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Why The Only Newcastle England Representative In Brazil Was In A TV Studio

6 years ago
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From an England perspective, if the World Cup taught us one thing, it taught us that every mind boggling television deal signed by the Premiership, is actually just the most expensive suicide note in history.

When will the myopic deadbeats, who administer our national game, detach themselves from the Sky/BT teat long enough to realise that a strong, successful national team has repercussions even outside the game?

The national team has been in decline since the nineties, you know, when the ‘golden generation’ of Terry, Beckham, Ferdinand, Nevilles etc etc, won bugger all except the ‘who’s WAG bought the stupidest hat’ competition.

I don’t say that those players didn’t care about England, but they became an undroppable clique encouraging the nation to plaster themselves and their houses in ‘Made in China’ flags and other disparate merchandise every couple of years for the major tournaments. Because of their powerful clubs, they became bigger than the objective of European Championship or World Cup success.

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Whilst they sailed along on a bling laden, insulated from reality, wave, below them on the substitute benches, the Under 19s and Under 21s, the lesser lights, battled ungainly on. Bereft of technique and a sense of being part of a bigger picture, they continued to pick up wages totally out of synch with their achievements. Cocooned at club level by superior foreign imports, they were found out when exposed to International competition. But hey, when you’re set for life at 22 or 23, who can blame you for taking the attitude of, “I may have won nowt, but look at my cars, tattoos and size of ‘model’ girlfriend’s chest”!

We just blunder on, on a wave of patriotism and self delusion, and have a good laugh at those ever so amusing Paddy Power and Carlsberg adverts that appear on these occasions.

How much will it register with the FA or, god forbid, the Premiership, that the squad Roy Hodgson took to Brazil, apart from 1 or 2 contentious selections, virtually picked itself? Will we have to wait until the selection pool is so shallow, that we’re reduced to selecting ‘English qualified’ players from current academies, and not because they’re any good like some ex-players born outside England like John Barnes?

In 1990, a cabal of ‘Big 10’ clubs ganged up on the FA and demanded they accede to the temptations of the Sky millions, or they’d resign and form their own league, even if it meant severing themselves from participation beyond these shores.

I know we can all be wise in retrospect, but I wish we’d just have let them go, and then try to build an England team to match the aspirations of supporters. Treat them as a garish, crass sideshow as they tried to sustain interest in playing Spurs 6 times a year to spin their league programme out.

How does this affect Newcastle United? Well, as I say, long-term all domestic football shares in the reflected glory, but it is within recent memory than a strong contingent of our players, led by Sir Bob came within a game of winning in Italy.

In 2014 the only English Newcastle representative in Brazil was sitting in a TV studio, and the sad thing is, looking at our squad, that isn’t going change any time soon.

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