I can’t sit still while I’m watching football on the TV – this is yet another reason why my best friend believes I have ADHD; I struggle to switch off.
Instead of focusing entirely on the match, I’m sitting here reflecting on lessons that can be learnt from this Euro 2020 football tournament. I don’t yet know the final score, but currently England are winning 1-0.
It seems that the minority can be heard louder than the majority when it comes to the lack of respect shown during football matches, indeed even before the game even begins. Booing of the opposition’s national anthem is not just embarrassing but completely disrespectful. Fair enough, a bit of banter and booing the fans’ chants of booing the players getting the ball, but is there really any need to act in such a xenophobic way by making such an awful drone over the top of their country’s anthem. Furthermore, hurling abuse at the opposition’s fans, even worse when it’s children, is unacceptable.
***I am resuming writing this at the end of the match where England lost on penalties.***
Of course, football is a team sport, so teamwork is an essential part of this. While in the past, some teams may have relied heavily on one player, this often falls down as a strategy and emphasises the need for everyone to work together as cogs in a well-oiled (most of the time) machine. Part of playing together so well is having each other’s backs and while incredibly disappointing to see three bad penalty misses, the upset on those players’ faces with their team mates offering such support was warming to witness. Southgate himself, all these years on, must still have nightmares and relive his penalty miss in the Euro ’96 tournament, so his words of wisdom will eventually be appreciated, I’m sure.
No team will ever succeed at every thing they strive to win. It’s impossible. England’s loss in the finals shouldn’t be seen as an atrocious event, rather a disappointing end to an excellent run. The way in which we interpret things has a huge bearing on our mindset and how we respond to things in all aspects of our lives. Trying to see the positives that have led to the hurt is one way of avoiding such a negative way of thinking.
Coming back from a defeat in such an important game will no doubt be difficult. However, it was necessary for one of the teams. Realising that losing has to happen to someone and working hard on penalties, the cause of the ultimate loss, aiming to come back stronger in the World Cup next year, will show great resilience. Unfortunately, with the tournament now over, most players will be having a well-earned break and most will not see each other for a while, possibly first in a match against one another in the premier league rather than as team mates in an England match.
It’s coming home… maybe not now, but one day, football’s coming home.