Sunday, 27 June 2010

The Bronze Generation fall short once again, surprise surprise!

So, England were favourites were they? Idiotic pundits saying that no more than one or two German players would 'get in the England team', without evidence for such assertions. Form put Germany ahead - 2 wins and 6 goals in their previous 3 games, in comparison to England's mere 2 goals and 5 points. Superstitious commentators cannot even raise their usual, ludicrous complaint that England weren't wearing red!

The media feeds the players' and fans' sense of entitlement: that England are somehow inherently one of the best teams in the world, regardless of their performances as a team. It is all for the better that they were beaten so comfortably today - the scoreline flattered England frankly, it could have been 8-2 - as the media and fans cannot simply blame the officials and FIFA as they might have done had it been a tight 2-1 win. Blaming the foreigner is a time worn pursuit for those immersed in English football. It can happen no longer - all must take a long hard look at these players and ask: 'why do we rate them so highly?' They were atrocious today - to call the defending schoolboy would be an insult to children. The likes of John Terry simply are not world-class if they cannot defend simple punts upfield from the opposing goalkeeper.

David Stubbs captures this idiocy in his wonderfully droll Send Them Victorious (Zero Books, 2010), which should be required reading in schools and workplaces across the country. The Wing Commander is a superb creation; a crotchety old buffer and remnant of the empire: like a cross between Viv Stanshall's Sir Henry Rawlinson and Willie Donaldson's Henry Root. An eccentric, but avowedly right-wing old reprobate who combines the imperialism of Empire with the absurd sense of entitlement many armchair fans feel today. There are other excellent creations, such as the equally convincing Scottish pundit who rues the days of football played by real men hewn from granite and the Arsenal fan, nay, connoisseur who calls them 'Artenal'.

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