Monday, 12 July 2021

They did us proud

The team? Honestly, did they? No, not really; at best they were complacent and mediocre, but we’re not allowed to say that in the world we now live in. We have to praise half hearted displays. Don’t get me wrong; some of our players gave it their all, some of them, obviously favoured by the manager, should never have been in the starting line up. No, I’m not a manager, and while there are plenty of armchair managers who believe they could have done better I am not one of them. What I am though is someone who has spent 5 decades of my life watching football and I have never seen the majority of any England team lack so much passion, drive, or a will to win. Back-in-the-day (I always wondered at what age it would be ok to say that; now I’m obviously at the appropriate age for it just came naturally) Bryan Robson was a quiet man in comparison to many others on the pitch with him, but my goodness he rallied the team when he needed to. He boosted them, pushed them, screamed at them to get the very best out of them, not that he really needed to because back then all the players wanted to play their very best. I’ve not seen our current captain (another seemingly quiet man) give any indication of him doing anything to boost the players around him; the only time he has lead the team is when he’s been at the front of the line as they walk out of the tunnel and onto the pitch. He spent more time in our half than he did in theirs; isn’t a striker meant to be up front? I’m not singling him out to be mean, there were times when he played well. He scored goals to get us to the final and on-the-whole he is a good player; I just feel he isn’t a good leader and every team needs a good leader, someone to step up, take charge and reinvigorate the team around him/her. There is no winning trophy for second place, however, coming second is not quite-so-hard to take if the play has been good and effort has been put into that play. I’d watched the Wimbledon tennis final beforehand; Novak Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini by 3 sets to 1, but my goodness Berrettini played his heart out and the scoreline most certainly did not reflect how well he played. I wish I could be here, saying the same about the English team, yet I cannot, for they did not play to win. Just look at the stats; we had only one third of the overall possession, and of that third around 90% was played in our own half. For the most part we looked terrified at the thought of pushing forward, and when players did break through, there was never anyone else up front with them to bang the ball in the back of the net; they were all still in their own half trying to catch up. I’ve seen some beautiful football played throughout the tournament, and there have been moments (our goal yesterday - scored from good football and players pushing forwards) of utter brilliance. When Saka has been on the pitch he has run his little heart out. He is one to watch in the future and reminds me of Des Walker from back-in-the-day (twice in one paragraph). When he picks up the ball on that left side, he takes it, he runs with it and he can chip over some beautiful balls; sadly there’s never anyone in the goal area ready to knock it in. We played with 3 up front last night and still there was never anyone in the box to score. Grealish and Foden; oh my word, if they’d been allowed to play (although I believe Foden is holding an injury) teamed up with Saka, Henderson and Rashford, we could have been looking at a totally different score today. We could have been looking at a winning team. I don’t know why Gareth Southgate chose not to play them more during the tournament, I just hope, going forward, he looks at them and gives them the chances they deserve. If they’re not match fit, or are flagging by the middle of the second half, then take them off and bring on someone with a bit more experience or a few more hours under their belt, but give us some hope to begin with. At least they looked as though they wanted to be there, like they wanted to win, and they are players who did try to make us proud over the course of the tournament, when they were allowed to play. The majority of the other players seemed disinterested and lacklustre, as if they believed it their right to win the game so they didn’t need to put in any effort. I genuinely don’t understand the hype around Sterling. I think I must have watched different games to all those I saw praising him because I saw him give away more balls than anyone else, and he has obviously been taking lessons from Tom Daley when it comes to diving. I don’t like to see that. That’s definitely not something to be proud of. 

For those who missed penalties my heart breaks. I cannot even begin to imagine how they felt at the time, and how they are going to feel for weeks to come. I hope they can take heart that even the very best of players throughout the history of the sport have missed at times and under far less pressure than they were. The game should never have got to that stage for them to have been in such a position.

Once again, the Italians proved what dirty players they are. In all my years I’ve never seen them once play a game where they’ve not tried to take out other players and where Sterling has been taking lessons from Daley, the Italians could definitely teach Tom a thing, or 2; they’ve always been that way. I’ve never known them to be any different, and the tackles on Saka and Grealish were disgusting. There should be no place in modern-day football for such play. For both players to be on the pitch after was quite shocking and poor refereeing. Earlier in the game Sterling had been shoved 2 handed as well; the ref appeared to miss that!


i do find myself getting pissed off with the prawn sandwich brigade who were sitting at home constantly tweeting about opposition players being booed for they have obviously never attended a football game before, and really do need to have spent some time at (or watching from your armchair) before commenting. It’s something which has happened at every-single-game I have ever been too/watched, and not just by us. At points last night the Italians were booing, yet nobody seemed to pick up on that! However, booing the National Anthem of another country is not sportsmanlike and there was no need for it - although, yet again, I have seen games where the opposition have been on their home ground and booed our anthem, so that’s not just an English fan thing to do.

