Search Menu

Why do Americans hate England?

Share

Without being one of England’s historic sporting rivals like Scotland or Germany, it’s a bit strange that there were some Americans pleased with England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

No one doubts that the Americans and the English have a somewhat tenuous history, but as far as recent politics go, things have generally been going the American way.

Sporting rivals are fairly non-existent as the mainstream American sports aren’t even played that heavily outside of the good old 50. But that seems to have taken a turn in the last couple of years as soccer gains in popularity, and Americans seek to both gain England’s approval and also become better competitors.

Usually its America’s lack of history and tradition that makes up the bread and butter of England’s arguments as to why American soccer is always “just so bad.” While America clearly doesn’t have the history that England does, that isn’t always an impediment. Much of the England style of play and coaching seems to be in a slump deeply rooted in a history that they can’t shape for the future. Americans really don’t have that problem, (minus the whole NASL debacle and so far so good in terms of the MLS), which provides less of a struggle as nearly everything Americans do in soccer is innovative and worth a chance (at least to Americans). England’s history just doesn’t allow for that novelty which creates scrutiny for whatever they do, and makes the expectations, especially those of American fans, much higher.

Yank fans continually suffer from shots taken because of the MLS (a.k.a the Mickey Mouse league), which can get tiring and cause some resentment. Yes, England birthed the world’s game, but lately the England national team seemed to limp from one major competition to another. While some Americans may take slow pleasure in the suffering that has struck the big brother of American soccer, many yanks began to feel that England was overrated. England may have failed to qualify for Euro 2008, but that failure has also put an end to the moral hazards that were impeding their growth. Now England might be more able to live up to the esteem that American soccer fans hold England to, a certain standard that England have been disappointing.

Maybe Americans just feel satisfied that, for once, they’re not on the spot as the only nation with a troubled soccer program. Maybe they just feel spite that the mighty England giants have fallen. While England might not have to worry about America producing any truly dangerous competition for a few more years, England’s failure has given Americans a strange sense of hope for their own league and national program. Americans are used to being on top, and suffering under England’s superiority in soccer seems to finally given way to some genuine animosity towards the English game.

Never mind these are the same people that root for English league teams, because there, it isn’t the country but the club on the pitch. American fans will continue to justify their disdain for the national team, but continue being fans of the league, despite that most of the English players are current figureheads for EPL clubs. But since its pretty well decided that those figurehead players don’t play up to form for the national squad, (a theory that Americans have the English to thank) Americans probably won’t see any problem with that.

Football Expert? Prove it! Share your knowledge, tips and comments. Win cash prizes - £11,000 monthly! Join OLBG's free-to-enter tipping competition.

Comments (54)

  1. what a load of old rubbish.

    Americans don’t hate the english – the opposite – but that the not the major stupidity of this Cherie Getchell.

    America doesn’t haven’t a ‘troubled’ soccer program – fifa-style football is doing quite well in the States – it just isn’t doing as well as the native sports such as baseball, usa football and basketball. Must the entire world play the exact same sports at the exact same level? What about cultural diversity?

    Most of you people are against the McDonaldisation of the world, you should be against the soccer-isation of the world, as well.

    And you better hope Americans don’t start playing soccer with the commitment they play baseball or football, because you English wouldn’t stand a chance!

  2. As far as I know, Cherie isn’t ‘English’ (I could be wrong) – joke’s on you.

    good article, agree with it, it’s probably because the national team gets more respect and attention than the domestic soccer scene?

  3. From my perspective, my dislike for “English football” comes from the disillusioned belief by English fans that soccer in England is great. As you noted, the English national team is far from great. They have some of the best players in the world without question, but they obviously fail to get results. If your not getting results with your own team, don’t be so quick to disparage the teams of other nations.

    You do have the best league in the world played in England, but a great deal of its greatness comes from its imports. Yes, its played in England and its called the English Premiere League, but a significant number of the superstars in the league are not Englishman. Three of the four coaches of the traditional powers (the clubs that matter most) in the league are not English. Hell, one of the league leaders this year has hardly any Englishmen playing on it. At times it comes across to me that English fans and English press don’t want to realize that they are claiming English success based on the talent of non-English, and they don’t realize or don’t want to admit that football, as a whole, in England isn’t all its cracked up to be.

  4. I am a huge fan of both the US and England. This might apply to a few fans, but not the majority. Great perspective, but I disagree. To each their own.

  5. I believe that Greece take it again.

  6. I’m not so sure that American soccer fans overall are anti-England. I’m sure there’s a vocal minority who are, but there was also a vocal minority that was anti-French during the World Cup (and an irritating group of Yanks who are anti-French most of the time, for no particular reason). I have quite a few good friends who are big followers of the three lions.

