I’m a football fan, no doubt about it. I watched nearly every game of the World Cup and i nearly shed tears when England, the team i’ve supported since i knew what football is, went out to Germany in South Africa.
First the tears, which quickly turned to anger — against all common sense, an English team full of big name superstars, most of whom had outstanding club seasons, played like a bunch of fools. The unreasonableness of it all just made my head boil. I needed some answers, why why why.
I read a whole lot of ink dedicated to dissecting England’s failure. Were they too tired? Was Capello at fault? Did they lack spirit because they are all so wealthy they couldn’t care less about the national team? So many theories, and all didn’t seem just quite right to me. Only now have i found an article written by Martin Samuel that makes the most sense:
If there is laziness in the English game it is that some of the best players are not as interested in the intricacies of football, of how a match unfolds, as they should be and so are easily outwitted, as they were against Germany in Bloemfontein. They care mightily about winning, and will run all day for the cause, but are weak on learning and cannot recognise that success and contemplation are linked.
Basically, English players of the England football team, are dumb. Intelligence wise, they are carried by their club mates during the regular season — and not unlike a mighty stallion, they perform awesomely when they have a smart jockey on their backs. But on their own, the stallions perform just a bit better than My Little Ponies.
A football team doesn’t need many brains. Just one will do to make a team great. A Paul Scholes. An Andres Iniesta. An Ozil. Even a Drogba.
Perhaps England’s next Best Hope will be this young lad. He looks like he has more than his fair share of grey matter sitting between his ears.