TFN’s resident Dutchman Elko Born tries to shed some light on England, Stevie G and possibly the English psyche from a continental perspective…
Whenever England play, be it in a major tournament or a friendly match, two things seem certain. First: if the opposition is any good, England will be likely to lose, and second: in the run up to the match, people are likely to talk about the fact that England are likely to lose.
If the English garden party I attended last week is anything to go by, this talk about the likeliness of England losing is done in good fun. The jokes are made with a healthy dose of light hearted cynicism. People will snigger at Roy Hodgson and poke fun at his prehistoric, stubbornly English view of the game – subtly ignoring the fact that the FA’s European experiments with Sven and Fabio failed miserably. They’ll laugh at Wayne Rooney and his hair, Steven Gerrard and his boyish, rather naive looking enthusiasm, and, not to forget, whoever John Terry and/or Ashley Cole might be sleeping with at the moment.
‘I used to love England as a boy,’ someone confided in me at the garden party, both hands clutching a Pimms. ‘But now I’ve given up on them. I think WC ’98 was the last tournament I genuinely enjoyed, when it comes to England.’
I chuckled, of course, only stopping to sip my gin and tonic. I was having a good time there in the garden, with the perfectly cut grass and beautiful flowers surrounding me, feeling very, very English. I too had given up on England, and I too don’t really enjoy watching them play anymore. I was having a much better time poking fun at the build-up and dissections in the days before and after matches. Continue reading