    The problem, I agree with Erik, is that England’s national squad isn’t as good as it’s supposed to be. With the level of talent it has on display, it SHOULD be winning. I haven’t met the American fans who are hating on the English for failing to qualify for Euro ’08, but maybe they are irritated by the press and attention the team gets, considering the level of success it’s shown.

  7. Do you mean to say that England hasn’t allowed for innovations? There was certainly room for the influx of foreign players and coaches in the English game. I think, if I recall correctly, USA beat England 2-0 in Boston some years back (and in 1950?), in the dreadful Graham Taylor times and following the World Cup we failed to qualify for, that influx began. Hence, the history has allowed for some new methods (although quite whether that has benefitted the national team in the last 12 years is subject to gargantuan debate).

    Additionally, I think that you’re right to say that the Americans are used to being on top. You can see that in Athletics, with a rather big boxing match on the horizon in Las Vegas serving to reinforce that. I think maybe the word minority in the title of this article might have helped, though, particularly on reading the first comment.

    I feel, perhaps, that a particular club based at the Home Depot Center might well be glad, though, when thinking that they might get to see a bit more of the right-sided midfielder they are paying ridiculous money for.

  8. Incidentally, when I say innovations that foreigners brought to England, I was thinking about aspects such as diet, training methods, Wenger transferring Henry from the wing, tactical innnovation etc, little things really.

  9. I agree with Erik – English players are not the best anymore and English team isn’t the best, either. BUT…. and this is a very big BUT… England has the best football fans in the entire world and their league is the best football league in the world.

  10. Sorry, but I’m left with a star spangled “Hey?!” floating over my head.

    Saying Americans are enjoying England’s recent problems assumes a level of respect that the majority of Americans simply do not possess for the English national side. While England might be a traditional cultural cousin to America and the mother of the beautiful game, most American soccer fans don’t necessarily give a hoot what the England national side achieves (or doesn’t).

    I think the author might find that the majority of Americans that know anything about the England squad are expatriots that, because of their environment, naturally become fans of the national side. When in London… This minority care in a way opposite to the author’s suggestion of gloating. So, again, hey?

    Football fans in America aren’t gloating in England’s slump. Most won’t even know about it. What you don’t notice, you can’t hate.

  11. The article is based on what? What depth of experience does this come from? What huge group of Americans do the broad generalizations come from?

    I am American and am bummed that England didn’t make it to Euro. The fact that all those great players can’t be put together in a way that wins games and that player selection itself is so steeped in popularity instead of quality is really frustrating.

    Most Americans that are soccer fans are fans of English teams (because ours are crap)and have no enmity for England’s national team. Americans are disappointed in the English national team just like Brits.

    Do we want to beat England when we play them? Yes. Do we wish our team was better than England? Yes. But who doesn’t want these things for their national team?

    Lastly as a true American I would like to say: Go Gunners!

  12. Hey! Let’s write about how much America hates our national team, and maybe people will forget about how we choked against Croatia. Let’s also disparage the American team, and their domestic league and make ourselves feel better for messing up our golden opportunity to go to Euro2008. Great idea!!!
    Focus on your own game and team, and leave the Americans out of it. England lost. It has nothing to do w/ the US. Not even a tournament we can enter.
    And btw…. I personally root for England against any team other than the US. I actually had the Croatia game on match tracker while I was at work. I was seriously bummed out when England lost.

  13. I’m American and living in Chicago, but I look at England as a brother-in-arms – why would I be happy that the country that helped birth mine and has the most in common with each other fail at the sport I love?

    I love English football and was deeply hurt when England did not qualify.

    As far as Americans succeeding at football, we have our third and fourth ebst athletes playing it; the best of the best play American football, basketball and baseball. If these sports were not as popular, I think the disparity between the English and US national sides would be less with these players moving to football and there would exist more of a rivalry, but until then, I don’t think there exists any hate for England at all.

  14. I do think that a large number of American soccer/football fans generally root against England, but I think that there are several reasons.

    1) Few Americans associate themselves with England. To the extent that we have a cultural identity for the country of our origin, generally that goes with a country other than England, especially Ireland, Italy, Germany, and to a lesser extent Scotland & Wales. As such we see the English side as rivals of the country to which we relate and root against them.

    2) When we’re inclined to support England, such as during the last World Cup, the performance of individual players can sometimes be a barrier. I personally find Wayne Rooney’s conduct to be an embarrassment to England and I think he should be removed from the team until he grows up. I wouldn’t want a player like that to get a cap for my team, regardless of their talent.

