Out of the ashes
The dream is over. For another four years at least. Today we lost against our football nemesis Germany. The one time I felt the most confident of beating them in a major tournament, the first time I thought we could even beat them in 90 minutes, and even if we couldn't I thought we would overcome our penalty knock out dilemna and go forth and conquer. Instead we suffered our worst defeat in our history of the World Cup.
We will talk for years about Frank Lampard's clear goal off the crossbar that was blindly missed by the linesman and not given, his head in his hands in disbelief and how with the scores at 2-2 we would have stood a very good chance. Instead the truth was that we didn't. The truth was the players were scared. The finger will get pointed, people will even have a go at Rooney in the papers tomorrow. We will feel the need to offload the blame somewhere. Yes, I do feel that such highly paid players should be able to perform on the big stage, they need to justify themselves, that's the game they're in I'm afraid. But also maybe, just maybe we expect too much as we sit in pubs and stand in big squares and follow our Lions. But not when they don't even roar. If you have to lose, go out fighting with a roar at least.
Now as this gloriously sunny Sunday comes to an end and the St.George flags now seem to hang limply, and everyone has gone home, as I write I am pondering. I am pondering about the day which despite the result I have spent laughing. Spent with great friends and plenty of beers, spent suffering and spent hoping. A strange day. A bad yet good day.
My friends and me started the day with a hope and ended in the same way.
Yes, as far as all the events of suffering, scoring, rejoicing, drinking, laughing, comiserating, we have never lost hope. At least to say, we shouldn't lose hope. And yes, it is hard to digest and try and look at the positive side as an England football fan but we have to try. Some of you may not understand what I mean, but the late iconic Liverpool F.C manager Bill Shankly knew when he said: "Football isn't about life and death, it's worse than that."
So the day has to end in the way it started. we have to think we have gained nothing but lost nothing, in order to start again. We need to look at what we know and what we can do. As the England cricket team march on in their one day success on the back of the Ashes series win against Australia, we need to come out of the ashes in our nations's football. More solutions and less expectations to get that fairy tale World Cup win we all dream of - even for the people who don't like football. Our love-hate relationship will carry on regardless.
I will now leave it here on an important note that I really do need to go and pee before I have my last bottle of Stella Artois.