We have all seen the sign; ‘there are only 2 teams I support. Wales and anyone England are playing’. Well this weekend it is Italy many Welsh fans will get behind.
Here are 5 reasons WHY many Welsh fans will be cheering on the Italians!
The media obsession
‘What would you say to the England team?’ is the latest Radio 2 conversation I have had to turn off. The day before was ‘where were you?’ when they beat Denmark.
Does anyone genuinely care?
Do not get me wrong, it is a decent achievement (their tournament). However where was the same level of attention five years ago? Jeremey Vine did not donate his semi-final week to Wales.
Radio 2 asks ‘What take-away would you like to share with Robson-Kanu?’
The ITV news prior to England v Denmark was a genuine thirty-minute solid warm-up before the hour long warm-up to the match. The news was talking to Joe Bloggs the public about how they thought the game would go. Who cares?????
Has there genuinely been no other news the past week? Has nobody died, how are post-Brexit trade deals going? I hear Covid is on the rise and what is going on with Wimbledon?
Most people in the UK were born after the mid-sixties. However, every single person past toddler age is fully aware of the term ‘nineteen sixty-six’. Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir Bobby Moore and co are far more famous than any World War generals.
The words ‘They think it’s all over; it is now’ is far more familiar than any Winston Churchill speech.
What year was the NHS created? The greatest achievement the United Kingdom has ever made. What year was the minimum wage introduced? Women won voters rights? When did the Queen come to the thrown?
Nobody knows. However, it is unavoidable to miss the date when England got given a goal which had not crossed the line against the West Germans. (Just imagine the score if they had played all of Germany).
There is a fear that 2021 could be added to that. In 55 years’ time our great grandchildren will have no idea about Covid-19 or lockdown but they could tell you who Sir Luke Shaw was!
Let us not make this political. Left or right, red, blue, yellow or green, Boris is an antagonist. He loves it. It is not accidental; he knows far more of what he is saying than he lets on. He plays the buffoon whilst carefully giving out coded messages.
“Good luck to England and Scotland and to any other home nation involved in the Euros’.” That quote in Westminster was no accident. He had not forgot the name of that hilly bit West of Bristol. It was a deliberate snub, a snub because, as far as he is concerned, Wales is a joke. It is not a real country in his eyes, and this was his mantra.
Boris is not alone either. There is a belittling tone to many of the English establishment towards the smaller nations. It is similar with the post-colonial countries. There is a smugness about the English elite.
It is that same smugness which is why Australia love thrashing England at rugby. The West Indies love nothing better than destroying the English at cricket.
It is not racist to hate your oppressor, Boris and his Etonian friends lord over Wales. There can be no surprise when Wales want them to fall flat on their face.
“Great scenes”. It was one small comment but just one example of many. A few minutes after Denmark had gone 1-0 up against Wales, the camera turned to the Danish fans. They were naturally celebrating, and the English commentator stated ‘great scenes’.
Let us be straight. They were great scenes. A country whose tournament began with near tragedy now saw fans rejoice as they headed towards the Quarter-Final. However, and this is key, imagine that same commentator saying the same if England were losing!
England were not losing a couple of days later against Germany. I preyed they would just to prove the commentator would treaty us differently. In the semi-finals though, against the very same side, at the very same stage in the game, Denmark were 1-0 up against the mighty England.
Of course, there was no pan to the celebrating Danish fans, there was no talk of them. There is never any ‘other side’ when England play, or other fans. Each match is only about England and England fans.
There is always a reason why England lose. The referee, the cheating opposition, or the long list of scapegoats. It is never that the other team were better.
This is a deep routed issue which enters every part of England within the UK debate. ‘Send her victorious’ and the empire; England believe that they are rightfully the greatest and the best at everything. When they are not; then there must be a reason why.
Every tournament ‘its coming home’. The ‘golden generation’. If we are honest, England are often one of the sides who can win most tournaments. Alongside, Spain, Germany, France, Italy Portugal, they always have a chance of success.
However, with England, it is a divine right. They are supposed to win. They are supposed to be the best and there is genuine shock when they are not.
England have a superiority complex where they cannot accept failure. Which they should be very, very used to. Wales lost to a better Denmark side. Less travelling would have given us a better chance but credit to Denmark.
I am not going to hurt anyone by saying that Wales are not the best side in the world. Success for us is merely reaching a tournament like this. We can enjoy simply being there. England cannot do that.
I pity them in some ways for that, but too many England fans behave like spoilt kids. Fans kick and scream when they lose as if their favourite toy has been taken away. They are good winners, respectful in some ways, but horrendous losers.