Andy Murray steps out onto centre court today facing Rafa Nadal for a place in the final at Wimbledon, the whole of Britain hopes that Murray can produce a performance worthy of reaching the final at SW19. The majority of the pressure Murray faces is from himself and not the nation, the rest of us just hope, finally that a British (note that im using British here and not Scottish) man will win a Grand Slam title and where better than in London, England. Murray is ranked 4th in world with only Nadal, Federer and Djokovic ahead of him in the rankings yet the media and Britain have realistic expectations for Murray – compare this with the England football team which has stupidly high public expectations .
If you look at the FIFA rankings England are ranked 8th in the World with teams like Portugal, Holland, Italy, Germany and Argentina ahead of us. In fact, when the World Cup is over I would expect England to drop a few more places with the likes of Uruguay and Ghana performing much better. So why do we expect England to win the World Cup, or even make the semi finals? The fact is that the pressure the public and the media heap onto the team and players makes the job much harder. Trying to perform with this expectation and pressure coupled with the fact we really are rather average as a football team and the outcome will always end in tears. Its hard not to get carried away, with England flags on every car, cut out Rooney masks in The Sun (Halloween anyone?) and “Footballs coming home..” being played every 20 mins on the radio – the nation gets caught up in England fever and forgets that we have actually have to beat some top quality opposition to stand a chance.
People will always argue that we have that England has the best league in the world so why not the best National team? Yes we may have the best league in the world but this down to the foreign imports that have come to the cash cow that is the English Premier League. We have English players like Terry, Gerrard, Ferdinand, Rooney who all compete and perform exceptionally well in the Champions League but they have the likes of Torres, Ronaldo, Drogba, Ballack, Essien, Vidic, Carvalho etc all around them which gives the blend and balance. Put all of the English lads in together and they can only play one style of football, hoof and rush – its too predictable and one-dimensional.
Anyway, I think everyone and myself included is sick of hearing about the England team and why they failed so miserably at the World Cup, so im turning my attention back to Wimbledon and will be cheering on Andy Murray hoping he reaches his first Wimbledon final.