Euro 2008 - England Fan Ever The Optimist!

Antony HerbertAnalyst IIIJune 23, 2008

As England’s main sporting focal point is football, there is of course a huge gaping hole within our nationalistic mindset currently. With the rare occasion of absolutely no representation for the United Kingdom within Euro 2008 many supporters have effortlessly watched much of the action with a dreadful nostalgic feeling inside, wishing that we were there in all our sporting glory.

How can the founders of a tremendous sport fall so dramatically from grace so as to not even qualify against two nations arguably weaker?

Former England boss Steve McClaren received a justifiably enormous amount of hassle and ridicule throughout the qualifying campaign as both the media and the sports fans felt that something just wasn’t quite right.

When there was little hope results were produced and when it looked as though England would survive the largest scare known to the newer generation of fans, results brought us perilously down to earth.

Rightfully so then Steve McClaren, who many originally saw as an odd choice for England manager, was shown the door and dismissed by anyone and everyone passionate enough to care. Therefore many, in hearing the news of his "expert" opinions being chosen for the Euro Finals coverage, reacted with uproar and absolute disgust.

How could a man who destroyed so many hopes and dreams be allowed to give an opinion to an event which our countrymen should have featured heavily, if it weren’t for his incompetence? It was madness, chaos, absolute catastrophe!

The two teams qualifying at England’s expense, Croatia and Russia, were not expected to do much in the finals and this was evidently reminded to us by commentators following Croatia’s dismal opening performance. The England football team would be shown up to be extreme failures, being knocked out to two teams who would more than likely fail to make it past the group stages.

However then something strange happened. Both teams managed to qualify for the quarter finals and now with Russia through to a shocking and downright unexpected semi final, maybe Mr McClaren has a reason to feel less disheartened than he most certainly felt. 

A huge sigh of relief maybe? The two teams who sealed his negative fate, instead of bowing out at the first port of call managed to cause a stir. Yes, neither is a European winning country, I even have my doubts as to why Russia are competitors when many consider it to be in Asia, but both have given England fans a slight confidence boost.

I always hold the firm belief that if you lose to a winning team or winning player then you can hold your heads high and there will be no shame! You lost to proven winners!

All of this of course maybe absolute trash, as if England suffer another humiliating exit in qualifying for the impending World Cup then I will kick, scream and bully my way right to the dressing room to give the players would fully deserve—a PAY cut!

Maybe Russia will produce a stunning victory in Austria/Switzerland in turn causing two consecutive major upsets in the Euro Finals—Greece anyone! And if that happens then England will have the honour of bowing out to the "best" team.

Still it doesn’t side track me from the thoughts that we aren’t there, when we should be!

That damn McClaren!