nYears ago, the then-new president of the Football Association, Greg Dyke, spoke about his goals for the English men’s soccer team. He said, “I want to put the whole English football in two goals.” “The first is for England to at least reach the semi-finals of the European Championship in 2020 and the second for us to win the title. world Cup in 2022.”
Until now Better than expectedthen – but there is a big step ahead: winning in blood, Contaminated World Cup in Qatar. It always seemed like a ridiculous goal on which to base any long-term success for the FA – an elusive semi-final decision and decades-old tactics turning to dust.
It’s a quote that’s been following Dyke for years, and to be fair to him, it was part of a plan to focus everyone’s minds in the game on the dearth of top-tier English talent. Of course, trying to win the World Cup seems like a really good idea. In practice, history tells us it’s a little trickier. There are other countries in the world where football is very popular, who also want to win the World Cup, with teams that have excellent players – who also want to win the World Cup.
But however blatantly obvious, there are still those, perhaps blinded by the quality of the Premier League (not noting the nationalities of most of the best players), who expect a lot from England Every time.
It’s this kind of craziness that drives people to capitalize when you’re trying to point it out Gareth Southgate He is the second most successful coach in the team’s history. Do you claim losing the ultimate success? This is the problem of this country everywhere.
As with previous England coaches, it is as if there is no middle ground – either you support him 100% or you think he should be sacked immediately and replaced by Thomas Tuchel. If Tuchel isn’t interested, force him to do it against his will, with no matches and only a week of training before we play Iran in November.
Of course, this nuance-free world extends to every part of England’s choice. Play more attackers – even if they are out of position. What do they do outside their positions? Choose a group from the right-back. Drop all right-backs. Build the team around Judd Bellingham. It’s only 19 stop putting pressure on the boy. The hashtag #SouthgateOut was trending on Twitter ahead of England’s first game at Euro 2020 because he picked Kieran Trippier as a left-back against Croatia.
The Toni-Tomori controversy also sparked a lot of outrage. How do you know if they can cut it if they don’t get 25 minutes against Germany? But similarly, how can 25 minutes in one match be an indicator of whether any player has world-class quality? Moreover, what does “international quality” really mean when elite football is better?
It is possible at once that Southgate is the man to take England to Qatar but he has reservations about his tactics, or disagrees with some of his choices. Given the range of criticism leveled at his defensive outlook against the bigger teams, he feels unexpectedly brave in sticking with those principles. England is unlikely to win the World Cup. go down in the flames and no one will complain (spoiler: they will); Lost with the handbrake and you left the door wide open – and you probably lost your job.
A lot of this goes back to the way we consume football. How many of us really invest in international players until a major tournament begins? It’s on so we watch it – but the game is boring looks more boring because you weren’t upset in the first place. It’s a classic confirmation bias – you knew you hated the international break, you disrupted your weekend routine, and that’s how it was proven. (Granted, last Friday Italy game It was boring by any measure.) Even the exciting parts, Those 15 minutes in the second half against GermanyIt is more of a passing pleasure than something to remember. But since it’s the only game that happens, it’s got a lot of coverage despite the fact that none of us really care.
What would have happened if England had not staged that comeback on Monday night? I heard someone on the radio say there will be “a lot of noise” around Southgate and the players for the next couple of months. No matter how much I like to think the England manager is running TalkSport or downloading the Guardian newspaper Weekly Football Podcast Right after the match, you were hoping in his mind that he would directly select his Spotify audio playlist.
If there was a radio station called TalkTalkSport, which gave an instant reaction to my shows after they came off the air, and was hosted by the current coaches and players we just criticized, I’d probably give it a wide spot.
And realistically, how much hype will there be around the World Cup until the week before? Over the next six weeks, football was relentless: Premier League, Champions League, Premier League, Premier League, La Liga, etc. There is hardly time to think about it.
As for Greg Dyke’s dreams for 2013, the reassuring thing about losing the Euro 2020 final is that the despair did not last long. Usually with every tournament exit you get another animated BBC montage and a chance to actually enjoy the rest of the football.
However, knowing our luck, if the men’s team were to win one big trophy in my life, it would be a depressing embodiment – in an unsuitable country, built on the lives of migrant workers. If there is any hype ahead of this tournament, this is how it should be.