I will start this post with an explanation as why I have been away for so long. My university exam season took hold, the time of year when I lock myself away, see no one and become an obsessed maniacal revision fiend. However I am now finished, out of hiding and ready to pass my opinions.
Now for my return post – my victim is Euro 2012 – a four yearly footballing championship. A championship that the fans among us will become convinced England have a chance at the title. The media – television, radio, newspapers, special Euro 2012 features etc etc will all fuel this dream. Why? Because England won the world cup in 1966! In the commentary from Ukraine vs England, England qualify for the quarter finals and are ‘unbeaten and unbreakable.’ A fairly OTT assessment of a 1-1 draw with France, a fairly sketchy 3-2 win against Sweden and a slightly improved 1-0 against Ukraine. But perhaps I’m just being negative.
Now I will not lie, I will enjoy Euro 2012 as much as I can. I will hope England will do well. I might even get excited (to an extent). But I will not climb on the ‘rampant optimism’ band wagon. Rather than get overly excited and eventually sinking into a state of depression when England manage to clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, I prefer to watch and observe the behaviour of menfolk. Now this may be a sweeping generalisation but my male counterparts seem to, now that Euro 2012 is upon us, have become footballing experts – all believing themselves to be the next England manager. In fact, they appear to believe themselves to be better than the current manager himself. Although don’t get your hopes up boys, you won’t see ‘England manager’ pop up on the guardian jobs website any time soon.
Exhibit A – the brother. Normally a minor football follower, supporter of Liverpool FC but only to support someone, prefers cricket. However now Euro 2012 has come round, this minor football fan has become something of a football pundit – in his mind at least. Comments during England vs. Ukraine have included ‘if we are to persist with route one football, we need someone who is good in the air – bring on Andy Carroll’ and ‘he’s never going to beat Hart from that range’. What? Now when I last checked my younger brother was NOT a football pundit, commentator, expert etc. However he seems to have assumed this role since the beginning of this tournament. I can only conclude he will get worse if England are to progress past the group stage.
This does however lead me onto my next rant! Why do football fans (or any other sports fans for that matter) insist on using the term ‘we’ – ‘we’re going to score’, ‘Looks like we’re going to cash in here’, ‘we are looking poor up front’ etc. May I point out that just because one chooses to wear an England shirt, does NOT mean you are on the team. WE ARE English but WE ARE NOT England! But that rant over, I shall move on to exhibit B.
The father. Now this man becoming an expert is even more ridiculous than the brother. This is a man who, as rule despises club football, claiming it to be boring. This is also a man who has been known on several occasions to fall asleep, chin on chest, during England internationals. Therefore for this man to suddenly don the crown of ‘football extraordinaire’ during big championships is absurd. Yet without knowledge, or much genuine interest in the sport, the commentary emanating from his prime seat on the sofa is interesting to say the least. Remarks have included ‘all of my comments have been erudite and well informed’, ‘terrible goalkeeping’ and ‘even I would have headed in Rooney’s first chance’. A true football pundit? The new England manager perhaps? Well if you can be an expert after watching one match, sitting on the sofa, I suppose anything is possible.
And finally the worst culprit – the boyfriend. I will give him credit though where credit is due, he does know a lot about football and sport in general. An avid follower of Newcastle United, with knowledge of every football player, championship and result – however even with his knowledge, he still is not England manager. I think he forgets that playing football manager on his laptop and FIFA on playstation does not constitute work experience. This armchair England manager is worst of all, with the constant spouting of statistics.
I hope England win, I really do, but if not, at least I’ve been entertained not necessarily by the football, but by my armchair football pundits!
Follow me on twitter: @LucyBarclay1