Okay so Wayne had a go at the crowd at the end of the Algeria game. So what?
Quite honestly, after the appalling display the England team put up against Algeria I would have been more worried had he not been in a foul mood coming off that field. And as pi&&ed off as he might have been I’m pretty sure the people I shared the bar with last Friday night were at least as pi&&ed off as Wayne given the nature of the comments being directed at the England team, most of which were far from constructive or helpful; although the actualisation of some of the wilder suggestions would have made for interesting tv, if any of it could have been broadcast.
However, before we start slagging off the England team/squad lets remember those players are if not the very best 23 players we have, certainly very close to it. Our certainty of that is due to the fact that the Premier league is dominated to such a degree by foreign players that England has difficulty putting together a 23 man England squad comprising only premiership players.
Sure it’s great to be able to watch the United Nations of football such are the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City etc but the price for such a wealth of international talent is the reduced playing time available to even the most promising British youngsters – just 4 years ago Walcott was being hailed as the Golden Child of English football but thanks largely, one assumes, to the limited playing time he has received since then, he didn’t even make the squad this time – despite his game changing 20 minutes in Arsenal’s first leg against Barca.
To make matters worse, whilst Germany and Spain boast multiple players who play together week in and out for Bayern Munich and Barcelona, the English squad has been drawn from no less than eight sides, several of the squad are not guaranteed first team places and of the four who play for league and cup double winners, Chelsea, Joe Cole was identified as being surplus to requirements for next season, prior to the start of the tournament.
But before we slag off the clubs for actions which increasingly are threatening the hopes of the England team, lets remember, it’s the fans paying week in/ week out to gobble up Premier league fare who are rewarding and reinforcing the actions of those clubs.
And along with the guys complaining loudest and lewdest after Friday’s game, including our national media (which we also support), we are those “fans”.