Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Do the England players fear wearing the England Jersey?

As a footballing nation we expect a great deal from England. And so we should. We have an array of brilliant talent. But time and time again, they let the nation down. But has the attitude towards the England team changed? Are the England fans seeing them as over paid individuals? And has that infiltrated fear into the players? As we expect them to perform to with a strong commitment and play to the best of their abilty. The England fans are now unwilling to take poor excuses like, ‘the players didn’t have enough of a break.’ I hate that excuse. These players earn far more than most International teams. Its part of any job to have elements of struggle and hardship. You don’t hear a shop assistant complaining he cant do his or her’s work because he is ‘tired’ of working a 9-6. While its fair that our multi-million footballers are allowed to make such excuses? If you cant cope with the pressures and physical expectations of football, I suggest you look for another career. Be grateful that you have a job that most football fans dream and aspire to have.

The England fans are expecting far more committed performances from England. Does that make the players fear wearing the England jersey? It clearly does. But its by no ways the fans fault. They have every right to expect committed performances, after all the players are representing England.

But I really dislike it when fans boo. And the England fans have taken this habit up. Some argue that they have a right to, seeing they have spent their hard earned money to watch England. But I think it makes the England players even more fearful. I recall moment when Ashley Cole made a woeful pass, which led to the opposition scoring and he was being booed by the England faithful. Is that right? And surely that does create fear in the players? As the fans aren’t supporting the players on the pitch. Clive Tyldesley summed the moment up perfectly. Tyldesley said ‘Ashley Cole is now Chelsea’s Ashley Cole.’

Some will turn around and say, ‘they earned millions, they should be able to handle the expectations and criticisms.’ Fair point, but like in any job, if you make a mistake and then everyone you goes, ‘oh you idiot, why did you make that glaring mistake?’ It would unsettle you and have an effect on your self confidence.

But the expectations mixed with the frustrations from the England supporters are making the England players worry. And so they should. If you really love playing for your country show it. The players haven’t shown the same passion as the fans. It’s a sad story.
England and their pace

One thing which in the last few years I’ve recognised is that England are blessed with so much pace. Take the latest squad to play against Denmark. There are so many quick footballers in this squad. There’s Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, Kyle Walker, Steward Downing, Theo Walcott, Ashley Young, Darren Bent, Jermaine Defoe and Wayne Rooney. I’ve basically just named the whole squad. Its about time England utilised this pace. And created a strategy which took advantage of the pace England possess. There arent many international teams that can match England’s pace. England need to take advantage of their strengths.

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