COS contributor Ryan Oakley draws parallels between 1966 World Cup winning side and the 2010 hopefuls.
England.. Persistant, passionate and above all proud.. It would be interesting to know exactly how other sides feel when they are drawn up to face what many fans would call the unluckiest national side in football. We’ve had to face it all, the hand of God being the harshest moment in the mind of many english heroes who came so close to regaining the greatest title in football.
But lets rewind back into the glory days of 1966, as we do so often in the build up to each world cup tournament since. What could be more inspirational than seeing the great, make that legendary England captain Sir Bobby Moore lift the trophy to the roar of the home supporters? Football had finally come home for four brief years, only to jet off again to Brazil, where the trophy seems to have its bed made.
However, it can be seen that this gives England its drive and passion for the title. As each year comes by, more expectation falls on the players to bring the trophy home. After each heart break, more emotion is put into the next tournament that is coming around. No fan, journalist or pundit can read a players mind whilst on the field, but we all as a nation rest assured that each of the lions in ‘Don’ Capello’s 23 man squad will give everything they have to succeed.
As the feat has been done before, would it be right to compare the squad of 2010, to the winners of 1966? We have to understand that we already know Sir Alf Ramsey’s side won the trophy, so this has a big influence on the way we view each of the players who helped succeed. Each legends within their own right, achieving what sometimes seems is the unachievable. One can’t help but imagine what would come of England winning this year.. Would we see a statue of Sir Rio Ferdinand outside Wembley arena? How would the manager be treated if he were to win the tournament, being Italian would this make Mr Capello and honourary English legend?
The fact is that times have changed, foreign managers are now a common occurance for both club and country. An italian now holds the cards, and depending on how he plays them, and a little bit of luck, we might just have a chance. The fans have accepted the ex Real Madrid and Juventas manager with open arms, possibly because of his unquestionable quality, especially when comparing to the english manager he succeeded. The 1966 team won the world cup for 1966 England, the current England team will win for a nation that has changed so much in the last 44 years, noteably the new levels of diversity we see throughout our great country.
In truth, what binds together Sir Alf Ramsey and Fabio Capello, is the goal in which they both shared at on particular time in their lives. This makes the english legacy live on, regardless of origin, age or salary. This is also shared with Rio Ferdinand and Bobby Moore, both can be seen to be very different people, but brought together by one common aspiration. It doesnt matter how its done, or who does it.. As long as the job gets done.
The title of this article is infact wrong.. The comparison between 1966 and today should not be made as they should all be considered as one, like a generation within a family. Mr Capello has been quoted in saying he is the ‘Ghostbuster’, so far banishing the Croatian ghost that scared our tame lions away from Euro 2008, and the age old dilemma of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. In the summer, fans will hope he will exterminate the ghosts that have kept us from the trophy, but the spirit of Englands elite will be with the starting XI as soon as the england jersey is put on.
The famous three lions emblem represents everything england, the fans and players of the past, present and the future. With this placed so close to the hearts of Capello’s XI, England doesn’t just have a team, England will have an army.. This is why we expect, this is what gives us hope.
As an England follower who was born twenty three years after the world cup was won, I am just one of the fans eager to see history being made. When the ball is placed in the center, on what will be a sunny Saturday on June 12th against the USA, I will be joining the rest of the country and the legacy that the england national side has built, by shouting those famous three words.
Come On England!