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Summer Of Discontent (Opinionated piece on English football) (1 Viewer)

granty1

Senior Member
It was only when they were trudging off the pitch in the pouring rain last night that it struck me. What the hell will I do next summer? My friend and I were discussing only the other night where we would go to watch England group games next year, and had organised a mini holiday. Let’s face it; I’m not the only football fan in the country that believed we would be at Euro 2008. In fact, I was positive of it even when we were 2-0 down. The last time we were denied a shot at a major tournament was 1994, and that was under Graham Taylor. Surely no one could emulate his pathetic showing all those years ago. Evidently Mclaren could and has.

The pain of England, Nth Ireland, Scotland and Wales’s failure to qualify will subside over the coming days, as the respective nations paint a thick coat of gloss paint over the whole sorry memory. Unfortunately, that coat will be stripped off and the misery revealed all over again next summer when the finals get underway. I’m sure everyone remembers watching USA ’94. A week in, I was still struggling to come to terms that they would even go ahead without England involved. Luckily it turned out to be a rather poor tournament, and was being played on the other side of the world, so was easier to ignore. Unfortunately, the Euros are played a lot closer to home and even if television bosses have the heart to cancel the screening of some of the games over here, the millions of us who will be holidaying on the continent will not be able to escape the football fever than inevitably grips every participating country over the course of the summer.

So it got me thinking. It’s only a game right? No, actually, a lot more rides on the ability to qualify than one first realises. Firstly, there is the personal inconvenience to myself. Every man knows that a major football tournament containing your country gives you the divine right to skip work if necessary if it clashes with the big game. In addition, it gives a free pass to the pub with your friends that will automatically override any event/dinner with in-laws/birthday you wife or girlfriend may have in store for you. Major tournaments only occur once every two years, and for people of my age there are only a finite number of years left before we are too old to spend the day in the pub talking about the game, and then the evening watching it before mass responsibility takes a hold. In essence, the poor display by Gerrard and the rest cost me two of my finest years.

Looking beyond my own nose, there are others that will lose out. David Beckham, who will be denied the chance to play in his last major tournament, said afterwards it would be a summer without England flags flying in the streets. Which must mean that somewhere, the manufacturer of the little car flag will have been having a nose-bleed when Scott Carson had possibly the worst first touch in football history. Likewise, how do you think Carlsberg and the Nationwide building society felt with their logos emblazoned behind Mclaren’s pathetic head in the post match interview? They might possibly take their sponsorship elsewhere next time around.

The players themselves must be devastated. Not due to the dent in national pride, but instead because of the angry calls from their accountants now desperately trying to balance their loss of income against their gambling debts. The WAGS too will be less than pleased that they will have to return their ski gear for the 3 weeks they had planned to spend on Piste. What will happen to the thousands of England football fans who had set aside their summers to throw café chairs and bottles at everybody who walks the streets of Zurich? Perhaps they will do it anyway, as an act of defiance.
Alan Shearer, Jamie Redknapp et al will have been looking to fill the large football shaped hole in their lives with some well paid punditry work next summer, but will instead be forced to stay at home in large houses with their model wives. You must feel for them. The only person who I can see that will benefit from the home nations’ failure to qualify will be scathing journalists such as myself, and perhaps Sir Alex Ferguson and the rest, who will be breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t have to watch their stars limp home at the end of June having en mass broken metatarsals playing for their country…

As for Mclaren, he quoted after the game that “now is not the time to reflect on the game itself”. Oh, no? When do you suggest Steve, maybe sometime after 9am tomorrow morning when you will be well and truly on your bike?

 

JohnN

Senior Member
It was such a sad night. I cant believe it still. We need a decent manager. Capello? Redknapp?
 

granty1

Senior Member
At least this time we have the time to really make sure we appoint the right man. Either would be a good shout, Capello has won eveything so winning wouldn't be as much of a surprise as it seems to be for the last couple!!
 

The Backward OX

WF Veterans
It's a big problem, I admit.

One possible solution is to migrate Downunda, take up following Aussie Rules, and you will then have a year-round footie-associated activity, as those clowns divide their year in two - the footie season, and the pre-footie season.
 

JohnN

Senior Member
haha. I can't ever imagine enjoying Aussie rules. The pitch shape is strange. Gives me a headache....lol
 

granty1

Senior Member
I just spent a year out there actually, I love Aussie rules!! I mean, any sport where you can get a point for missing!!

I had the misfortune to live in Richmond, and so became a Tigers fan by default.. Dark days..
 
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