Despite a sense of pride at three different Everton players representing England in recent internationals, I have little interest in the success or failure of the national team. This is a feeling that has developed over a number of years but has manifested through a disdain for anything connected to “Liverpool Football Club” and the determination of the national press to immediately push for a transfer the moment an Everton player bursts onto the international scene.
About the author: James is new to St Domingo’s and has two passions in life, his love for Everton and his dislike for Liverpool. James is going to write regular articles as our resident Bitter Blue. Whether you agree or not, please use the comments section to voice your opinion.
I am extremely passionate about my football and follow everything that happens at Everton with great interest. A season ticket holder for over 15 years I rarely miss a match home or away, but when it comes to international weeks I struggle to feign the slightest of interests. How can I sit in the Gwladys Street next Saturday, booing Gerrard’s every touch, yet cheer him to glory in the summer’s World Cup? Some may find this acceptable, but personally I cannot stomach the thought of supporting someone I dislike with a passion.
Which brings me onto my next point, Wayne Rooney. I like Rooney, always have, always will. I can understand why he left Everton in search of glory. At the time Everton had just endured a difficult season and the finances at the club were at best precarious. The opportunity to move to Manchester United was one he felt unable to refuse, but I firmly believe he will return to finish his career at Goodison Park. My point, and there is one, is that the moment Rooney appeared on the scene with England, still as a precocious seventeen year old, the national newspapers immediately indicated that his future career was best served away from Everton. Similarly, since the development of Ross Barkley as a full international, the newspapers have been full of reports of possible moves to one of England’s mega rich clubs. Ross Barkley should beware, because for every successful move, there is the possibility that a career could stagnate, just ask Jack Rodwell.
My final point for now is the peculiar selection criteria applied by the majority of England managers. England should be selecting the best players available and not just players who happen to pull on the red shirts of Manchester United and Liverpool or the blue of Chelsea. Raheem Sterling is the perfect example of a player who has been selected purely on the colour of the club shirt, rather than his consistent performance on the football pitch. For years and years the same selection criteria has applied. Remember even Martin Kelly is a full international!!! Leighton Baines, who by all accounts didn’t have his best game for his country last night should by now be assured a starting position as England’s first choice left back. However the fact that Baines lined up against Chile would suggest that Ashley Cole remains Roy Hodgson’s number one pick for England, with the Chelsea defender set to start in the prestige friendly against Germany. I find that decision baffling, with Baines consistently outperforming Cole for the last three years.
I will be watching this summers competition, but I will do so as a fan of football and not of England.