England and The Boo Factor

When I was at university I was a part of the student radio station and it was at that time that I first came across the song Wake Up Boo by the Boo Radleys.  I think it was criminally underrated despite some fair airplay and usage for other purposes.  Really liked that song.

It looks as though some England ‘fans’ intend to take that literally by waking up the ‘boo’ factor for the match this evening against Hungary.  (See what I did there?)

Now the beloved captain of our blessed country has spoken up and agreed that maybe he too would boo the players following their disappointing performances at the World Cup.  I get the booing.  I get it.  To me it reverts back to the old system of expressing disapproval that we learnt back in the panto days.  Cheer for the goodies, boo for the baddies.  Maybe it’s a cathartic thing to just get it off the chest.  And look, I’m all for timely chastisement (remember that word?  No? Tough).  There’s got to be a time, when someone who does something wrong gets told that they’ve done something wrong and it is wrong and we don’t think doing wrong is right.

What I don’t get, though, or more accurately, what I disagree with and find baffling is the thought that it is the alright thing to do to boo the England team.  Here’s me thinking.  You’ve done something wrong.  You know you’ve done something wrong.  I know you’ve done something wrong.  We know you’ve done something wrong.  So the next step is, how are we meant to move on from the something wrong?  Can’t change the past, but you can change the present and have a perspective on the present learning from the past to help out to avoid the mistakes and do things better in the future.

Who on earth expects a group of men just recovering from an exhausting and taxing international tournament and are just getting into the preparations for the new season to be in any type of form to be ready for this kind of friendly?  Who on earth expects a team that’s been emotionally and socially battered to just up and at ‘em again just like that?  Well apparently it will be those pundits and fans who will sit in judgement on the performance and continue to write heavy words of foreboding for the way things are for England on the basis of this match.

It’s the silly little things like this that make the English cultural mentality to things like their team so insufferable and no wonder the expectations are never realised.  There are tons of other reasons why England did badly, but that whole approach and mentality that if we get a bad game it’s time to throw up hands and mourn the bad future for England and then on the back of a good performance hail the all-conquering lions for England is stifling and plainly ridiculous.  That kind of mentality blinds us from reality.

Here’s reality.  England are plainly in need of the right team spirit as a mentality amongst them, not just with certain players.  There are evidently coaching and management issues to resolve, but beyond that it’s about the players themselves having the right mental attitude and intelligence to play as a team to their strengths but with nous as well.  That can only be supported by constructive approaches, which I don’t really see in booing people plying their trade for the sake of their country.  You get to show your disdain on those phone-in forums or blogs or wherever.  When they’re playing the concept of being a supporter is to … support … the team.

I know it’s a crazy concept, but one day it might work.

Oh and prediction for the score this evening – England 2-1 Hungary.  More reason for the media to swoop, and it’s a no win situation, but hopefully the people that matter will just get on with concentrating of giving their best in the sport they love.

In the meantime, that Wake Up, Boo song, eh?  Quality.




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