I’m a Liverpool fan. I became one when I was eight years old and my mother remarried. My step dad was a Liverpool fan and so I got it from him. Before that, I supported Chelsea because they had a good song (Blue is the Colour) and Leeds because they had Hotshot Lorimer.
In the time that I’ve been a fan (thirty-seven years), in two periods the England team has had a large contingent of Liverpool players as starting picks. This world cup has been the second occasion and it hasn’t worked out so well this time either. It’s funny that the one Liverpool pick that doomed England was playing for the opposition. A friend of mine, and big Liverpool fan, has just apologised to his friends who support other Premiership sides because until now he didn’t understand what having to face Suarez meant, and that is: two chances, two goals. It was bitter-sweet to see a Liverpool player score two great goals.
We often talk about who in the England team is world-class. In my book, for a player to be considered world-class, it means that if a squad of twenty-three players from earth was picked to be in some interstellar cup, then to be a world-class player they must be in that squad, or at least very close to being a pick. Currently, I don’t think any England player would make the cut. Not even close. Fortunately for Uruguay, they have a player who would be one of the first on the sheet and that was the difference when England met them last night. It wasn’t that England were much worse than Uruguay – both were poor, especially when passing – it was more that Uruguay had that one genuinely world-class player whose speed of thought and action was better than anything England had to offer.
Barring a miracle, it is all over. It’s a shame. England have certainly been better than they were four years ago, and the future looks bright with young talent. In the meantime, English football has a long way to go before it can challenge towards the end of major championships.