England expects, what exactly?

Ever since the England team managed by Sir Alf Ramsay won the World Cup on home soil in 1966, the general expectation among the population of winning it again has been naive. It is in some ways what helps to sculpt the sports stars of tomorrow in this country. They grow up in a very media-driven society that cherishes victory as much as it loaths defeat.

Every four years the expectation of winning another World Cup rises. Yet that doesn’t neccessarily mean that the chances of winning the Jules Rimet trophy have improved, in actual fact the team fielded this year is worse than that selected for the previous three tournaments. It is almost a desperate hope that anyone can envisage England winning the cup this year after two successive bore score draws in the opening games.


Every four years the population of England get behind the national team with the hope of bringing World Cup glory home. Photo: G Lloyd

Italia ’90 has been labelled by many as the best chance the national team has had of bringing national glory home since the Geoff Hurst hat-trick at the Old Wembley against West Germany. In 1990, a team fronted by Gary Lineker made it to the semi finals and played a regimental Germany side. In true World Cup style the match went to a penalty shootout after a cagey performance from both teams that finished one a piece after extra time.

The Germans unsurprisingly conducted the shootout in a matter only they can be associated with, scoring all four of their spot kicks. England, accompanied by Chris Waddle and Ian Pearce, wilted under the Italian sunlight missing their respective penalties putting an end to another expectant World Cup campaign.

Currently all of the England players selected in this year’s World Cup turnout respectively for different Premier League teams. This may be a fantastic advert for English football and the Premier League in this country, however the emphasis on grassroots football is still lacking. The top league in England is also recognised as the top league in the world and is by far the most lucrative. The truly irresistable reward of inflated wages and global exposure that only the Premier League can offer means that quite literally everyone wants to play in England’s top flight.

These strong incentives that encourage an influx of foreign players to the highest division in the country can be both valuable and detrimental at the same time. They are valuable because of the entertainment factor only the Premier League can provide for spectators, and the additional competition for domestic players. The detrimental effect is that clubs will pay millions of pounds on players and then further thousands in bonuses so that a particular player signs for them.

The monetary policy the Premier League’s sugar daddies have enacted over the last decade means that instead of priming young English players to become stars of the future, the stars of now are foreign and bought for gigantic sums of money. Procedure such as this creates a financial bubble that is only sustainable through bad debt and does not ensure a football club long-term safety.

Until the Premier League or the Football Association propose a ruling that prevents a club fielding more than 50% of foreign players in their starting line-up, emphasis will still remain on entertainment rather than safeguarding the domestic starlets of tomorrow.

Comments are closed.