Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughOut of Love with England - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Out of Love with England - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Out of Love with England

So Saturday sees the Three Lions taking on Switzerland in a Euro qualifier at Wembley, live on the telly. And you know what? I probably won’t watch it.

Over the past couple of seasons I have become increasingly disillusioned with the England national team. In fact, I barely take the time to watch them now, and even if I do I find myself shouting in frustration at the TV before switching over to something more soothing, like Panorama.

And I think I know the answer why. Back when I were a lad, I idolised the England national team. I’m talking Lineker, Bearsdley, Butcher, Pearce, Robson, Waddle and Hoddle. These were honest, meat and potatoes players who had risen up from day jobs and non-League football. Very rarely had they come through an Academy. Chris Waddle famously worked in a sausage factory whilst playing non-League and Stuart Pearce was an electrician by trade. These were players that you could identify with, that you would see in the street and you could shake their hand. Players that made you dream that one day you too could become a professional footballer, regardless of your background and education. They wore the Three Lions with passion and played with all their heart. Their pictures, ripped from ‘Shoot’ magazine, adorned my bedroom walls.

Back to the present and who do we have playing for England now?  A bunch of novelle riche chavs. A parade of overpaid, overpriced primadonnas who can’t keep it in their pants. There are some exceptions but the majority of these wasters do not deserve our time, money and adulation. Why would I want my son idolising a womanising drunk, who beats people up, falls out of bars and cheats on his wife?

I am sure I will get comments about how the players of my youth were hardly Saints, but their indiscretions were usually kept behind closed doors and dealt with internally, not splashed all over the tabloids. The current crop seems to get a token slap on the wrist then drives away in their production sports car de jour.

In my opinion the current Premiership footballer just doesn’t seem to try or care enough whilst playing for his country, which is a shame as playing for England used to be the pinnacle of a player’s career, something they themselves dreamt of and worked hard for. Now it seems they are too scared of getting injured whilst on International duty, thus preventing them for playing for their clubs and getting paid their ridiculous bonuses for goals, appearances etc.

Maybe it’s just me and my generation of mid-thirty year olds who feel this way. Maybe it’s because I support a League Two team that I cannot identify with any of them.

But the way I feel about the England team at the moment is probably best summed up in the words of the great Morrissey – they say nothing to me about my life.

Maybe I will tune in on Saturday after all. And maybe, come the final whistle, they may have done something to make me change my mind. We’ll see………..


Lee Morgan

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