Falling Out Of Love With England

The last week or so has said a lot about England, the state of the country, its sporting culture and the team that is supposed to represent it on the stage of international football. Apathy levels with the national team, however, are growing to the point at which it may become pertinent to ask the question of what the England national football team is actually for. Here’s Mike Bayly, on how he felt out of love with the England team. Logan Mountstuart, the chief protagonist in William Boyd’s Any Human Heart, offered the view that human beings are a series of ever evolving characters occupying an ever evolving body. When you reach a certain age – or perhaps, more accurately, a certain jadedness – you realise that time nourishes reflection. I sometimes look back at the child I was, with all my youthful follies, and wonder how I got where I am today: weatherworn, cynical, yet embracing of a deeper wisdom; a wisdom that only emerges when you step back from the abyss and understand the mechanisms that first led you there. I am a stranger to my past life now. And that includes my love for something I thought was unbreakable: the England football team. My first genuine recollections of watching England were Mexico 86, albeit in bewildered awe at Diego Maradona singularly dismantling the entire team. The first...

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