- May 8, 2018
Not including the 68 Euros is like saying Uruguay never won the World Cup when 13 countries participated ? Tell Uruguayan fans this but in general I agree with your view on English fans entitlement of which I’m one as well and sometimes I’m as big a hypocrite as any other England Fan!I did not include the 1968 Euros actually - it's a bit of an arguable case at which point in time you start treating that as a major tournament.
I totally agree there's a legitimate debate whether England would be better served by a more attacking-minded approach, and I also agree that in terms of squad quality, England is in a better place than has normally been the case historically. And I'd love to see England blow away opponents with dazzling attacking football as much as anyone. But I do think it needs to be acknowledged that there are arguments on both sides of that question, and that the results that have been achieved with the more careful style have yielded results that make a pretty good case too. It's hardly an unconventional approach to winning football tournaments, and have been used by teams more talented than England. To argue, like lots of people do, that the only thing preventing England from winning tournaments with attacking football is Southgates incompetence and cowardice is just, well, obviously stupid and ignorant.
What I'm primarily getting at though is the total lack of real perspective among many on the results Southgate have actually achieved, and also on what is reasonable to expect and demand from an England manager. Which is so out of kilter that the overall result is something absurd and really kind of sickening - a fan base so unable to recognise what they're getting (or remember what they've usually been getting) that their dominant reaction to the most high-winning manager England has had in 50 years is one of barely contained rage. The disconnect between sentiment and reality is so enormous and so obvious that I think we're actually talking about something that has a real and negative effect on England's ability to succeed. What it must be like for the players to try to perform for a fanbase with that attitude - it can't be very motivating, to say the least.
One day I’ll love Southgate and wear a waste coat the next I’ll swear at the TV, isn’t that why the game and the World Cup are so special?