The England squad is a bunch of parasites...
Written by William Conway on Tuesday the 22nd of June 2010
...but it might just be the reason we go on to win!
I'm not one for football analysis usually but I'm sure I am not the first to notice that our national side is a bit of an anomaly. With England's final group stage game against Slovenia looming, I think it's time we sorted this out.
(I should explain that I may refer to England as 'we' because I'm English and they are representing me in this tournament. However, outside of international football, I am not condoning the use of the royal 'we' to refer to the particular team someone decided to ally their selves with that week, as if they're some integral part of the squad.)
Anyway, after a less-than-stellar performance last weekend and an abysmal embarrassment against Algeria, I've been racking my brains (yes both of them) trying to figure out what it is about England's style of football that makes it so frustrating to view. How have we only managed to score one goal in two weeks?
Maybe the players aren't as financially motivated to play in this piddly little global tournament when they reflect on the ridiculous 150,000 a week they will be getting later in the year when this global humiliation is all behind us.
Or perhaps the team don't play well together because of the staunch rivalries between their league clubs, or because they screw each other's wives and girlfriends. That would be good as an excuse but somehow it doesn't seem enough.
For a country so inundated in history and culture and national pride, surprisingly we don't seem to have any personality when it comes to football.
This tournament aside, the Germans calculated and precise, the French are hot-headed but graceful, Argentina energetic and passionate and Brazil are, well Brazil. What about us? What's our style? Even our hooligans have more pride in their work than the footballers.
We are almost spectacularly unable to control a game. No matter which team we play, even though we have some of the world's best players, we can never outclass a team, whoever they are. There is almost no such thing as a typical England match.
I think I've figured out our problem. We can only play as well as the other Eleven men on the pitch. It's almost as if we play in a symbiotic or parasitic way, sapping on the energy and direction of the opposition. This is why we can almost beat five times World champions Brazil but have a goalless game with Algeria.
Maybe having invented the game, our national character is inherent in it. We do not have a particular style simply because it is our style. We're like some strange spirit of football, a restless ghost that will plague international competitions but ultimately remain harmless.
On such a level pegging maybe penalties don't seem like such a scary prospect after all. The odds are in our favour at least, and maybe that's the best we can hope for.
Anyway, good luck tomorrow, it's a game of two halves, go out there to get a result and hopefully the lads won't give you any stick.
unfortunately some hooligans take a little too much pride in their work...