England's 'Curse' Is Simply a Cheap Excuse for a Lack of Trophies
Every two years England are eligible for a major tournament, alternating between the UEFA European Championships and the FIFA World Cup. Every two years we also get an updated version of "44 years of hurt".
By the time England have another chance at success in a major tournament we'll have had "46 years of hurt" and that number could realistically pass 50 before anything changes.
That simply doesn't matter though.
Supporters can say they've been through all these years of hurt, and all the disappointing results, and all the lost potential over the years, which is commendable but also very over the top.
When any fan begins to support any team, whether national or domestic, they are jumping head first into what will be an amazing ride. There will be ups and downs, joy and pain, success and suffering, which is what being a supporter is all about.
England's last major success was in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, which has become a story of legendary and mythical proportions throughout the nation. In what was the country's fifth appearance at the World Cup, they took on the World and beat it. A story that will long live in the hearts and minds of the fans.
Since then the nation have struggled to achieve anything on the same level and this has apparently been a "curse".
Ultimately, however, there's not a curse to blame this on and nor is it a blessing in disguise. It is the very ordinary scenario of a sports team going through a drought and persistently working to end it.
Spain could have told themselves that they had suffered "44 years of hurt" before winning Euro 2008. In fact in terms of the World Cup they could claim to have suffered "76 years of hurt" between their first entry in 1934 to their win in 2010.
Holland's World Cup record shows just as much struggle. Three times runners up, once fourth place but no wins.
Now the thought of England winning the World Cup at their fifth attempt before reaching mostly quarter finals for 44 years doesn't appear quite as bad.
Admittedly fans will have suffered, perhaps even more than they have been able to rejoice, but ultimately that is the most important part of supporting a team. Being able to stick with them through good and bad regardless of winning streaks or losing streaks.
If England were "cursed" would they really have produced the likes of Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker and David Beckham?
Despite underperforming much of the time on the World Stage, the nation have had their share of positive results in the past.
In Italia 1990, the England team weren't expected to get past the group stages but with some very strong performances they ended up reaching the semi finals taking the German favourites all the way to penalties.
In 2002, England went out at the quarter final stage to eventual winners Brazil thanks to an absolutely magnificent Ronaldinho free kick. England even took the lead first in the game through Michael Owen and performed well for the rest of the game despite being beaten. Had the nation beaten Brazil, they would have looked in a strong position to lift the trophy with just Turkey and Germany standing in their way.
Although the supporters want success immediately, there needs to be an air of patience around the team for it to succeed.
England have made many errors and problems for themselves since 1966. They have also made many fond memories for themselves. Going forward the nation's mindset has all too often been "We've failed too often so let's win it this time".
Once the supporters and the staff get rid of the myth of an England "curse" they can see the team for what it really is. A Nation that, like any other nation in the world, has had it's share of success and it's share of disappointment and is simply going through an empty spell in terms of silverware.
England are just like any other sports team.
No more curses, no more "44 years of hurt", no more excuses. This is England. Take it or leave it.
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