Just A Game
At times like this my dad used to tell me that it was just a game. And I would lose my rag. A nation lost its rag today. The rag may never be found again. Even Gareth Southgate seemed vaguely ticked off. Apoplexy polluted the airwaves and jammed the phone-in switchboards to be fomented by the populist posturing of Alan Green, who decried the plight of the wretched masses who’d opted to migrate south to follow their team.
Firstly, if you enjoy finances sound enough to afford the pilgrimage to South Africa then you should consider yourself infinitely more fortunate than the impoverished hoards that reside there. Secondly, if you are shallow and near-sighted enough to allow a game of football to ruin a trip to an exotic land then you are not deserving of our sympathy.
The motif of the majority of the griping was that the fans felt betrayed by a lack of spirit in the trenches. But it was that desire that informed the witless display in the second half, as England lost their composure in the face of heinous injustice in the first. Steven Gerrard deciding that his captain’s armband was a licence for increasingly vainglorious attempts at the German goal. John Terry assuming that his imaginary armband was a permit to take permanent station as an attacking midfielder.
I was completely serene at the conclusion yesterday. Overwhelmed by the sudden knowledge that this pair and the rest of the squad are divorced from reality. They are not representative of me. So let’s move on. It really is just a game.