We’ve spent so long criticising and whinging about the England team and the players that we now take it as our god-given right to attack the national team at every turn.
It sucks, it’s weak, it’s gone too far and it must stop.
In the England v Andorra report, you’ll see a half-time video of the fans hurling abuse at the England players and the manager. It’s justifiable to be disappointed, but that kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anymore.
The ‘fan’ is egged on by the media and expectations are built so high by footballing hacks living in their vindictive make-believe worlds that anything less than an overpowering copy-cat performance of club football is deemed a failure.
Yes, the fans have seen insipid performances and for that the players must be criticised. But do they deserve the amount of crap that’s hurled at them by the fans? Definitely not. The pressure on these players is unbelievable. Expecting them to perform 100% when their own fans are turning on them is unfair – on the contrary, the fans should be cheering the players on even more, trying to get them pumped up so that they can improve.
McClaren has made mistakes – he made them in Israel, against Macedonia, against Croatia. He deserves the criticism, but not the form of abuse that is sent his way by the likes of the Sun and other tabloids. He certainly doesn’t deserve to hear ‘Steve McClaren is a wanker’.
The team has under-performed, and for that the players and the management are equal to blame. But should Stewart Downing be given this much grief before he’s even given the chance to play well?
The first half against Andorra was a case of nerves, which wasn’t helped by the get-in-their-faces-and-cripple-them approach used by Andorra. It was made worse by the heckling fans.
Gerrard, that match-winner of ours, put us in front (thanks to lovely assist by Wayne Rooney). Gerrard claimed the second as well before Defoe and Nugent combined for the third.
The second half was a team performance and an admirable one. Overall, England could have done better but considering their recent form, the pressure from the media and the heckling fans, they did well.
Can they do better? Much better. The England team and the England manager have a lot to answer for, and there are many things that must be addressed before we can call England a team worthy of winning international titles.
But what about the media, and what about the fans? Pathetic, absolutely pathetic.