Falling Out Of Love With England


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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16 Responses

  1. Isn’t it great when a blog post or article just about sums up everything in your head on a certain topic without you needing the effort or writing skill to say it yourself? It’s a few months before a major international tournament and I’d normally be getting moist with anticipation by now. But so far? Nothing. Nada. Zero excitation. Thanks for the post Mike, a career in therapy awaits you.

  2. mike says:

    I have to confess that I really don’t care two hoots about the England team, manager or set-up in general. I suspect I am not the only person for whom the fortunes of my club come before anything else in terms of football – as it happens, that club is a semi-professional outfit (although I live about 15 minutes walk from a League football ground I wouldn’t darken its doors) but I feel exactly the same about the England semi-pro team (aka England C). The international scene is to me an irrelevance.

  3. Kev, Swansea says:

    That’s a really great article – I think it captures my own growing lack oif interest in certain aspects of football, although in a different way; the players at Swansea City are not the wealthy insular diamond-studded collective that Mike refers to, but there is definitely a feeling that although it’s great to be in the Premier League, and everybody in the world appears to love those warriors in white, for some reason I just don’t feel part of it. The reason remains unexplained though – it just is.

  4. Browner says:

    One of the most insighful and relevant articles that I’ve read in a long time. It explains my feelings on the subject too – I too feel more for the teams that lost so valiantly on Italia 90 & Euro 96 that the overpaid, overhyped, sefl indulgent, cossetted prima donnas that play for England now – Team England? – Utter tripe. I will probably feel more for the GB Olympic Team this year than the Euro 2012 England team. They (GB team) wil be full of young enthusiastic players keen to make an impresion with a manager that wears his heart on his sleeve like a true Englishman – not some crooked tax dodger who just thinks everything is Either “a joke” or “triffic”And, whilst I have some concerns over his reasons for wanting to play and despite his many failings as a player, at least Beckham will try to do his best for the team and hopefully encourage some kind of patriotism, not jingoism, nationalism or even racism.

  5. Jack says:

    terrific bit of writing, although I’m now somewhere between wistful and suicidally melancholic

  6. Noshow NZ says:

    I had a similar falling out of love with our national cricket team (and subsequently the game) approx 20 years ago where all the hype and promise and rhetoric lead to yet another series of disappointing results on the field. There comes a point, I realised, that our country (New Zealand) is only ever going to be a toiler and not amongst the top tier of teams, however much we tried to fool ourselves otherwise. I haven’t watched or been interested in the game since.

    The England national team is now very much becoming the same to me. In the past the cyclic issues that are reoccurring again, were glossed over somewhat by the fact that Ze Germans, French and Spanish were in similar states of turmoil and self destruction, but not now. Where those countries have sorted themselves out England has not and one could argue that the longer the FA leave it, the bigger the gap widens.

    NB: France might be the exception presently but they did have a good period for a while winning World & Euro Cups.

  7. Dave says:

    The plastic tits comment gave me an idea to help the public reconnect with the England team. Give Gazza the manager’s job, and televise the team’s Euro 2012 trip in “Krackow uncovered” style. It’d make for unmissable TV.

  8. Jertzee says:

    A good article but I take offence at the ” a tournament that by modern day standards would be the equivalent of screening live terrestrial action from the Combined Counties League” comparison.

    As someone whose nearest team is a CCL side, and has seen his own side play 2 seasons in the CCL before their rise to the Foorball League I find it objectionable that a mickey mouse England game is the equivalent of a CCL game.

    I would choose Raynes Park Vale vs Colliers Wood United every time over England v Scotland in a Rous Cup game, and have indeed have watched RPV when England have played, and certainly when there has been live coverage of the Champions League.

    Apart from that, sums up my feeligns very well….and here’s to the CCL, live and exclusive on ITV1…..!!

  9. Jam says:

    Great article that really sums up a lot of my feelings towards the England team.

    For me though, there’s an additional aspect to my ambivalence towards the current England squad, and that’s the players themselves. It’s just not possible to really support a team made up of individuals you detest.
    I can’t wish success on the likes of John Terry, Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, or Steven Gerrard.

    I’m not suggesting that the past players were angels, but while many of them were nasty bastards on the pitch, they at least seemed to be reasonably normal off it. Or perhaps we just didn’t know so much about them in those days.

  10. blogdroed says:

    It’s funny, but I don’t have the same apathy towards the Wales national side, even though we now have more premiership players than ever before.

    I would ask Browner to think very carefully before supporting any TeamGB side … but that’s another argument!!

  11. Sean says:

    I think much of this is human nature.

    Like the author I follow a rubbish lower league team, though I’m younger, so I remember getting attached to the national side around the turn of the millennium. I fondly remember how much the 2000, 2002 and 2004 tournaments meant to me, but in recent years I’m not even aware what day England are playing. Some younger fellow-club-supporting friends are incredibly excited about this summer’s tournament and have their flights booked, and I’m sure one day they’ll lose interest too.

    I think much of my apathy stems from our media, though. I never had a problem with Eriksson, and many fans I spoke to felt the same. The newspapers dont’ reflect public opinion, though – they tell the public what their opinion should be. It was the journos that were against him from the start, they did it again with McClaren and then Capello.

    I find myself sincerely hoping that the press get their wish, Redknapp takes over and then fails spectacularly* just to see how they’ll react. My wish that they’ll accept responsibility is pie in the sky, though.

    * Not out of any malice towards Redknapp, though I do have an intense dislike for all tax avoiding scum as they mean I have to pay more.

  12. Mike Bayly says:

    @Jertzee – My apologies if the Combined Counties analogy caused offence. As one of the chief promoters of Non-League Day, the last thing I would wish to do is sully the name of the non-league game. Indeed, I watched a match in the CCL earlier in the season (Colliers Wood United v Guildford City) and had a great time. My point – perhaps not as articulately communicated as should have been –was that to the general public, pointless international matches have very little draw. An event like the Rous Coup would, by modern day standards, generate considerable apathy. The non-league game suffers from a similar problem, despite the fact it has so many endearing qualities. It is the whole reason we seek to promote grass roots football every year via the Non-League Day campaign.

    Cheers, Mike.

  1. February 12, 2012

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