England have an opportunity to look beyond conspiracy theory and golden boys, giving us hope we kick the Crystal Meth like obsession come June
Before and After: England fans next June
It's hardly rocket science to know England fans only go on about 1966 'cos we have won f*ck all since*. It's the same reason Archie Gemmell is still lauded in Scotland. It's this glint of sunshine in our memory and the odd decent performance such as ripping Germany apart in Munich in 2002:
or the demolition of The Dutch at Euro '96:
...that keep the hope alive. But hope unrequited can be soul destroying. It's like a Crystal Meth addiction.
As a Fulham and England fan, I believe the glass is always half-full because my brain has evolved
to help me cope with the reality. If you had asked anyone, even Fulham fans, a few years back, especially under former manager Lawrie Sanchez, that Fulham would be in a Major** European final they would probably still be laughing. But then we made it to the final and we're back again in Europe hoping again. Wonders never cease in football.
Yet, I have far more hope with Fulham, than I do England. It's why I was glad the game against Montenegro, where Wayne Rooney proved yet again what a complete unreliable git he is
, wasn't on free so I didn't have to watch another abject failure and hear the same jokes afterwards:
"After watching the football tonight, my wife said, "Was that a bad result then?". I said, "I'm changing my nationality to Scottish". She said, "F*cking hell, that is bad"
We could blame it on gargantuan expectation, a vicious press that loves building England and then doing everthing they can to destroy them, but it's easier to blame our lack of success on cheating bastards of a 'Latin' persuasion who handball, hack our players or try to get them sent off. We could blame Sepp FIFA are not corrupt Blatter who is happy to maintain 'Politics and football are separate' yet still allows senior vice president of FIFA Julio Grondona (Argentina) to say:
"with the English  bid I said: Let us be brief. If you give back the Falkland Islands, which belong to us, you will get my vote"
That's one hell of an ask even for a bribe - even Jack Warner was blushing at that one - and apologising months down the line doesn't help!
Rooney's ban, in this context is a conspiracy theorists dream. So the English are right to feel cheated at times. However, sometimes it pays to stop noticing the mote in their eyes and pay attention to the whacking great telegraph pole in our own. The reality is collectively we are shit, with or without Rooney, but when the wind changes, usually following one performance, we convince ourselves we smell of roses. England players seem more interested in gambling, shagging, moaning, continuing petty feuds and feeling 'the fear of Wembley' (not that I blame them the London Borough of Brent is an anti-library shithole). We also seem obsessed with the one key player who we pin all our hopes on, fit or not. As Greece showed in the 2004 European Championship and Germany showed throughout the 1990's, sometimes it's teamwork and togetherness (as well as luck against blind masturbating referees), not class, that wins.
Yes, on his day Rooney is phenomenal and I greatly admire his skill. But he is not England's saviour and I doubt he will ever be unless his attitude massively changes. That's why it's a shame that the voice of football is saying he must go to Euro 2012 and we shouldn't tame him. Why not? On the evidence so far he is not our best player, he is a bloody liability who affects the entire team around him. Which Rooney is going to turn up the world class striker or the petulant idiot? He needs a bloody good slap, not more praise. At club and country level every team is out to wind him up, because it's so bloody easy. Yet Rooney gets more protection now than he would have in previous decades. Yet somehow we can't tell Rooney what an immature idiot he is because he 'won't be the same player'. Why? Is he a man or a mouse? What makes him so different than any other employee in the country. The way he is getting away with being a total dick you'd think he's in the cabinet.
The Honourable Member Wayne Rooney?
Only a devoted conspiracy theorist would keep blaming FIFA, Referees and the Press, despite the Red Faced one's protestations). We all know the press are quite happy to make it up as they go along, but Rooney keeps on giving them everything they could desire. It must be like Christmas every day for them. I too wish they would lay off, but I also wish Chelski are relegated into the Blue Square. It's just not going to happen. There really isn't much to defend any more.This is a foul mouthed moron who cheats on his missus by sleeping with grannies (albeit when he was 16) and prostitutes, slags off the fans, kicks other players, let Cristiano Ronaldo wind him up in 2006, has treats his Manchester team mates and his red faced manager with contempt, lied about David Moyes and brings himself into disrepute. He doesn't need any help and he doesn't have the humour or charisma to get away with it - although if he starts quoting philosophy I may change my mind. Is a three match ban for a player with this history really that much of a surprise?
Rooney should control the one thing he can control. Himself. He should pay Coleen for sex if he feels the urge - she loves shopping after all. I fail to see how his ability to strike a ball so beautifully is related to not getting his own way. Maybe if he's left out of Euro 2012 he might learn a valuable lesson. Maybe the fans and press can too. There is a massive difference between aggression, competiveness and total idiocy. We cannot rely solely on one man/boy, no matter the talent. Brazil tried this with Ronaldo and lost the World Cup back in 1998. England is bigger than one man. There is no 'I' in team (unless you make a typo).
So I think he should stay at home and watch jealously as his team mates show how they don't need him. Like I said I have hope and it's because of Bobby Zamora. Now whilst this may cause mass rioting on a scale not seen since August, Fulham fans collectively groaned when we signed him and sang ironically as the ball often flew into Row Z. But then he proved us and many teams in Europe wrong. Had Bobby been fit against Atletico Madrid in May 2010 it could have been a very different story and maybe Capello wouldn't have brought on Heskey against Germany. Jimmy Greaves didn't play in 1966, Geoff Hurst did. That's football for you. Now I am not saying Bobby would score a hat-trick but he enables others to score hat-tricks (okay he did that once but I'm trying to wind up my QPR mate Smiffy). Now whilst you may think I'm clutching at straws and being blinded by my Fulham faith, some history:
No England Team has won anything without a Fulham player. In 1966 it was George Cohen. Anyone doubting the power of the Fulham connection should remember that it was ex-Fulham keeper Edwin van der Sar that stopped Roman Ambrovichs ' European dream in it's tracks and then worked his Fulham voodoo as he watched John Terry's penalty fly into Row Z.
No England team has won anything without a Bob. In 1966 we had the late, great Bobby Moore.
We have forwards (not that I'm singling them out) who are unable to string words, let alone passes, together. The best hold up player we've had was Emile Heskey who held up play by virtue of falling over. We need a hold up player who is not Emile Heskey (may his international career now rest in peace).
And here he is:
Bobby Zamora MUST play. He is a Bob, a Fulham player and is not Heskey. He is a team player, links play and works hard. Besides there is time to try him and he has European experience.
Whilst this may sound like I've been on Crystal Meth myself, I believed Fulham would stay up three years ago because we beat Reading away. No one believed me. Can England win? With a big fat dose of LUCK, absolutely NO PENALTIES, No Rooney and a Russian linesman or two who knows? Like I said wonders never cease in football.
* Le Tournoi in 1997 does not count.
** The Intertoto Cup in 2002 does not count either.