Once every four years something very special happens to us on this rock we call Home. It manages to unify all the different cultures, gangs and groups we have in this country. A magical force enraptures us all within it's grasp for the full four weeks it takes place from June through July. It’s that time where more heroes are forged than that of a Marvel and DC universe convention. If you haven’t guessed already I’m talking about the football World Cup. Even Oli, who is the guy that doesn’t know the offside rule, yes Oli who thinks that if you get a yellow then red it actually amounts to an orange card, gets world cup fever.
This year was no different; we had the fantastic end to the domestic season which finally saw Arsenal win a trophy and Liverpool…well not win one (which I do enjoy reminding Dave on a very regular basis) Then it was straight into World Cup mode, and this year it was Brazil! The home of the famously flamboyant and extremely skilful team that has lit up the National stage for decades in the famous Yellow, blue and white strip. From Pele to Ronaldinho, they are more decorated than any other national team in history with no less that Five world cups to their name. And England were off to play in their back yard!
This year was different though, this year was the year England would surprise us all when Roy Hodgsen would pick a new vibrant young squad opting to leave the likes of Ashley Cole behind for the still wet behind the ears Luke Shaw. This was met by much excitement among fans who were fed up of the same old ageing England side that has flattered to deceive for far too long now. So that was it. The qualifying complete, the squad was picked, the players were happy, and all was ready…the stage was set for a truly memorable world cup at the home of the famed Estádio Maracanã. Four years of anticipation, four years of excitement, four years of horrible trips to the far reaches of Europe for qualification grudge matches, four years…and it was over in eight days. After two damp displays against Italy and Uruguay, England were out.
Queue the vultures, the waves of ‘Well why didn’t he take Ashley Cole’ or the ‘You’ll never win anything with kids’ The get Hodgsen out claims had already began before the team had even played there last group game.
For me though this will never change, we will always have that overly arrogant feeling that we have a god divine right to be better than we actually always end up being just because we ‘invented football’. We will still gather in force around the TV to watch the national team fail at the first hurdle, and more than anything we will always be the first to salivate as well as the first to condemn our sportsmen in this country.
Having said all this I can’t quite help but fall into the same trend as the rest of the country and I guess it’s down to this that strangely enough I can say I love it! I love all the build up and believe it or not I love all the heart ache as well because deep down I know that no matter how much heart ache England put me through, at the start of the next tournament it will be like making up with an old girlfriend to go through it all again, and that to me is what football is all about, and that's what makes it 'The Beautiful Game'
#WonderLove you guys! - Chris