I'm with you. The BBC Sport Front Page is a no go zone for me at the moment. I get it. And i like the English players, i watch them week in week out, and my English mum is even getting into the tournie, which is cool.It’s not so much the England team I dislike. It’s the English media that’s insufferable. Anyway, I think Denmark score in the semi. Plus, they were my “dark horse “ pick at 28:1.
I exchanged a couple of emails with my best friend growing up in Scotland. He has a son who is 20. They live just outside Inverness. He told me his son was watching the England game wearing a Ukraine shirt. I thought that was odd. So I asked him why… is his son dating a Ukrainian lass or something? I was stunned at the response. My friend says its the English FFS! He’s bought the shirt of each opposing team England has played. So now he has Ukraine , Czech and he’s ordered a Denmark top. Forgot to mention he’s also the proud owner of a Croatian shirt .I'm with you. The BBC Sport Front Page is a no go zone for me at the moment. I get it. And i like the English players, i watch them week in week out, and my English mum is even getting into the tournie, which is cool.
But it gets murky. British Royals at English games. Boris and his cronies, football's coming home Priti...it's not good for us. Engish/British, Scottish/British. Engish national pride ought not to have anything to do wth me.
This is all very true. And it’s much worse with Germany imho.I think when countries with the kind of history England has start to show national pride, it can get a bit dicey…fine margins between national pride and nationalism. It can really bring out the worst in a certain type, and that type is pretty prevalent in the UK these days.
true, but I find that most German fans seem very self aware and cautious about this…there has always been a bit of distance with the national team. Obviously RW nationalism is on the upswing throughout Europe right now, but it doesn’t seem as tied in with Die Mannschaft as it does in a lot of other countries (Hungary, some of the Baltic states, etc). As Fletch pointed out, England is a great example right now with RW politicians suddenly hooking their wagon to the success of the national team.This is all very true. And it’s much worse with Germany imho.
After having lived in Germany for a while now, and even before I lived here, it’s been quite clear that overt nationalism is a third rail of sorts. I saw a van with German flags on the windows on Friday before the game, and it was such a surprising sight that I took notice of it. I’m sure that Berlin is more sensitive to this kind of stuff than most other places in the country, but display of nationalism is, if not necessarily frowned upon, quite discouraged and unusual.true, but I find that most German fans seem very self aware and cautious about this…there has always been a bit of distance with the national team. Obviously RW nationalism is on the upswing throughout Europe right now, but it doesn’t seem as tied in with Die Mannschaft as it does in a lot of other countries (Hungary, some of the Baltic states, etc). As Fletch pointed out, England is a great example right now with RW politicians suddenly hooking their wagon to the success of the national team.
Regarding Germany, I’ve always wondered if the direct reconciliation the country forced itself through is what made it so self aware and determined to stop RW nationalism. Compare that to some other countries with imperial pasts (or presents in some cases) that have never really accepted responsibility for prior atrocities.
I get it, and I see it as England has had some recent success, but what are you going to do? I was talking to an English colleague of mine, and she was decrying the national fan base as Brexiteers, nationalists, the "worst", yet at the same time, she is thrilled to watch her home country do well. So, sports can certainly merge with politics, but they are still independent entities, and there is crossover. I don't know why I'm a fan of England, maybe it's watching the EPL all these years, maybe it's because they have been good without ever being great these 20 years and are overdue for something good to happen. If they do win, a lot of really nice people will be happy, along with a bunch of louts, just as must be the case with every country.I think when countries with the kind of history England has start to show national pride, it can get a bit dicey…fine margins between national pride and nationalism. It can really bring out the worst in a certain type, and that type is pretty prevalent in the UK these days.
One thing to keep in mind is that regional coverage is very limited in terms of air time. I have 2 rooms set up for BBC Scotland as my default. But around 90% of that is the BBC London feed, so for example, BBC Breakfast is virtually all London, and every 30 mins you get 5 mins of news "where you are " and that's when it switches. I imagine that it's the same for Wales and N.I. I don't doubt that a program set up specifically to cover a game in a set region with pundits etc is going to be just as biased maybe even worse, it's the saturation levels that get annoying. I'll give you an example; the other day ITV were covering the Denmark- Czech game. I switched on to watch the game build up and discussion, the first 10 minutes was an interview with Raheem Sterling followed by the usual pundits discussing the England game to follow. It would have been nice if they discussed the game they were, you know, actually showing. But no....mostly about England. Granted I wasn't paying too much close attention but I think at one point they discussed England resting players against Ukraine for the next round. Now maybe they wanted to get all the discussion of England out of the way since it was the BBC showing that game not ITV. However, they barely discussed the Denmark-Czech game in the 30 minute build up. A neutral would have thought the England game was being covered. I landed up switching to ESPN. In the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal, but I can see why people in other home countries want England to fail. In the perfect world the whole of the UK should be getting behind whichever home country is playing at the time. But it doesn't work that way.Honestly, in sports, the English national team is the last championship I need to see. I'm not a fan of any of the big six, or that Villa/Newcastle/Everton tier that might one day get taken over and become the next City. I've seen Boston Championships in all the Big Four. Someone in one of the group game threads compared England to the Leafs, which isn't a bad comparison, but they're just as analogous to the Browns or the Pre-2018 Eagles or the pre-04 Red Sox. No Englishman under 55 has seen them even make a final.
