Friday, November 30, 2007

A Sporting Addiction

Soon after writing the last post on the hidden benefits of long standing problems, the English Football Association (F.A) sacked the manager, Steve McClaren, after England failed to qualify for next year's 2008 European championship.


What I find fascinating about the whole scenario is the subsequent feeding frenzy over who the manager should be and why England failed to qualify.


The same ideas get bandied around all of the time, with some variations. There are too many foreign players, English players are not technically skilled enough, English international players are overpaid prima donnas without heart, guts, pride or passion etc, etc. What I find interesting is how long these ideas have been around. Commentators, administrators, players, managers have been saying for years that English players are not technically skilled, this is nothing new. Building football academies was one way to address this, but it doesn't seem to have borne significant fruit.


The last time England failed to qualify for a major competition was the 1994 World Cup and there weren't that many foreigners playing in the Premier League. England had also failed to qualify for both the 1974 and 1978 World Cups when there were very few foreign players so that doesn't hold. The players then were not perceived as overpaid prima donnas either.


After England lost to Portugal on penalties in the 2006 World Cup, I wrote a post about the failure of the national team to win a major football competition in the past 40 years and how this was due to unconscious energetic blocks.


Something similar is going on with the soul searching over the national game.


I think that media, commentators, administrators, players and manager are unconsciously addicted to the problem. I sense that they are comfortable with the problem. It keeps them within their comfort zone. They can tinker with the "problem", play with it and make it look as though they are doing something, without any real intention or feeling that things will shift.


What would happen if England had a world beating football team that actually delivered? I think that this idea would make a lot of people in English (and it is primarily an English issue) very uncomfortable. They'd have to change and shift their thinking and their perception. They are actually more comfortable with the idea of mediocrity. That is what they are used to. It offers a form of protection that they are unconsciously unwilling to release.

Until they do, then continue to see the emotional rollercoaster that is the English national football team.

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