The Stages of the England Fan
Well, it’s the World Cup – and I know many of you are probably seething with infuriation at having to even think about it for a split second, but I love football and I love the World Cup. What I don’t love about the World Cup? The fucking England squad.
“But Louise,” I hear you cry. “You’re Scottish, why should what happens to the England team bother you?”. To which I would inform you that I’m half-English, and the legacy on my mother’s side has mostly been to pass down the true, national shame of watching England never get further than the quarter-finals of any major tournament despite having such fantastic players on paper over the course of my entire lifetime. And, with the first England match tonight, I wanted to express my utter discontent and general misery after twenty-three gruelling years of being an England fan. It’s time to don the ceremonial robes of disappointment once more!
- Right, well, that’s the last fucking time I’m ever putting an ounce of hope into England. We’re out of another tournament in the group stages after losing to a team constructed entirely from groundless enthusiasm and postmen. Three Lions? Three Peons, more like. I’m going to watch the women’s football instead.
- Six months have passed, the sting has left the last flameout, and I see there’s a friendly on tonight. I won’t bother watching it, since we – oh, we won? Well, that’s a pleasant surprise. Nothing to get excited about, but still.
- My, the England squad have looked really good in the Premier League this year. Obviously, it doesn’t matter, because they won’t be able to reproduce all those results internationally, but still, look at all those lovely goals.
- Oh, a new manager? Well, that’s a good thing, surely. And, you know, this one is a Taurus with Aries Ascending which is completely different from the last one who was an Aries with Taurus Ascending, so basically we’re talking about a clean slate for England.
- We’ve qualified for the next international tournament with two draws and a two-one win. Well, I’ll take it.
- It’s just so easy to immerse myself in all these breathless articles about the stats and the figures and the success of the various facets of the England squad. I’ll just read a few. I’m not getting my hopes up. Not after the last (insert number of times you’ve been let down by an England team here) times.
- Am I allowed to just support a different team? I have family who live in Spain, can I just be a Spanish supporter now? I can’t take another disappointment, I can’t.
- It’s the week before the tournament, and I have been walking around for three days straight holding my breath and compulsively checking Twitter to see which one of our major players is going to get injured. Wrap Danny Welbeck in cotton wool and don’t let him walk on either of his legs before the tournament; parachute him on to the field, gently, for God’s sake!
- The words “a great team on paper” have been used to describe the England squad a punishing amount of times. They have long since lost their meaning to me.
- Haha, but what if England did win the World Cup? I know it would never happen, but imagine, haha, right, haha? Wouldn’t that be wild? Haha. Just fucking humour me for a minute, Brian, this is the only truly fulfilling fantasy I have anymore.
- Ohmigod, the first match is tonight. Don’t think about it. No, read every article about it. Stay off social media. Go on social media. I’m dry-heaving over the toilet, I can’t take this, I know it’s going to be a one-one draw.
- Those bastards, they got me again. It’s the hope that kills you. That, or a Danny Welbeck injury in the first ten minutes that renders him useless for the rest of the tournament.
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