Breaking Sad

Jermain Defoe, Kyle Walker and Andros Townsend are all in the England squad for the World Cup qualifying games against Montenegro on Friday and Poland on Tuesday.

That's it. That's all I've got. I have no room in my emotional bank to cash in for passion when the Three Lions play. Which is ironic considering I have Three Lions (and a St Georges cross) tattooed on my arm. Purely footballing art. As you do, regretfully, when something is so intertwined with your life, you seek to want to shout about it even more by inking (scarring) your skin for life.

I worry more about all our internationals (and we have a fair share of them) avoiding injury and coming home without a crutch or ice pack. I still watch the game. I still 'support' England, but it almost feels like a process of proxy. Like an old friend you want to see do really well but if he doesn't, it doesn't directly impact you. I can still remember the days when every England game (for me) was on par with any given Spurs game. I loved my national team as much as my club side.

Except, I didn't. Not really.

Looking back, what I loved about England was that hope and hype that came about with every World Cup. When everyone - no matter their club - united to support and watch us epically go out in semi-final heartbreak and in latter years, the draining wreak that was countless quarter-finals and penalty mishaps.

Have I simply walked away from my national side because they fail to ignite that lost passion? Would I walk away from Spurs if they plummeted to mid-table? Well no, your club chooses you. I chose England. Then we grew apart.

Italia 90 and the Euros of 96 along with the not so Golden Generation - the pinnacle of England's glorious failures. It's like supporting the Spurs of the international teams. Promise loads, never quite get there. Except Spurs are more likely to achieve success than England these days.

We grew apart because of the apathy I have for most of our players (aside from the Spurs ones). The identity that was so strong in the past had faded. Will I jump back on the bandwagon if we start to do well again? Am I simply a glory hunter hiding behind detachment?

I look at it this way - I was punching the air during the Olympics. I don't follow rugby but I'm despondent if we lose to the Aussies. Same with cricket (although I'm a fan of the Test matches). Even sports I have zero interest in, I hope we win and gutted when we don't. And yet I feel like I've been completely disenfranchised from England thanks to...well, I don't know.

Maybe the reality is, club football is simply bigger and more important to everyone these days than the international scene. Although the spectacle of a World Cup is hard to beat.

I want to be bothered. I just can't be bothered.

Townsend to start? Okay, go on then... 

 

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