We Don’t Love The England National Team, We Merely Have Nothing Better To Do


I would wager that a large proportion of you have found yourself here because you think that you love football, and English football in particular. That’s certainly why I write about the subject and why I found myself scouring the national and local publications for an insight into the beautiful game. However, you’re wrong, I’m wrong and the entirety of our ‘football loving’ nation is wrong.

Those educated among you will realise that I cannot tell you what you do or don’t love, I cannot tell the extent of your feelings towards the game or your national team. What I can do however is objectively perform a study that proves that we do not love our team, or if we do, we just don’t show it.

I spent great pleasure watching the World Cup in Brazil this summer, as I am sure most of you did, and – with the exception of England’s performances – the standard of play was World Class. Whilst watching the Brazilians, Colombians, Uruguayans etc. I realised something. I realised that in South America nothing comes close to football. Men marry women and have children, but they would give it all up to watch their national team travel to the ends of the Earth searching for victory. Or at least, that is the impression that they give.

But it is not just men. When the camera cuts to sulking England fans that are burnt, bald and tattooed, there are only ever males in the crowd. Those women that do come seem to be with their partners and although loud, are nothing in comparison to the Columbian fans who have become synonymous with the national team.

Columbian football fans were some of the loudest at the World Cup – and never left early.

Those sulking fans that I spoke of earlier are those people who you think of when you think of diehard England fans. But how diehard can you be when you boo your team off the pitch, stop singing when you’re losing and leave early. When Uruguay lost to Costa Rica, I never saw one person leave early and the crowd sung until they were hoarse.

I realise that the Brazilian team were booed off the field in their semi-final loss to Germany. But things were different. The team was expected to win the tournament, anything less and it was a failure – as evidenced with the departure of Phil Scolari of head coach – and to compound their disgust at not making the final, they lost by the most embarrassing of scorelines.

But, let’s get back to England’s love – or not – of football. Maybe it is a British thing not to show true love by chanting till you can’t talk and then banging a drum to make up for the loss of noise. Perhaps it is not British to humiliate our opponents after a big win. Or, even worse, it might not be British to show dedication to the cause.

I have no shame in admitting that I am not an England fan. The reason behind this is that I cannot comprehend the contradiction of shouting abuse at Wayne Rooney as he steps up for a penalty against my team, and then cheer him on the next week because he is dressed in White. And I think many of you feel the same.

There is also the point of English players choosing their club over country. Countless times has it been reported that players would feign injury, or claim tiredness as an excuse not to play for England. Would this happen in South America, I very much doubt it. But we all lambaste players for this, but secretly we want them to choose our beloved club over being a part of a pitiful group of players put together to disappoint us regularly.

For example, would you rather your teams best English player perform extraordinarily for the national team but get injured, or miss out on England altogether. I know my choice. If it was a choice between playing for England or playing for my club, I would want my team’s star player to choose club over country every time.

Here’s another question for you to ponder. If you support a League Two team that are playing at the same time as England because they have no international members, would you travel to Wembley – or abroad – to watch England, or watch your favourite side continue their league journey? Would you even choose to watch England on television or your club? Club over country every time right? But I digress.

When Costa Rica scored one of their World Cup goals, the stadium went crazy. People were shouting and screaming for ten minutes after the goal and Costa Ricans at home were going bananas. When England scored their goals did you jump about and scream, even if you were on your own? When your team scored their first goal of the season, did you jump about and scream, even if you were on your own. I did for my club, but not for my country.

Costa Rica fans shouted and cheered for over 10 minutes after every goal they scored in the World Cup – I didn’t.

I get very vocal – bordering on aggressive – when my team plays, anger towards the players, the opposition and the referee. But I don’t get like that watching England. So the other team scored and it was Gary Cahill’s fault, who cares? Does it affect me if England doesn’t qualify for Euro 2016, not nearly as much as it would if my team were relegated?

Of course, we all want England to win the World Cup, or any other international tournament for that matter, but when they don’t, is it more embarrassing that if you were a Manchester United supporter after they finished seventh in the league? The answer is the same as all the others, absolutely not.

But we also want Great Britain to do well in the Olympics or in the Rugby World Cup, some of you may love athletics, rugby etc. but a majority will get caught up in all the media hype. The same can be said about the England national team. If the media tells you that you should love the England team, then you do. Sad but true.

So, to all you fans out there to claim to love England and the football team, but then go on to call Wayne Rooney, Gary Cahill and others all the names under the sun the following week, ask yourself this. Do you really love England, or do you just have nothing better to do?