I’m not the sort of person who blogs about football, indeed I refuse to create a “Football” tag on this blog. That said, I was so pleased when I flipped over from How To Look Good Naked to see Croatia two-nil ahead that I just had to write something while it lasted.
Here’s why I don’t want England to qualify. Primarily, it’s to save us all from a summer of shite next year, when the media will go mad and pretend they think England will win. England will be transformed into a nation of morons with flags everywhere. It will just be awful. Writing at half time, it looks as though there is at least a chance we could be spared all that. Trouble is, whenever I watch England matches on the telly, the buggers always win, to my annoyance. Still, at least if they get through we will have the consolation of being able to watch them crash out of the tournament proper next year.
We need to be honest: England is not a great footballing nation. Our national team isn’t all that good, when compared to serious contenders for major championships. We are enthusiastic, but we are not great. In particular, the England team has a habit of failing to win matches that it really ought to, against weaker opposition or when they’ve taken an early lead.
That said, we are just about good enough that we ought to be able to qualify for a major tournament without major drama – there can be no doubt of that. If England do indeed fail to qualify, there can be no justification for Steve McClaren retaining his job.
I’m going to go back to grinning now, unless and until England equalise. But I do feel Scotland and Northern Ireland deserve recognition for strong efforts to qualify that do them, as small national sides, a lot of credit.