world.

    The problem is that we always want to believe that they are going to win something someday. But it will never happen again, believe me.

    Rooney the best thing since Pelé. Do me a favour.

    And now with a manager whose only international success was to lose 4-0 in the UEFA cup final and to cap it all a captain who thinks he?s Churchill.

    Why do you think there are so few English players and trainers in other leagues?

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  7. The part of me I like follows the rugby. The part of me I dislike follows the football. Correction - did follow the football. As with you - no more.

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  8. Team spirit can be built by the right manager - looking at what Martin O'Neill has done to Aston Villa this season you have to wonder what he said to the FA when they interviewed him.

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  9. Bryan, you need to be a fan of a major sports team in Philadelphia. We get to the brink of national championships in *every* sport -- football, basketball, hockey, baseball -- and then we lose.

    You want your heart broken on a yearly basis, just move here and root for any team you like.

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  10. the bashful pixieJanuary 09, 2007 12:12 pm

    Ah yes acrostics, beg your pardon. Was drunk at the time of writing I think. Schoolboy error...

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