Well, the dream of European (Footballing) glory is once again over for the England national team. However, as has been suggested, they can hold their heads high and return home proud. The accomplished what was expected of them, and all of that with a squad ravaged by injury and when looked at from an attacking perspective a relatively young squad.
The same cannot be said however for the Netherlands. My second nation as they are, played possibly the worst football I have ever seen, and would quite possibly have failed to win a Sunday Pub League let along the European crown.
The Dutch team returned home and were actually booed by fans. People traveled to the airport just to boo the players when they came off the plane. Also, as any football fan would expect, there have been calls to have the manager fired.
I totally disagree with this, I mean, the coach can only do so much. If the players, all of whom are quality players at club (and normally at international level) do not put any effort into their game, then his hands are tied. Also, he led them through a World Cup qualification group, and to the World Cup Final 2 years ago, and through another qualification group for this European Championships. A campaign where they were top scorers by quite some way. To then lose his job for three bad games seems more than unfair.
Alas, that is how fickle football seems to have become…
Outside of the sporting world, this just isn’t done, and it is one of the main failings that are slowly driving me away from watching and enjoying sports.
Sure there are disappointments out there, in every walk of life there are things that are good, bad and in-between. There are things that we like but other love and vice-versa. It still doesn’t mean that we can hold any form of sway over someones livelihood.
How is it that sports fans seem to hold such a great power over people. Also, why is it only the manager. If a player has a terrible season, a striker who doesn’t score goals, or a keeper that can’t save a shot to save his life. There are never calls from the fans to sell him. At least not beyond the chants in the stand. There are never protests and calls of the players to be fired. Yet ultimately, the players are the ones to blame. The manager takes it on the chin, he is the captain of the ship, but who are we to lay the blame squarely at his feet. Maybe if the fans showed a bit more positive passion, then the atmosphere will increase and the players may just pick up on that and be buoyed by it, rather than brought down by all the hatred.
This got me thinking about life in general, outside of a game.
What would happen if real life were so fickle. Would you turn on your favorite author is he wrote one bad book.
Would you demand that their publishing house terminate their contract and discontinue all of their books, eradicate that author out of the pages of history, all for the sake of a book that you didn’t enjoy?
Doubtlessly, the writer themselves would have put their blood sweat and tears into writing it, they gave it their all to that particular tale. Who are we to pressurize people to make such damaging decisions?
Why stop with the writer, would we, as readers, who pay as much for books and some sports clubs charge for admittance to a game, be within our rights to demand the writer’s agent be fired for having him on the books. What about the publisher. They chose the book, overlooked others because of it.
It just isn’t done, it is not part of culture, and rightfully so. So why does it keep happening in sports. Writers are judged on performance just as much as football (soccer) players, in our jobs we are often evaluated based on performance. If we do not do well, we may lose our job or certain be disciplined for it, a writer may lose a contract or an agent for repeatedly poor presentations, but it won’t be as a result of readers or colleagues campaigning against them.
It is high time that football fans, and quite possible sports fans in general stop being so fickle and turn the attention towards helping and encouraging the teams they apparently support!