mikeB left this comment on Avenell Road last night, it was later in the evening and most of us had gone. The comment deserves more than to be lost on a days before post, it deserves debate, so here it is today…….
It is a sad reality of our media dominated game that we will never function as a successful national team until we take away the fear.
We see it with the players. Household names that are revered the world over fail to live up to club form… why? Because they play with fear.
A manager with the noblest record starts his England career with freedom and verve. Two years later he is so frightened that he leaves behind his most gifted impact player, and instead plays the same tried and tested format that his failed predecessor used… why? Because he was scared to do anything else.
Success for England is sadly unattainable in our current frenetic, Z-list celebrity crazed, and media dominated game. This has been true since the 1970 World Cup, when a media feeding-frenzy took the England Captain, one of the finest and most decent men ever to grace the game, and accused him of being a shoplifter.
Ever since then the media has been digging up dirt, besmirching reputations, and generally interfering in the psychological well-being of our national team and its many coaches.
I am not asking our trusted guardians of the ‘fourth estate’ not to do their jobs. What I am asking for is that they do their jobs responsibly. Until we take away the fickle interference of the British tabloid press, and the capricious and vested interests of other media outlets (Sky Sports take a bow) England will continue to fail, because they are too terrified to do anything else.
The inconsistency of a venomous media is quite shocking. England’s hero, from the qualifiers, suddenly became an untalented spoilt brat; unable to run with the ball, unable to cross a ball, unable to create space, and without an iota of ‘footballing brain’. According to the suddenly hate-filled tabloids, he was a man doing nothing for our great England cause; and why…? Because certain vacuous individuals, with axes to grind, and vested interests in their own self-promotion, were given platforms in the tabloid press, and told us it was so. For an already fragile England team it was cancerous, mendacious, and debilitating.
Great players don’t become bad players overnight. A great manager doesn’t become a poor manager overnight. Not unless they are hounded by the press until they are afraid to function.
That is what we saw against Germany… A team of fine individual players, led by a great manager, unable to pass, unable to shoot, unable to cross a ball, unable to express themselves, unable to make decisions, unable to function, unable to win… and why…? Because they were too terrified of failure.
This isn’t just about Theo Walcott; he is merely a symptom of a greater and more malignant disease, but if he and Jack Wilshere and co. go on to play for the national team they will fail too… The so-called pundits, and the rest of the rabid media in this country, with their vacuous opinions and feast and famine approach to football, won’t allow them to do anything else… Not if there’s a headline to write, and a quick buck to be made.
Written by mikeB