Miscellany and detritus, from the writer of Is This Mutton?com

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Friday, August 10, 2012

England's footballers need to step up to the plate

We're nearing the end of the Olympics and what a phenomenal achievement it has been for Team GB all round!

Yes, fully deserving of an exclamation mark, even though I normally steer away from them. 

Before it all began I was telling everyone it would be wonderful: there was nothing to worry about. The problems with security and trucculent transport workers faded away, and instead the UK basked in the glow of largely excellent weather, superb organisation and praise by IOC chief Jacques Rogge for being on a par with Lillehammer, noted for the friendliest games ever.

As for the performance of Team GB, where do we start? After the years of hurt we have had with the UK's mediocre football teams, we were stunned into disbelief as athletes rose to the challenge and gave the finest performance of their career to clinch a record tally of gold medals. Yes, even Andy Murray!

It's an amazing achievement for a country of our size to finish third in the medals table. There is a degree of satisfaction in particular in trouncing Germany and France. Germany's Der Spiegel published a very sour article ahead of the Olympics saying that London 2012 would be dogged by chaotic organisation and bad weather. Meanwhile France have been poor losers, accusing "les rosbifs" of cheating simply because we're now so dominant in cycling.

One thing the Olympics has taught us is that we are still "Great" Britain. We don't have to settle for mediocrity. We are fearless competitors.

The spotlight has occasionally fallen on football during the Olympics and the contrast between our fine Olympians and that pathetic bunch of overpaid prima donnas, the footballers.

Forget Team GB, the excuse for a team put together for the Olympics. For reasons known only to themselves, and no doubt to do with not wanting to lose their jobs if a united UK team was found to be better than separate country teams, Scotland and Northern Ireland declined to take part.

The team ended up by repeating the England team's uselessness at taking penalties.

We're less willing now to put up with the lacklustre performances of England, the excuses, the mediocrity. Like our Olympic athletes, our cricketers and our rugby players, football needs to step up to the plate. Put up or shut up. "The beautiful game" is now officially on two yellow cards.


Trevor said...

My views precisely.....I made a similar point on my own blog recently.
For years now I have been totally fed up with the exposure that is given to football in the media, to the (almost) exclusion of so many sports that we as a nation are actually rather good at....


lucylastic said...

Absolutely agree Gail! It was fabulous - and I loved one of our cyclists 'revealing' that the secret of the team's success was due to the fact that they were using 'round wheels'. Brilliant. I loved it! Lucylastic

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