Ahh, the English “fan”. I’m not even sure where to start with them. If the team didn’t do us proud, the “supporters” most definitely did not. Actually, I can’t say that; most people were there to watch a game of football. Most people there were fans of the game. Sadly, the inbred, low-life pond scum element also found their way in, and because of them, all of us this morning, fans and non-fans alike, are being viewed by the rest of the world as the lowest of the low. 


I’m not going to share photo’s like many others have done with regards to what these despicable creatures did, the state they left areas of London (and other cities) in, because I refuse to give them credence or publicity. I’m not going to share the names of the utterly disgusting things that hit the social media comments section of Saka, Rashford and Sancho’s twitter and instagram. I hope that the police note every single vile comment, the name of every despicable thing that said such things and they are banging on their front doors right now. May they be infested with the fleas of a thousand dogs. Racist thugs hiding behind computer screens deserve no place in society; they should be rounded up and forced to clean toilets with a toothbrush for the next decade. Better still, bring back the stocks and sit these things in them for several days. They won’t think themselves so tough then. Utterly shameful behaviour that the rest of the world is watching. We were hated enough before yesterday; today though I pretty much think we are the most despised country in the world. It is always the few who ruin it for the many, but we must now start taking action against these few. Mind you the Australian newspaper with the headline “Three black players failed in the penalty shoot out which England lost 3 - 2 to Italy”. Really? Why, just why would you make that your headline? Sadly, more fuel has been added to the fire though by a black guy now saying that "ALL white people" are racist. It's never going to end until we can all accept that there is good, and bad, in every single race and nationality on the planet. What we need to be doing is stamping on those who are, not tarring everyone with the same brush because of the colour of our skin.


People are asking why the same police force who brutally manhandled women who were taking part in a peaceful candlelight vigil for a woman who had been raped, just stood back and watched while thugs rampaged through the streets of London. One obvious answer is because it’s easier; manhandling a few women out of the way takes less effort than dealing with a handful of beered up thugs. It’s easy to blame the police as-a-whole, but yet again, it is the few who are ruining it for the many. Not all in the force are arseholes, although (sadly) it does appear these days there are more bad than good, however, part of the problem is the government has depleted our forces so badly we are down to a bare minimum. I live in a town in the middle of 2 cities and there’s not a single police station open 24/7 any more. I saw several cars when the building at the end of the road I work on was raided a while back and was genuinely surprised we had so many still in operation. 


For Boris Johnson, the man in charge of this shit pile country right now to have said it was "ok" for the dickwads to be booing our playing when they took the knee before each game, to now come out and say he's disappointed in our players receiving such awful racist comments is just utterly unbelievable. The bumbling buffoon has actively encouraged and incited this vile behaviour by saying previously it was "ok". He has already turned this country into a laughing stock among the rest of the world; best he keeps his trap shut from now on.


I don’t know what it is about (mainly) men in this country when it comes to football and beer. Why it is we cannot seem to do anything, go anywhere, without behaving in a despicable fashion?. You just don’t see that level of antisocial behaviour in other countries throughout the world. Seeing men with their beer bellies hanging out, downing pints and behaving like thugs on the continent, the same thugs who took over our streets yesterday just seems to accepted as part of our culture. Why do we appear to be the only ones in the world who behave like this, and how do we stop it? 


I used to be proud to be English, I used to fly my flag with pride during tournaments, dressing my shop window in red and white when we played. We get no choice on where we are born, however, right now I’m deeply ashamed to call myself English, and to be a part of a country that can behave in such a way. I’m disappointed that the flag of St George has been hijacked by wanton racist thugs - although maybe, deep down it’s always been that way; we’ve not been the nicest of countries throughout the centuries. I was wondering if it’s time to cash-in on my American and Polish heritage! Mind you, when it comes to racism the American’s aren’t any better and the Poles have problems with (believe it-or-not) racist football fans, among rising racism throughout the general population, so I guess the issue is worldwide (or I’m just unlucky enough to be borne of such heritage). That doesn’t help right now though, being English, and seeing what I have been seeing. 


As for football; The only way to go some way towards stopping it is with bans. I think we should be banned - all English clubs, not just the England team - from playing in any tournament (Euro’s, World Cup, Champions League etc) and we should not be allowed to host any games over here for a decade. Pubs, clubs and other venues (including outdoor ones like those set up in Trafalgar Square) should not be allowed to show football on their screens. If we are allowed to continue playing in tournaments then all english fans should be banned from attending. Anyone found to have been involved in the shitstorm yesterday/last night should have their passports revoked for a decade too, meaning they cannot travel outside of the UK for any reason. Yes, it would take a lot of manpower but we have the technology these days to track down this scum.. Time to make an example of them. Same with the keyboard racists. They should be tracked down, their passports revoked, and as I said above, build some new stocks and shove them in them. Pretty sure one guy who has been outed will find himself out of a job today, as he was stupid enough to have the company he works for on his twitter account. Anyone losing their jobs as a result of their behaviour should not receive any government help, or benefits for 6 months. Maybe, just maybe, we might go someway to putting a lid on it. 


They did us proud? I think NOT.