    3) Americans tend to support either the underdog or the most heavily hyped/athletic/energetic teams. Typically this means favoring the bonita jogo of Brasil.

    4) Finally, at this point a majority of fans in the US are of Latin American origin and I’m not sure at all how they would view England, although my assumption would be that as a former colonial power (but without the lasting ties that Spain has built) England wouldn’t get much support from them. This point is pure speculation and may be way off target, but 3 of their 5 matches in Germany were against teams from the western hemisphere, so I would assume most American soccer/football fans were supporting the “locals.”

  15. i disagree. i am an American and i am a huge English football fan. me and the guys i run with went to the local pub to watch the game, have some bangers and mash, and cheer on the 3 lions. if the US isn’t in, most of us (soccer people i know) cheer for the English. we don’t like the French, Italians, or any Asian teams, but we do like the English. we would like them more if we could get the English women to work on their tan. remember everyone looks better tan.

  16. One guy above stated it pretty accurately, I’d say: we don’t by any means hate English soccer. The nation itself, and her people, have our great respect and goodwill. Nevertheless, we do have about 10 sports more popular than soccer here, and it’s more or less a sport that draws in the children who are too young to play American football (e.g. under 9 or 10) or those who are too athletically inept in their hometown to compete among the better athletes, whom all typically go into football and basketball, sometimes baseball or another sport. Soccer just feels too slow and too gentle for American boys to appreciate much, so it tends to be more of a girls’/womens’ game in this country.

    Finally, since our English friends seem to care a great deal for their favorite sport–or is it cricket?–we sincerely wish them good luck; and if they can put together an American football team or a dozen, they might find that our strategy rugby-oriented chess match between the fastest/strongest/best athletes in North America, is worth enjoying on their own home fields of Britain. Anyway, sorry to hear about that 2008 thing, but is soccer an Olympics sport yet? If so, they might win it there in Beijing. Those Chinese teams have to be bribed to win or lose, and the English play for the love of the game, eh! Cheerio and all that.

  17. you all must know some shitty americans cause i fucking love England. Always have and always will. I mena I do support the US but England was my first love i must admit. Im also probably one of the biggest american Manchester United supporters out there. I bleed red. So idk where your getting your info form but I love everything about English soccer, the EPL and England in general.

  18. I thought even English fans hated England.

  19. I don’t think Americans alone enjoy England’s fall from grace, other European countries must have watched England’s floundering campaign with glee too. Even England fans have given up on them.

    John
    SoccerNet Live

  20. Sorry to chime in but most Americans, living in the mainland, don’t care about soccer. Neither the great Pele of the 70s nor the Beckham of the 00s have had the influence as one would suspect besides having been “seen” with Hollywood types as some sort of proposed international legend which no one cares for. In contrast, Michael Jordan and/or Babe Ruth are the most recognized American sports legends of the prior century. And I’m not exaggerating either when I say that nearly 100% of Americans at least know about ‘em.

    Those “Yankee” (not the NYC AL baseball team) soccer fans who rout against the UK or some other pet peeve country are typically ex-pats who’ve had little day-to-day contact with the mainland outside of visiting family for the holidays. And yes, when you live in the states, esp outside of let’s say NYC or LA, there isn’t much consciousness of the world at large.

    And also, many Americans do in fact see their own culture as an Anglo-Dutch or an Anglo-German melting pot in nature as oppose to Mediterranean [sans unusual cities like Miami or New Orleans] and this is despite the fact that a third of the caucasian population stateside has some eastern European ancestry. That’s part of the reason for the angst against the more recent swelling of Spanish speaking populations from Latin America but let’s not go there. All and all, any US/UK sports rivalry is a regional/geographic thing, it’s not about culture or history.

  21. Wow I have never seen a bigger load of stereotypical bull shit. Every argument was based on some feeling or stereotype and you didn’t even have any facts or sources to back it up. So in stereotypical English style I say this column was rubbish! Oh and by the way my favorite soccer team outside of the good old USA is the English squad. So get your story straight or get a new job.

  22. though many americans are quick to pledge full allegiance towards a EPL team (which is a shame because they fail to recognize that the sport is played at a high level in other nations), many from my network of supporters love to see the failures of the english national team. this tends to the result from many of these americans running afoul of too many pompous english nationals (not my opinion). As a result of course they love to see that team fail, that and it tends to remind many simpletons of the failures of the american basketball dream team and their in-ability to play team ball.
    this writer seems to be vocalizing what i hear on many boards, in many pubs and at many matches i attend in the states. it is obviously the opinion of a vast minority, however hearing arguments like this are important in getting people to do more talking, which as an person who tries his hardest to spread the game to his fellow americans, is great in my book.
    keep on writing and could you please change the picture of the hairy fat man?
    USA, ugliest supporters EVER!!!!

