Cyprus 1878

A fanfare of horns have blared out various cacophonous melodies over the last couple of years. This was not so noticable say 10 years ago, but there is a renewed sense of pride in English football, particularly at a national level. Brazilians have Olodum like drums, whole samba schools in the stadium. South African’s their mighty and to many annoying Vuvuzelas, sounding like a trillion wasps buzzing in your ears. And the English have an array of horns, people on brass, who may have even served at some point in the Sally Army blowing familiar melodies, like the national anthem and an old colonialist melody line on ‘rule Britannia Britannia rules the waves’.

Hearing this, as a person who originates from a former British colony, Cyprus, is annoying, particularly as its is 2010 and Britannia does not rule the waves. Whatever happened to The Commonwealth, anti-colonial struggles and yes, Liberation, albeit partial!

So this sense of English pride, manifest in such a backward sounding communicative way, and through such a mass medium, such as TV is far more disturbing than a zillion Vuvuzelas in my ears.

The anachronistic element of the English national side is also nothing new. Since 1966 we/they/us/them have always been looking back to the one time when England won the World Cup. No doubt, to win such a trophy is an act of global sporting achievement but the problem is we are never allowed to forget it. So every time England win three games in a row, as evidenced from the path to South African World Cup qualification, TV commentators, footballers, managers, fans and even politicians somehow think they will win the World Cup again. And if all of a sudden they lose to more skilled opposition, ie the painful lesson taught by Germany in South Africa , the critics emerge and demand the manager’s dismissal. Fabio’s head on a plate by morning please!

Even since their demise in South Africa, England have constructed a false sense of hope, a recovery of sorts, a bit like the Cameron/Clegg alliance suddenly deciding the recession is on the way out when may be they know it’s not. So what happens, four months pass, a couple of easy wins against mediocre opponents and suddenly, a goalless home draw against Montenegro. Yet again the manager is to blame and every one has flashbacks to their most dreadful World Cup game against Algeria, which lets face it was one of the scrapiest games in the entire history of world football.

English football, just like English contemporary history, will only move forward when it cleans out the closet and shakes off some of those phantoms of the past. Until then, it’s a fake sense of glory about still ruling the world football, politics and otherwise.

As a descendent of a former colony, once ruled by England, when the horn players in the stadiums and the commentators outside them, finally realize its nearly 2011 and not 1878, I will be a much happier citizen of the world.

Advertisements