We’re out of the World Cup, to be honest I only watched one game and that’s because it was Father’s Day and my dad had it on, I have however had the John Barnes rap in my head for 2 weeks straight, think I know it by heart now.
I’ve never liked watching football, I used to play as a kid and was quite good, even trained with Cambridge United for a while under a coach called Jesus, but the interest died out as I got older. To me it’s just a game, something kids do at the park and middle aged dads do on a Tuesday before several drinks in the pub that they’ve definitely not earnt.
I dislike the culture, the lad, lad, lad culture. I dislike and yes I’m stereotyping, the drunken idiots on Saturday who chant obscenities with little regard for who is around. I also hate, absolutely hate how much professional players are paid. I appreciate the supply and demand culture, companies sponsor them due to a large audience but they don’t deserve it, this goes across the board for all athletes I must say but footballers seem to be paid the most. You should not earn nearly £2 a second for kicking a ball, it’s absolutely absurd which is why I will not support it. They do give money to charity, but this is mandated and I’m not sure all of the English team would unless they had to because to be honest, and this is a limited impression, but they don’t seem to come across as nice people.
However, all that being said, it has been a very united few weeks. Regardless of whether you like football or not, it’s been undeniable that most of the country has got behind them and supported them. The country is generally speaking, in the shit, everywhere you turn there is hate, even today as the orange one descends on the UK there will be protests of hate, pride month was ruined by anti-trans protesters spouting hate. You could post a picture of a kitten, a puppy and a baby and someone would have something negative to say, probably, who is the irresponsible parent who let such wild animals near a defenseless baby?
It’s generally assumed the UK is disliked by most of the world and we don’t even like ourselves. But for the last few weeks, we’ve been proud, felt hopeful, excited and it’s difficult not to be swept up in it all. It’s been great to see something we all have in common, be displayed on the world stage. We usually go out early but this young team was able to go above our expectations and create a real air of celebration.
In the aftermath of the defeat, the atmosphere here is not one of regret or loss. But pride and gratitude. We’re proud we had something positive to discuss for a few weeks, a distraction from the grit of life, to the England team we don’t beat you down. We stand with you, thankful.
Plus, it just goes to show that even with the world against you and your own side lacking in belief, we can achieve more than we expected. Our history does not define us, it gives us reason to keep fighting.