The squad has been announced and the moaning has started already. 'How did he get picked?',' Why isn't he in the squad?' 'The manager doesn't know what hes doing!' and so it begins. It doesn't matter whether its Roy Hodgson or Ron Greenwood ever since I can remember there has been people doubting the managers choice of squad at a major tournament.
Well how about this little gem, WE AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH. There take a deep breath and say it out loud, trust me you will feel so much better for doing so. We haven't been good enough to win a tournament for nearly 20 years now, and that one was played at home, all games at Wembley and we still didn't get past the Semi-Finals.
All this best league in the world nonsense is also the problem. How many of the current England squad play regularly for the top 4 sides in the Premier League? When you name the centre forward at Arsenal who do you think of? When you think of the main goal threat at Man City or Chelsea who do you name? Who is the play maker at Spurs? Who is the goalkeeper at Man Utd? There is your answer.
We haven't developed a group of World class players in decades, oh the odd one might sneak through but where is the Messi?, Xavi?, Alonso?, Puyol?, Modric? nowhere to be seen. The last attacking left winger we had was John Barnes and that was 30 years ago. So why on earth do people expect us to win major tournaments?
France won the World Cup in 1998 and Euro 2000 with home grown players. Spain won the World Cup in 2010 and Euro 2008 by having home grown players. Germany are one of the most successful teams of all times and they do it with home grown players. Look at their leagues, they are full of talented young players from THOSE country's. The ones that aren't there are playing OVER HERE.
Yes its brilliant for the Premier League but not good enough for the national team. The basis of the influx of players from abroad was sold to us on the basis that it would encourage a new breed of skillful kids to progress through the game. That was 30 years ago when Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villia arrived fresh from winning the World Cup and what has happened since? Nothing.
It needs to be a cultural change, a change from all supporters that accepts until they are willing to embrace young English talent and give it a chance, that their teams may not be as successful as they currently are, then England will NEVER win another tournament. In fact they may even struggle to qualify in the next 10 years. That's a shame, but at the end of the day you reap what you sow.
Hodgson has an impossible job, I don't envy him, my expectations are we get out of the group and then who knows? My heart says a Semi Final is possible, my head says we will be lucky not to get slaughtered. We may have given the game to the World but the World is showing how it doesnt need us anymore to progress is and we are standing by the side of the road like the fat kid who's dropped his ice cream.
Lower your expectations or accept the enevitable, when they are giving out the trophy's we will be the ones looking through the glass, stuck at home boasting about the Best League In The World with none of our players even playing in it.