Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Football

I had meant to to write a little bit about the World Cup before England got knocked out. Truth be told, I didn't expect it to happen yesterday. As a Scotsman, it seems that people south of the border might be interested to know how I reacted to England losing on penalties yet again. So I'll tell you.

I think most English people are genuinely perplexed when they see Scots support "anyone but England". In the past, I've been in pubs up here where the team playing England has been cheered to the rafters. It can be a visceral response and not at all tongue in cheek as I think the English sometimes imagine. It appears that recently, with the increasing interest which this issue has been given, the English have started to realise that many Scots are indeed passionate in their desire for England to get beaten.

The reasons why this is the case are difficult to pin down exactly but small nation syndrome certainly plays a part. One of these days, I will write a post about that.

Anyway, I don't like it and try to avoid it. Unlike very many of my countrymen, England's defeat didn't please me at all. In fact, althought I certainly wasn't as emotionally involved as I'd have been if it had been Scotland (chance would be a fine thing), I was on the edge of my seat peeking through my fingers as the penalties were taken. And I was gutted for the team. They put in a commendable effort and deserved more.

I blame Sven. Playing Rooney up front on his own in a 4,5,1 was dumb. Taking a baby striker who couldn't realistically be used when two of the others had potential injury worries was dumber. England certainly had the players to get to the semi-finals at least this time, particularly given the draw they had. Sven just never could get the best out of his players and that, at the end of the day (I love football cliches), is what being manager is all about. He isn't a good one. Shame the English FA didn't realise that about two years ago when it was already obvious to most pundits. With a decent manager in charge, England would probably have had an outside chance of winning the World Cup; with Sven, I never thought they did.

Anyway, I offer my sympathies to those south of the border who feel deflated today. Being a Scot, deflation and disappointment are par for the course when it comes to international football so I know how it feels.

Maybe next time. With a decent manager and Shrek grown up a bit and able to diplay a bit more self-control...

(Btw, I did have to laugh at the ultra-patrotism of the BBC pundits. Shrek gets sent off for stamping on someone's testicles and they all respond by calling Ronaldo disgraceful for pressuring the referee. Hmm, which of those two things is really the most disgraceful? Do these pundits not have testicles or something?)

Tags: ,


Sticker Esq. said...

Brilliant Post chief!

Noddy said...

Great minds think alike?

Anonymous said...

you are the first person to comment that Rooney might have some part to play in his sending off, everyone else thinks it is ronaldos fault for talking to the ref or sven's fault for letting rooney get frustrated.

Tim Neale said...

hmmm...the Union may just survive Gordon Brown