Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Club vs Country…...No Contest

I suspect that this is going to be the blogging equivalent of putting a kick me sign on my own back but what the heck.

Most of us who have a vague inclination in following the beautiful game will be aware of the injury that Wayne Rooney picked up during Manchester United’s opening day 0-0 draw against Reading. The practical upshot being that WR will be out of action for about two months.

The sports pundits immediately recognised the fact that this would potentially be more damaging to the England team that to United especially with the other injuries to key players in the national team and the imminence of the Euro qualifiers in the next few weeks

Everyone was shocked, perturbed, fearful and full of questions about how England and Steve McLaren would cope with this loss. As for me, well, I really didn’t care about the implications for the National side as I was more concerned about the positively detrimental effect for Trafford Rangers during their next few domestic fixtures.

I would consider myself to be a good old fashioned patriotic Englishman / Brit. On the occasions when we are up in London I have taken the kids to Buckingham Palace and to the Palace of Westminster (nice walk through St.James’s in the sun) and tried to explain the importance of these symbols, the people they house and what they represent. My six year old has an understanding of the concept of the’ Crown in Parliament’, which won’t be of much use to him at school right now, but I’m rather pleased.

In terms of sport I was a bit drunken and emotional when we (England) won the last home Ashes series and will always shout on any of the ‘noblest English’ when competing.

But I’ve got a problem with the footy where I have to admit to being more than a little ambivalent. I find it really difficult to rail against a player week in and week out because of his club colours and then on international days suddenly file in behind them and think that they are wonderful and my representatives on that field of play. I know that I should admire all good players irrespective of their employers but I’m just not that grown up about this sort of stuff.

For example supposing that England were playing Brazil and Frank Lampard Jr (Kensington Irregulars) was going one on one with Gilberto Silva (L’Arse) and this could be the vital moment of the match. Who would I want to come out unscathed, who would I be happier to show the greater skill leaving the other struggling to catch up. Bet you can guess my answer.

The other thing that annoys beyond measure is the assertion that if an English Club side is playing in one of the European Cup Competitions then all English fans should be sympathetic to their cause. Sorry, can’t be doing with that and unlike much of the above I know a lot of other supporters of other teams who feel the same.

I know it’s petty tribalism and irrational but if you are of a mind to be concerned about a few blokes kicking a ball around you have probably failed the rationality test anyway. Me though, I love it!


Anonymous said...

It's country every time.
The trouble with English clubs AND the Premier league? All they care about is MONEY! The Premier league isn't sport; it's business.
The mugs that go to football now are naive twats!!!

Grendel said...

Damn, last comment sums me up really well.