The Quickie

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Drop the pressure

Posted by therealquickie on October 14, 2008

England’s International History

Every time the World Cup or Euros come around, all of England is whipped up into a frenzy. Will this be the year that we triumph?

For a start, our hopes are unrealistic. All anyone needs do is look back at our team’s past and yet few of us do that, excluding the year we won of course. I think we need a quick history lesson.

From the beginning

  • England experienced their greatest ever success in 1966, winning the FIFA World Cup Final against West Germany 4-2 after extra time when Geoff Hurst famously scored a hat-trick in the final. However, the same team lost to the Auld Enemy Scotland only a year later with a famous 3-2 for the Scots at Wembley.
  • England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico because they were reining cup holders but only reached the Quarter-Finals when they were knocked out by West Germany.
  • For the 1974 and 1978 World Cups, England failed to qualify.
  • Four years later, England under Ron Greenwood qualified for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain after a 12-year absence but were eliminated from the second round without losing a match.
  • The team under Bobby Robson fared little bit better in 1986 as England reached the quarter finals of the World Cup.
  • Finished fourth in the tournament four years later which was the only time England have progressed beyond the World Cup quarter finals away from home.
  • Graham Taylor’s short reign as Robson’s successor ended after his England failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
  • However, the 1996 European Championships held in England followed. England, under new coach Terry Venables, had its best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-final.

Modern Day

The England team of the 1990s and 2000s has been consistently in football’s top twenty countries, but hasn’t progressed beyond the quarter finals of any international tournament apart from Italia 90 and Euro 96.

The fans favourite, Sven-Göran Eriksson, took charge of the team between 2001 and 2006 and was England’s first non English manager.

England enjoyed some success with top qualifying place in two World Cup tournaments and Euro 2004, losing only five competitive matches during his leadership and rising to a (joint) record FIFA No.4 world ranking for the English national team during the 2006 World Cup under his guidance.

In 2008, England failed to qualify for the Euro’s and Fabio Capello took over.

England to win in the future?

On reflection, it is a wonder that we put so much pressure on our national team. Perhaps we are being unrealistic.

Yes, we have a good team but so do many other countries. I can’t help but feel that if we just leave our team to their own devices they might just surprise us. We might even win.

Jennifer Wilis-Jones (jenzltp@hotmail.com)

For the main article, please click here

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