Often Partisan


Whilst the crosses of St George still flap happily in the breeze, the hopes of the England football team are flagging in South Africa; and with it the dreams of many back here in blighty.

Where I live, there are England flags everywhere. They adorn cars, trucks, houses and places of business. Some have put bunting up across whole streets, and the whole suburb looks like we’ve just emerged victorious from another war. Before the tournament started in South Africa, people were excitedly talking about this being one of the best England teams for a while; and of a good chance of returning home with the trophy and the glory. Two games in for England, and already the knives are out.

I have to say, I’m not one of the people flying a flag. It’s for a number of reasons – the main one being that whilst I support England in the World Cup qualifiers, I don’t feel I need to fly a cross of St George to prove how much I love England. England aren’t anywhere near my favourite football team anyway – I’m a club man at heart, and it kinda grates when you see all these people who don’t normally care about the beautiful game pontificating about why on earth Fabio Capello is continuing to pick Emile Heskey and yet ignoring Joe Cole. My grandfather, who’s nothing more than an armchair fan of football these days, if that, apparently remarked on Saturday morning he was going to drop his flag to half-mast – and this just typifies what’s wrong.

All the whipping up of hysteria pre-World Cup; the positive corncuopia of world cup themed adverts involving cheesily acting England players of past and present, not to mention all the other hangers-on built the current England team up to a platform they’d never reach. One draw later against an underrated United States of America side, and those hopes and dreams started to crash down around our ears; another draw against a poorer Algeria team and the torches are being lit, the pitchforks fetched from the barn and the metaphorical lynching of the England team in the press is about to be launched.

I think it’s what the press actually want – people will only read about a side that does well for a while; but they’ll endlessly moan about one that leaves in abject failure, and they’ll certainly lap up every single mucky detail that the gutter press can rake up about the players. It’s well known (on the internet at least) that the press are already hanging back on a story about the captain that will destroy his reputation; no doubt Wayne Rooney’s terse words post-game about the fans booing will earn him some brickbats and the rumours of incipient rebellion within the camp are already starting. Of course it could be worse – we could be like the French team, ripped apart by strife caused by class, race and religion to a point where some of the team won’t play with others, and the captain himself declares that the “mole must be eliminated” when a player is sent home for calling the manager a “dirty son of a whore.”

On Wednesday, for a nation the tides of destiny hang on a single match. Victory, and they can advance to possible glory. Defeat, and they are only good enough to be hung out to dry. Or so the press would have you believe.

Tags: ,

One Response to “Flagging”

  • Aff says:

    If you think it’s bad in England, you should come to Australia where poor Pim has been absolutely hammered by AFL / Rugby League fans who’ve decided that because they lost to Germany, Pim doesn’t have a clue because he didn’t play Harry Kewell! Despite having a great record with Australia and making a hell of a lot of sense in interviews, they’ve gone right off him after just one game – against potential World Cup winners!

    A lot of the things you mention about the WC though, I quite like. I like the mass hysteria, I like the people going overboard about our chances of winning, I like the flags and bunting etc. But I do agree with you 100% when you talk about people who have absolutely no idea about football having opinions about this, that and the other when in reality, they could walk past Wayne Rooney in the street and not recognise him.

    The press are scumbags too and I hate the whole ‘Zero or hero’ thing. That said, I find modern day club fans to be the same these days too so there’s not really too much difference.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Enjoying reading the blog :)

Leave a Reply

Personalised Gifts for a Bluenose
Haircuts and League Cups
Open Tax Services
Corporate Solutions UK
PJ Planning
Rodal Heating