Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

England deserved to lose


Rooney and Terry attempt to sing the National Anthem
am not a football fan per se. I only watch international matches because I believe 50% of international football is about politics, especially geopolitics. Politics is my passion and international football is the only time sport assimilates into this passion. So here is a very rare comment from me on football, in particular last night’s quarter-final match between England and Italy in the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament.

Roy Hodgson’s men didn’t deserve to lose because they weren’t any good at playing football: we all know that. They didn’t deserve to lose because they ran out of puff after twenty minutes: they did. No, they didn’t deserve to lose because they couldn’t pass to save their lives and, when they accidentally did, the ball just bounced off their team mate’s feet to the nearest Italian player: watch the footage again, it is how most of the match happened. 

The reason they deserved to lose is because they have no sense of patriotism or national pride. They couldn’t care less about their country. Most of the players and the manager himself hardly knew the words to the National Anthem: watching them sing it reminded me of Tory MP John Redwood’s attempt to sign the Welsh Anthem. The lack of pride in their country was plain to see in the English players when the inevitable penalty shoot-out was reached after 120 minutes. Despite Italy playing poorly compared to Germany or Spain, in the game of pot luck that are penalties, the Italian players were able to muster up a skill the likes of Cole, Young and Gerrard (as our Captain) just do not possess: the force of national pride. To be fair, Italian national pride is pure arrogance but it enabled them to win 4-2 on penalties.
Of course, the England team’s technical ability is the main reason why they fail to win tournaments but international football tournaments are a different kettle of fish compared to club football. Club football is selfish with the only motivation being money. Pride doesn’t really come into it when players switch allegiances during the transfer window at the drop of a hat: whoever can pay the most dosh gets the man. 

In the EUROs and the World Cup, patriotism is the order of the day. Without it, you’ll never reach glory!

Author: gavinmaclure

IT professional; political blogger, former Conservative councillor

2 thoughts on “England deserved to lose

  1. How many of the Italian players know their national anthem? Being patriotic doesn't make up for lack of skill or getting tactics wrong.

  2. Anonymous, my point is that in the separate game of penalties being patriotic pretty much is the core skill. As Roy Hodgson said, Ashley Young and Ashley Cole were in penalty practice kicking the ball into the back of the net one ball after another but come the real thing they floundered. My argument is they can't muster up the force of national pride to get them past the nerves and pressure because they don't have any pride in their country unlike the Italians!

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