However the performance, to many ex professionals, journalists and the vast majority of the public, was not satisfactory.
Roy Hodgson’s squad was depleted of a few key members due to injury and suspension. The majority of those being forwards, as Rickie Lambert was the only recognizable striker to be in the England squad for the game.
Months ago the press were stating a draw in Kiev under hostile conditions would be an excellent result, as England would be a top of the group with destiny in their own hands. Two home games at Wembley would be more than enough to see England’s through to Brazil.
Yet the manner in which England secured the point over the Ukrainians was not good enough according to these same “experts”.
I am currently in America and on the same day of England’s draw with Ukraine, the U.S secured a place in Brazil with a convincing 2-0 victory at home to Mexico.
It wasn’t the fact that the U.S qualified for the World Cup that captured my attention. Rather it was the support that the nation as a whole showed for the team that raised the hairs on my neck. The game in Columbus, Ohio finished 45 minutes before the Panama Honduras game did, a game in which as long as Panama didn’t lose, the U.S would qualify with a win.
Every single person in that Columbus stadium stayed in their seats after the final whistle of the U.S game and watched the Panama game on the big screen. Now when was the last time any England fan has done that?
After the result of the Panama game confirmed there were huge celebrations across the whole nation. The media were calling Jurgen Klinsmann a great manager and applauding the likes of Landon Donovan and Eddie Johnson for their performances during the qualifying campaign.
The problem in England is that the media are too quick to criticize. We look for the negatives and have a jab at our players for not showing enough emotion and passion. When, like the Americans, we should be getting behind our team, showing them as much support as we can.
Sir Alex Ferguson said the two greatest words ever invented were ‘well done’. Not one single media outlet has said that for England topping Group H.
If we were to actually support our team for once and not begrudge everything they do, then we might actually perform well for once.
We as a nation seem to think that we should have some God given right to be the best at football. We expect three or four nil victories every time we play. We also expect a complete performance were we retain possession like Barcelona and kill teams off, like Bayern Munich.
If we were to actually put this ego aside and support the manager and the players for once then who knows what we could achieve.
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