Updated: Jun 28, 2018
Desperation, anguish, misery, and hopelessness.. all deep, dark and oft-felt emotions by any England football fan. Today of course there is new opportunity, as England’s first game of the World Cup begins in a few hours. We can only guess the feelings there will be later this evening after meeting Tunisia. However, right now there is always hope, that eternal optimism perhaps the greatest gift of the English personality.
For myself, I am not a fan of watching English football league games, but I do love a good international match. A fact proven by the great Portugal v Spain opening game, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s fabulous hat-trick. The sheer quality was astounding. Can England emulate this? Well, on recent experience admittedly it is doubtful, especially with such a young team (although respect to Gareth Southgate for weeding out the ineffective old-guard and bringing in so much fresh young blood).
But yet again we return to hope, and that stubborn refusal to give up every time a big championship comes around. The fans refusal that is. For the players, the situation is somewhat different. For them the battle is not just about the heat, or cold, or rain (or numerous other weather conditions!), or the state of the pitch, or their second-half tired legs, or the frequent past failures to work as a team, but more the battle of self-belief. One (lucky) goal has always been able to literally transform England’s performance in a nano-second, lifting their spirits (and their abilities) into a sudden burst of confidence and brilliant conviction. And if that happened a couple of times in successive games, well who knows what we could achieve.
Oh the power of wishful thinking.. and indeed prayer.. as the whole country appeals to a higher authority not to be disappointed.. for just once in their life…
~ Riven Peake