The constitutional asymmetry in the UK makes things a bit weird with national leaders and English sports teams. No one bats a blind eye, nor should they, at Nicola Sturgeon tweeting in support of Scottish teams. But there's no purely English equivalent, and it would be bizarre in comparison with any other country if the head of state and all major government figures just ignored the national team of 85% of the British citizenry. Johnson is, after all, English. It's slightly different with the royals - historically, different royals supported different sports teams in different home nations. Princess Anne as the patron of Scottish Rugby and all that. Indeed, part of the Monarchy's appeal was that the Royal Family belonged to none of the constituent countries specifically. But William is the President of the English national federation. He can hardly not support the team. Harry is primarily associated with English Rugby, which might be unsurprising for a posh bloke who was born in England, grew up in England, served in an English regiment of the British Army and has almost exclusively English friends, the American wife and the South African ex excepted. He doesn't feel like he let constitutional concerns impact his rooting interests even when he pretended to give a fuck about the monarchy as an institution in the past.
IDK. English friends who studied abroad in Germany or Italy or Spain during championships didn't feel that those populations and their relative media went any less overboard. I used to be able to read German well enough to read Bild, which is their equivalent of The Sun, minus the bare faced lies about Scousers. The tone seemed largely the same. A lot of the complaints from Scotland/Wales seem to be along the lines of "The English media gives much more attention to the England team than even comparably successful Welsh or Scottish campaigns" - well, duh. BBC Scotland covers Scotland. I've never seen anything that makes me think the BBC in London covers England in a more excitable way than BBC Scotland or RTE or TF1 or ARD cover their respective teams. There's video of the BBC Scotland studio team losing their shit over the Serbia shootout. And there's nothing wrong with that.
The closest North American analog I can think of is Raptors fans complaining that US-based NBA media cover them less than equivalent American franchises, which I've always taken with a massive grain of salt for similar reasons - after all, there is a separate Canadian media which covers them much more.
The nationalism thing is complicated - the stereotypical 'Norf FC' guy from the meme exists, and there's quite a few of them. There's also a lot of people who just enjoy the communal experience of national pride, and feel stigmatised by the Guardian and the BBC for it. And then there's those who feel particularly connected to this England team because it feels more divorced from those kinds of sentiments than the Gerrard-Terry era teams. This specific team made a point of kneeling and basically telling 'fans' who had a problem with it to go pound sand, after all.
It still probably isn't coming home. But fuck me, if it does...
Fitting that I just listened to the Soccer 101 episode about Didier Drogba (helping to) and the Elephants end the Cote d'Ivoire civil war.If soccer is and remains the most extreme outlet of nationalism in the world, this would be exhibit A that we are living in a great world.
I miss that man so much. Hazard was nice to watch, Pulisic is nice to watch (when he gets PT), but DD is on another level as a human being. Him and Roman (I know, I know), got me into Chelsea pretty much by themselves. 2004 was the greatest year ever, especially July-October.Fitting that I just listened to the Soccer 101 episode about Didier Drogba (helping to) and the Elephants end the Cote d'Ivoire civil war.
I’m not sure how Spain is a better team than England. Spain is a nice team but is starting a center back who became eligible right before the tourney but was benched at City. A striker that’s constantly chided in this thread. I thought they were very fortunate to beat Switzerland.I also want to say that at this point, England is the third best team at best out of the 4 remaining, but you have to consider them the favorites, since the two best play each other and England has home field advantage which countenances a bit the skill deficit.
However, I would also venture the guess that this is as wide open as a competition of this sort may be. Like, I would give England a 28% chance of winning, Italy and Spain 26-27% and Denmark something like 20%.
I 've been rooting for England since 1986. I will be rooting for them again. That is to say, I try to keep my rooting sympathies distinct from my analysis.I’m not sure how Spain is a better team than England. Spain is a nice team but is starting a center back who became eligible right before the tourney but was benched at City. A striker that’s constantly chided in this thread. I thought they were very fortunate to beat Switzerland.
Meanwhile England’s squad features seven guys who started in the champions league final this year. I think they are a team that’s growing in confidence as the tourney goes.
Personally, I would rank them England, Italy, Spain then Denmark.