Thursday, 24 June 2010

world cup En Ger Land

The equation is simple, England win and they are through, any other result and they will most probably be on their way home. It is also pretty straightforward for the USA, they just have to match whatever result England achieves and they are through.

This backs to the wall, situation is a not unusual for England to be in, both on and off the field of play.

1879, the Zulus had just defeated the British at the battle of Isandhlwana, and the surviving Troops, defeated the Zulu army at the Battle of Rorke’s drift, an action in which 11 Victoria crosses were awarded (The highest medal for gallantry which can be given) and which was later immortalized in the film, Zulu starring Michael Caine.

Could that be an omen as there are 11 players in a football team?

Twenty years later, the lifting of the siege of Mafeking after 217 days was considered the turning point of the Boer War. There is a definite siege mentality in the current England camp and they need to turn a corner.

Both in 1986 and 1990, England started their world cup campaigns poorly and came into their final group game having to win, which they did on both occasions, In fact in 1990 they reached the semi-finals, losing to Germany on penalties.

That is the history, but why does it always have to be this way. The excuses or reasons are myriad. The usual one is that the pressure on the players from the fans back home is so intense, that they freeze. This is usually dismissed by those who say that anyone who is earning around 500,000 shekels a week (I kid you not) should be able to cope with the pressure.

The next most popular excuse/reason is that the players are simply not good enough, they lack the skill and intelligence of the S Americans or Europeans. There is something to this.

After that, the blame is laid on the English clubs, who don’t let homegrown talent come through but instead rely on foreign imports, in the desire for domestic and European titles. This is definitely a problem, but one that is not restricted to England as the top European teams are all multinational affairs and you don’t hear the Spanish or Italians complaining about this.

No, I believe the reason is that the English Football team suffers from a masochistic Self defeating personality disorder. This can be seen in the following symptoms:

1) Choosing people and situations that lead to disappointment or failure, even when better options are clearly available. E.g. Passing to the wrong player, throwing the ball into your own goal and missing an open goal.

2) Rejects or renders ineffective the attempts of others to help. E.g. what does that Italian twat, Mr. Capello think he can teach me John Terry (ex England captain who lost his job as captain for having an affair with the girlfriend of his team mate.)

3) Incites angry or rejecting responses from others and then feels hurt, defeated, or humiliated when criticized for doing so. E.g. Wayne Rooney attacking the England fans for booing the 0-0 draw with Algeria.

It is therefore not surprising that England fans go through the whole gamut of emotions in the build up to and during the actual game. This is also something which is unavoidable to almost all English born. So today at 17.00 don’t try and reach me or most other English you may know. By 19.00, we will know if England lives to play another day (Saturday night at 21.30)

I will end with two quotes from Shakespeare’s Henry V before the battle of Agincourt.

“That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made. We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us”.

“The game's afoot: Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Wayne, England, and Mr. Capello”

I will be posting a separate piece about group D



  1. You didn't mention that the Rorke's Drift was also in South Africa :)

    and though you might like this?

    This is how British journalist Frank McGhee set up the 1966 World Cup final between the sides. “If, on the morrow, the Germans beat us at our national game, we’d do well to remember that, twice this century, we have beaten them at theirs.”

  2. Ah ha ha...............HASTINGS!!!