Brace yourself for this, but something upset some football fans last week. The source of the gnashed teeth and bitter wails and accidental calls to the Sharwood’s Noodles customer advice line as angry fans mashed their telephones trying to get through to Talksport to vent their impotent fury was the fact that England had to play a team that aren’t as good as they are. Some of these righteously furious supporters were so annoyed at being forced to sit through a pleasant evening watching their heroes cruise to a 5-0 victory in front of a capacity crowd that they began to bellow the familiar refrain that surfaces every couple of years during the qualifying cycles – ‘We shouldn’t have to waste our time with these games against the minnows’.
The arguments are as well rehearsed as a Chelsea player’s witness statement, and only slightly less contrived: the games are a farce, the results a foregone conclusion; the top footballers play too many games; there’s nothing to be gained for the higher ranked team. Some might put forth about Theo Walcott being injured in a challenge that was amateurish in every respect – as if there is any moral dimension or import that can be laid in the situations that can lead to a footballer getting hurt, when he could just as easily mischief himself with a mishandled jar of mayonnaise or poor choice of boiled egg preparation as by a postman in goalie gloves.
To all these complaints I say tish. Tish and fipsy.
You can read this article in full at The Football Ramble, an excellent website for an even excellenter podcast.