Reading an article by Barry Ferguson of all people got me thinking of the arrogant nature of those down south when it comes to football. Every weekend of the league season I read comments on social media from fans happy to shout about possessing the ‘best league in the world’. They simply dismiss all other forms of football outside of their enshrined nation as ‘pub league’ standard. Let me ask you this: where are the results to back up your right to such arrogant claims?
This is a nation bereft of a major international trophy for 50 years now. Yet as every major international tournament rolls around, we can be sure to hear a torrent of optimism and belief claiming that ‘this will be our time’. We did skoosh our qualifying group, and beat Germany in a friendly after all! How many ‘Golden Generations’ have come and gone without success? The fabled 2006 side were seen as odds on by the English media; for them, it was a case of showing up and they would win. That didn’t quite go to plan.
Taking this summer’s European Championships as another example of international failure for the English simply exaggerates my point. How can such a side lose to minnow’s from Iceland? A nation with less people than the English city of Bristol. It boils down to an engrained psyche within the English media. They continuously look upon their game as untouchable, despite the glaring evidence that lies around them painting quite the opposite picture. They are footballing failures ! To possess the riches they have in abundance and not see any results is inexcusable.
The same problems lie within club football too; probably to an even greater extent, given the cash rich premier league and the views of the media which filter down to the fans. It is dubbed as the greatest league in world football. However, there is no evidence whatsoever to give acclaim to that statement. The most competitive maybe, but certainly not the greatest. Surely success on the continent constitutes the most accurate representation of league standing. It is of course the only competitive environment in which we see our national club teams do battle. Therefore, looking to recent history you get a feel as to how teams from the ‘greatest league’ have fared.
Over the past 32 seasons of Champion’s League football (the European Cup beforehand) there have only been 4 English victories. Compare that to 8 from the Italians and 10 from the Spaniards, it is easy to disclaim the English shouts proclaiming that they do indeed possess the best teams. As the saying rightly goes: results speak for themselves.
The point of this article is to simply put across the argument that without the evidence, a nation shouldn’t bathe in such self-arrogance. Back up your talking. The money, facilities, and most importantly the talent are all there, but without the end result of major international and European success, the term ‘failures’ sits quite right. Get off that lofty perch which you place yourself on and start winning. Until you do, drop the arrogance!