  23. Not true whatsoever!!!! I love English Football more than anything else, and it was absolut dissapointment to see the allmighty England not qualify for the Euro 2008. And i am American!!!!!!!

  24. This article has some good and bad points, but as far as Americans hating the English, this is not true.
    I know of many Americans that love watching English football, of course the Americans maybe envious of the attention and spotlight that the England Squad get, but hating is a different matter.
    To be honest, i do not think it really matters what the USA think of English Soccer/Football, all that matters is what the English think, and what we do to rectify our wrongs.
    England is a proud nation when it comes to football, and no other country could support a National team as we do when we support England.
    Headline:- Why do Americans hate England? Answer:- Who cares. :)My blog supports Englands help in constructing a better soccer/football standard in the USA http://ironworker.wordpress.com/2007/11/18/west-ham-to-form-squad-for-usa-league-1-in-2009/ its worth taking a look at.

  25. Jealousy and competitive pride are obviously a problem for you, and the people who agree with you. I find poor logic to think so one sided, and to go on playing this “blame game.” If a team doesn’t win they lose. Someone is always happy or unhappy. Get over it.

  26. I have no problem with the English National Team. I just think the US is better. Yup I said it.

  27. The whole world hates americunts

  28. Nice Spain. Americunts. Just curious, what has America done to you? I mean you personally?

  29. I’m American and that article is false. Many other countries by the means of sport think that we are ” fair weather fans’ so if Norwich City by some means become a Top four contender we will follow them. But Many are not I know an American who is a Notts County supporter and has followed them for 15 years, For me I’ve been a Arsenal supporter since I was 8 due to the fact that I loved the way they played,before I knew they were a great side. Plus I have never met an American who hates England. The only people who probably do are ignorant assholes.

  30. We all have Anti this and Anti that, it would be a much better world if we just got along and let each nation live the way it wants to live, whether it be Religion, politics or sport.
    England & American Teams are looking at a bright future, as long as it enhances the beautiful game, then who cares, Defining the worlds best team, comes when the world cup final starts, let that be the decider.

  31. ANTI-ENGLAND? What has the author been smoking? English football is so popular here, much more than our domestic league. There might be a few members of ownership that resent the Premiership over its popularity, but they are a miniscule minority.

    Proof? Everyone I spoke to was ready to strangle Cristiano Ronaldo after World Cup 2006.

  32. Yes, it is ridiculous to say American hate the English National Team. Most of the Fox Soccer Channel is dedicated to EPL for a reason. I love to see Rooney, Lampard, etc play. Heck I every like that guy who plays in the same stadium as Chivas USA. I think American fans are jealous of what you have in England but we would never be happy at your failures. In the US soccer is almost a niche sport at times. Most of the fans at matches here are families with kids putting on sunscreen. We do not really have a bunch of tough looking bald guys with scarves yelling “bullocks” every few minutes. So there is a definite difference. The only time people really get riled up here is when we play Mexico, but that is because they are evil and they out number us 100 to 1.

  33. “Proof? Everyone I spoke to was ready to strangle Cristiano Ronaldo after World Cup 2006.”

    That’s more to do with him being a c**t though.

    On a different but related subject, why do the Americans constantly use English guys to play villains in their movies? It doesn’t give us a good impression of what you think of us. Overall liking for ol’USA in England is very low right now.

  34. It looks to me as though the Yankee’s suck at footie cos they haven’t been playing it all that long, England suck because we’re all cocky knobheads who think we’re better than we really are (This is without a doubt true, we lose a match who gets bollocked? The Manager oh not the players who didn’t bother to score).

    However England is Footballs home because of the premier league no where else in the world will you find such excellent players of all nationalities and such big wage packets, it is the heart of the game, its where every footballer aspires to be and that is probably why everyone expects England to actually be good.

    That my American friends is the real reason. I don’t doubt for a second you could be jealous of our football team but only for one reason, the shear amount of attention it gets, but really don’t be, its only like when the olympics is on, it might aswell be called “USA vs China (Apart from Swimming where Oz always wins) Game”.

  35. In my experience, there are more American fans of the Premier League then fans of MLS. In fact, Americans overwhelmingly support the Premier League over all other national leagues.

    We will never be real contenders in soccer because our best athletes play US football, baseball, or basketball before soccer.

    This article is probably addressing the fact that we only put the winners on the covers of our newspapers and magazines, and the English national team just hasn’t won big lately.

