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So in a few hours, England play their next game in the World Cup and it’s a ‘must win’.
If you looked at the papers after their defeat to Italy, you’d think England were like Brazil and were incredibly unfortunate to come out the losing side.
The reality is the Italians never seemed to really get out of first gear and yet they managed to keep the England team at bay for most of the match.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t moments of quality from the three lions.
Without doubt, it was exciting to see a young England team go out and attack.
You felt they knew they were the underdogs and so they were just going to go out and enjoy the occasion.
And so they should.
But they were definitely the 2nd best team despite the papers heaping praise on them like they were the 2nd coming.
Which leads to the picture on this post.
The fact is, the people of England have been let down by the England team for decades.
They have flattered to deceive over and over again and yet – at the end of the day – the result is always the same.
And because of this, the country had finally come to their collective senses and realised this team was not going to achieve anything other than gain valuable experience for a future tournament.
However, because they played with the sort of energy we haven’t seen for years, we forgot reality and starting labelling them as heroes.
As I said, they were good, but they were far from good enough.
I’m not blaming the players – well, except Rooney – but the fact is, like Susan Boyle, our pre-match prejudice had already written them off before a ball had been kicked so when they ended up performing better than we anticipated, we ended up giving them a disproportionate level of praise.
Like we did for Susan Boyle.
In other words, rating them good by comparison, not context.
They are the national team of the country that invented the game of football.
It is a team packed with players who earn a fortune playing week in, week out against opposition that features some of the best players in the World.
If that doesn’t mean we should be expecting more from them, I don’t know what does.
I love that we have put out a young squad.
I love that they have a passion and energy that we’ve not seen in years.
I love that you can tell they love the fact they’re playing in the World Cup.
None of this overpraise is their fault … but I also know that where the England team is concerned, the nations support can turn to anger in an instant … so I hope they do us proud today, not by exceeding our [low] expectations, but by genuinely playing well, because when the press stop getting drunk on their delusion, they won’t hesitate to stick their knives into the backs of players who they decided should be World Champions, even when a few weeks prior, they knew they couldn’t be.
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