Ahh the International break weekend…Do you relish a break from the hustle bustle of the Championship? Or do you like the break so you can throw your support behind your National team?
For me it’s always been Brentford first. I suppose the main reason being until recently as a fan of a lower league team, there is a natural disconnect between the players representing England and the boys who pull on the red and white stripes each week. Yes, you can be patriotic and support your country, of course I want them to qualify for major tournaments but…Do I feel the same way about England as I do Brentford…NO!
For me, growing up in an era when Gordon Banks, Alan Ball, Nobby Styles, Bobby Charlton and the incomparable Bobby Moore graced any pitch they stood foot on, the modern crop of players are genuinely not fit to tie their boot laces. Don’t get me wrong, football has changed beyond recognition from those days but values haven’t!
Part of me didn’t want the likes of John Terry, Tony Adams, David Beckham or Wayne Rooney to lift any silverware as I felt they were not worthy as they didn’t shape up to the previous generation in terms of how they conducted themselves.
I then got to thinking about the successive tournament fails and utter frustration of the levels of passion and performance. However, I don’t think that is the reason I don’t get enthused about England. It’s not as we as Bees fans have been wallowing in glory and success these last 50 + years, is it?
For me the difference is one of perception and expectation. For some unknown reason, good football people throw common sense out of the window when asked how they think England will fare at the next Euros, World cup etc. We seem to have an irrational belief that we should get to at least a semi final or even win each championship we enter… What is that based on? FACT: we won on home soil a mere 50 years ago and reached a semi in 1990 by luck rather than judgement. Again in 1996, at home again, we reached another semi… Hope based on absolutely no recent history of success.
Our top players do not play their club football in Europe, they are overpaid and regularly fall short when judged against the actual best players in the world.
Brentford fans and the club, to some extent, are the opposite. We don’t see ourselves as giants of the game, we take a more humble approach to how we can compete and therefore rare success is enjoyed more deeply as it comes as unexpected rather than as a given. I think it’s an under dog mentality that other “bigger” clubs would do well to follow.
So, I’ll leave you with a serious question, please comment via Twitter or on BIAS Facebook page and let’s see what comes back.
Brentford to be in the Premier by 2018 or England to be World Cup winners in Russia?
The BIAS blog is the space to challenge perceived wisdom, entertain readers and inform our members. The views expressed are those of the author and they don’t necessarily represent BIAS policy and (pay attention journalists) shouldn’t be attributed to BIAS.