    Fabio Cannavaro was on the cover of every major publication in 2006. Why? Because Italy won.

  36. I love all the people from America saying they don’t hate England and that this article isn’t true, that we really like this country, England.

    Than some Spanish person comes on here and says everyone hates “Americunts”.

    If you ask me there is much more hate from other countries, than from the U.S

    If you know anything about the US you would find that the attitude towards the rest of the world is positive.

  37. listen americans… the bottom line is we birthed the game… im in the royal navy and in all the countries ive been in.. from germany to japan your football team is ridiculed….

    OH YEH DONT US RUBBISH IF YOUR NOT A BRIT

    so dont say oh if this and that… god’s light shines on england

  38. I’m an American and I do hate England and the rest of Europe, but only in response to the much more intense hatred that Europe has for the US and “yanks”. Most Americans seem to like England despite the fact that the English constantly mock and insult Americans. If I didn’t read the English and European press I wouldn’t care; however since I do I am always glad to see England fail! I think if more Americans traveled to Europe and England and read the foreign press they would feel the same way I do; the anti-Americanism in England and Europe is out of control and only a self-hating person could support them.

  39. I love the British

  40. You cannot judge what some people say about another country! Most Americans I know love England and most English people I know love America so I wish everyone would shut they’re trap about this.

    The truth of the matter is this: SOME English people think that all Americans are fat McDonald’s downing lazy fatties, and SOME American people think that all English people are posh tea-drinking snotty gay people.

    This all is wrong and NEEDS to stop.

  41. ok Lets be straight here… most Americans don’t even watch the rest of the worlds football so no we don’t root against England. I mean why would we? I love England but the rest of the worlds football fans… umm… you can lump it! Why don’t you guys learn how to tailgate party instead of beating each other senseless after the games? Football has seemed to become an excuse for rival fans to cause chaos. I got an idea let the fans go into a ring and call it American wrestling! LOL

  42. I’m from and live in England.
    For some reason most english seem to think that Americans hate us.
    I think america is awesome.
    Also i’m not a fan at football ( or soccer whatever your talking about right now) but I mst say England is rubbish at sports.
    We are ALWAYS loosing!
    If you have gone on the American YAHOO Answers then you will see Americans calling the English horrible things.Same goes.Sometimes you can go on the UK YAHOO Answers and people calling American s bad things. Our countrys fight too much it’s gotta stop!

  43. sure we might say “oh those yanks again” or they might say “those stupid brits”. but at the end of the day we are figting alliance like we have for years. I think some americans hate the fact that we once were the most powerful empire history has seen, and we dont like that the yanks have a huge country were everything happens, but deep down we are like brothers

  44. So america hates most of Europe for the sole reason that we dislike you… There are reasons why we dislike you!!! We dont just do it for kicks, its america all over “fight fire with fire!” try and be more diplomatic and things might change. You cant demand love and respect you have to earn it by not being close minded, fear mongering and power hungry. Learn to be humble and a little more reserved and people might start taking your country seriously.

  45. ok firstly spain what a idiotic comment

    secondly monkeynuts – works the other way to i personaly dont hate america i mean i thought we were supposed to be allies? And the fact you think england shouldnt be taken seriously is comical. Many english actually see americans as brethren, thankfully not all are like you.

    finaly (lol) a post about the article i agree its bs of course there will be some this could be due to they see english team as a rivalry (sport without rivalry is..?) and yes people like monkeynuts who for one reason or another hate england you’ll always have mixed response not just from the US but from many countries as several people have pointed out there are even some brits who dislike the english national team. I dont agree with the criticism of the american leagues as theyre still developing really but also you’ll never win in a argument criticising english leagues which are the best in the world.

  46. How could a true football fanatic hate England, the country that gave birth to the sport? As an American that follows football that seems ridiculous to me! Whether or not one likes the England national team, there is always room for respect for the famous Three Lions.

  47. I`m English and all I can say is USA USA USA USA!

    I hope both of our teams qualify to the next round in the World Cup!

  48. Bollocks !

  49. i think that the usa hates uk because the uk has they heath care free ??????

    the usa is are nuts & crazy people and the usa do not know any think about uk and i live in the south wales in uk

  50. fuck the whole of america i hate all the americans because of the way they act and because they call football soccor. They also think that there childish american football is better than rugby you dont see us wearing armour and stoping every five minutes because of being super overweight.

  51. fuk all u american haters. if u hate so much do something about it cowards

  52. rugby homo

  53. steve grow up

  54. Are you kidding? Americans love England! You speak our language!