Saturday, June 21, 2014

Poor England

As an adopted fan of Arsenal and England since the I was about 9 years old, it's been very sad to see England lose in such dramatic fashion in every major competition I've ben able to watch and appreciate them play in. They show flashes of brilliance, but ultimately end up on the losing end.

I particularly feel bad for Wayne Rooney, who outside of my time on the sticks with him during FIFA, has not been the player that he truly is capable of being during big international competitions. He had plenty of opportunities to score against Uruguay, and could only manage one goal that was basically impossible to screw up. I would have loved to see him play like the dominant player he should be out there, and I would have loved to see guys like Steven Gerrard get one more good run in international competition before they're replaced by younger guys on the squad at the next World Cup.

England the adopted European team that I would root for if the USA wasn't competing or had already been eliminated, but now that I'm thinking about it...the United States has gone just as deep, if not deeper, into almost every tournament I can remember recently. Rooting for the U.S., who have no expectations burdening them, is much more fun. The raw emotional reaction to U.S. success is much more rewarding than that I feel for England, which I guess is natural.

But, as this Daily Beast article summed up quite aptly, I still find it impossible to walk away from rooting for England as well:

Given the length of time elapsed between 1966 and now, the English football fan’s relationship with the national team is best encapsulated as a long, crisis-strewn marriage, without the benefit of couples counseling and with the certainty that crisis follows crisis. But it is impossible to walk away.