Digsy can’t really see what all the shock and horror is about.
Thereâ€™s no crisis, England have always been rubbish. Before we failed to score at home to Macedonia, and before the pitiful defeat and the already legendary Paul Robinson incident, it had been a long, long time since England were actually any good.
Deep breath and in reverse chronological order…
…. we were horrible at the 2006 World Cup, a one-man team at Euro 2004 (and we still lost the opening game to France), tepid at World Cup 2002, absolutely horrendous at Euro 2000 (we only qualified after scraping past Scotland in that play-off, and the only good moment was beating a German team that was somehow worse than us, but in the end Romania had too much) we felt hard done by at France â€˜98 but actually lost to Romania again in the group stage before falling at the first knockout hurdle, Euro â€˜96 was a rare bright spot but even then we were poor in the run up, made the most of home advantage, and were lucky to scrape past Spain on penalties.
I enjoyed supporting Jack Charltonâ€™s Ireland at USA â€˜94, definitely more fun that supporting Graham Taylorâ€™s England at Euro â€˜92 and even though Italia â€˜90 felt heroic even that included a slow start against Ireland, a late win over Belgium (â€œDavid Platt! In the last minute of extra time!â€) and then a couple of lucky pens to sneak past Cameroon, but it was better than Euro â€˜88 which was so bad that Bobby Robson was nearly fired, and though I was too young to properly comprehend Mexico â€˜86, I vaguely understood that we werenâ€™t good enough to stop a five foot five future cokehead waltzing through our entire team.
More specifically; we always think our defence looks solid on paper, before it gets horribly exposed on grass, we never seem to have enough proper wingers to fill both sides of the pitch (which would only require two) we canâ€™t produce a creative player that isnâ€™t either lazy (Matt Le Tissier) inconsistent (Glenn Hoddle) or batshit crazy (Gazza), and not since Sherringham and Shearer have we been able to form a cohesive forward partnership instead of just picking the two most popular strikers and crossing our fingers.
The Premiership may be arguably the best league in the world , Liverpool may have recently been crowned European Champions and Arsenal may have been Champions League finalists, but for a long, long time England have always been rubbish…