Sunday, 27 June 2010
So, that should be that
No doubt the Murdoch rags will suggest that England's potential equaliser was not given because of a full-scale Blatter/Platini conspiracy (and yes, I'm well aware of the chutzpah inherent in my calling anyone else a conspiracy theorist). There is no doubt some case for comparing it to the third goal 44 years ago, and suggesting that back then England still often got what it needed because of the residue of imperial power (the global spread of British pop culture in the '60s was much more the last gasp of the old empire, always crucially dependant on the new one, than the dawn of a new, post-imperial identity for Britain which much of the Left still dangerously believe it was) whereas now, after decades of misplaced grasping and opportunity-missing, it has to fight like any other country and, both because of its history and its latterday teaboy status in someone else's empire, is less likely to get it than most. But that is just carmodising: the truth is that England were not good enough. They might well not have beaten Ghana, for whom it really would have been "more than a match" much more than this one was to either side. And they're likely to be even worse under the sort of manager The Sun would want (with the sole exception of Roy Hodgson, the only English manager who has sufficient experience of the world game that he might be able to make his mediocre, celebified charges actually care about something they can't earn grotesque amounts of money from). That is the brutal truth. It must be faced. At least now the political consequences I feared will presumably not happen - and, with right-wing English nationalism held back, it might also be easier for Andy Murray. Hopefully even The Sun will not begrudge that.