Eclectic Blue

It’s coming home

Comments Off on It’s coming home 11 July 2018

I am not some kind of nationalist. I loathe the jingoist, populist faux “patriotism” AKA xenophobia and racism of the likes of Nigel Farage and Stephen Laxley Lennon, but I do love my country most of the time. My bloodlines are more foreign than English but I was born here at the BMH. Despite my heritage and my dodgy foreign surname (Johansen) I have never felt anything other than 100% English. Today, I feel more English than ever.

I can’t stop thinking about tonight’s World Cup semi-final against Croatia. I kept waking up thinking about it last night and – I know some of you might think this a little odd – from time to time I am even getting a little tearful. This is not a result of my mental health. It’s my emotions playing havoc. Of course, football is only a game but it sure feels a lot more than that this morning.

And here’s the confessional: I have completely lost my sense of perspective. Somehow, all the horrible things that are happening in this world have been relegated in my thoughts and feelings. Part of me feels a twang of guilt, most of me accepts this as, perhaps, a minor aberration. There remain only three teams on the planet who can possibly win the World Cup in 2018 and England is one of them.

I feel confident, which isn’t like me. I believe we can do it, despite the stellar names in the opposition team. I am even coming up with reasons why we should win. We have a world class striker, Raheem Sterling is bound to score an important goal soon, our team has steadily improved throughout the tournament – oh Christ, I’m making this stuff up. I have no idea really. But something has made me believe.

Please, tonight, let the story about England winning, or losing, having given everything. Let the story not be drunken cretins fighting on our streets. Let the story be a group of young men who have challenged our view of the modern footballer, young men who by and large have come from basic working class stock who have dared to dream, led by a manager of compassion and vision.

Who really believed we would be a game away from reaching the final, two games away from being world champions? Dare to dream, my friends. Send all those good vibrations and excitations to our boys in Russia. It could all come to an end tonight, but our dreams might just come true.

I am very lucky at my age to still have some hair left and even luckier than it’s not too grey. Many more days like these and I’ll have neither.

Come on England.

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