After pathetically failing to qualify for the EURO 2008 by losing 2-3 to Croatia at home and subsequently firing the coach Mr. McLaren (who was thus the shortest serving coach ever in the history of the FA), England is the most talked-about theme in football circles, not least in England itself. Uncountable theories and thoughts are given on the subject, so I thought I may add my personal comment on England among the immense forest of opinions, where mine may be nothing but a shrub.
It is indeed a pity that some of the players that are most easily recognizable from the Premier League, drowning us all in great matches anywhere in the world almost every week, will not be present in the EURO 2008.
However, as many voices are saying, maybe one has to consider whether England just doesn’t have the players, that they are overrated…?
I personally think they are not. These are great players, playing on some of the world’s best teams, alongside other of the world´s best players.
But they may be suffering from a disillusionment of national team football: maybe playing for England isn’t as glamorous any more. Maybe glory lies in the championship, at the same time as being a star on the England team just isn’t the same: one is insulted and trashed for everything, and pressure just grows to show results…
That is the other theory: maybe playing for England is just so demanding, due to the petty nationalism of football, that even star players from the world’s biggest teams are intimidated into not performing?
Thus, it is maybe it is simply the pressure from the vicious press and spectators, ever more pursuing the glory of the “mother of football”? Mr. McLaren may have suffered this: it was apparently a direct reason for the use of the goalie for the Croatia match, and well, I have always found it strange that Mr. Lampard and Mr. Gerrard both play on the same team, in spite of them both being great players.
Or it may just be that: English arrogance, that they are simply not that good. I don’t think so; I believe the English are very aware that they are not the world´s best as they insisted until 1950, only to lose their first world cup match to the USA. However, there is a problem somewhere, since I, as so many, think that England does belong in the big tournaments.
And well, Gerrard, Owen, Wright-Phillips, Rooney… they will all be missed.
Next time guys.