Search

All Guns Blazing: Despite England’s new Arsenal contingent, international football still fails to excite

18:47 09 September 2014

England's Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring his sides first goal of the game during a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying, Group E match at the St Jakob-Park Stadium, Basel.

England's Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring his sides first goal of the game during a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying, Group E match at the St Jakob-Park Stadium, Basel.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti laments the watered-down nature of international football.

Usually I can’t bear international breaks. England are one of the few big teams in recent years who, despite theoretical potential, have bottled it even more than Arsenal when it comes to the crunch.

In addition to this, they’ve also been full of players that many of us either hate or don’t rate, and as a result of all these factors, the very prospect of supporting them becomes the football equivalent of bleeding radiators.

Over the last year, this has changed slightly for me for one obvious reason. Suddenly, the Three Lions potentially include Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers and, of course, Monday night’s two goal hero, Danny Welbeck.

Is it sad that I, alongside probably a good few other Gunners, have just begun to feel excited about watching England again simply because they sport a few more Arsenal players to keep an eye on? Quite possibly, but national football and club football are increasingly becoming such different concepts that it’s pointless to even compare the two.

The nature of England’s qualifying group meant that even if we had lost the game on Monday, we would most probably still qualify nonetheless; the blame lies at UEFA’s feet for this, but this usually means the only time you really need to be nervous about an international match is every two years or so.

While Hodgson was evidently relieved the result lifted some of the pressure on him personally, it’s hard to imagine anyone else felt enough was riding on the game to truly get into a funk about.

You could see from Ian Wright’s animated post-match analysis that even as an England pundit, he was noticeably excited about what Danny Welbeck’s display might promise for Arsenal – who, unlike England, have a massive game to look forward to next.

International football, quite simply, has become so watered down that until it gets to the knockout stages of a competition, it really is hard to invest yourself in.

While it occasionally unites the country in bursts of patriotism, these days it does so at much the same rate as the latest royal baby announcement. Furthermore, over-scheduled, meaningless friendlies often result in players coming back injured for their club, which just breeds hostility and annoyance in the affected fans.

Last week’s half-filled Wembley stadium should tell both the FA and UEFA that something is lacking, but likely the message will fall upon deaf ears. Until real change is made, they shouldn’t be surprised to see supporters saving their money for the latest Premiere League blockbuster.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 13:03

With the Gunners’ previous league win against Chelsea coming nearly five years earlier, the omens did not look good ahead of Saturday’s London derby.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Middlesex hat-trick hero Toby Roland-Jones says the squad were always confident in their ability to become county champions this year.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Middlesex dethroned Yorkshire in a thrilling finish at Lord’s to win their first County Championship title since 1993.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Islington middleweight John Ryder believes a strong performance against Jack Arnfield this weekend could yet earn him a third shot at the British title.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Following their encouraging 4-1 victory at Hull, which prompted Betway to lengthen Arsenal’s price to win the league title to 14/1, the Gunners and Chelsea go head to head on Saturday evening in what promises to be another fast and furious contest.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tim Bresnan’s unbeaten century kept Yorkshire on course for a hat-trick of County Championship titles – and all but ended Middlesex’s hopes of snatching their crown.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

As the dual meaning of the club’s name would suggest, Soccerscool FC is based around twin objectives – developing football skills and having fun.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Islington BC’s Borys Feldman maintained his useful habit of edging close contests to seal a place in the London Development Championship semi-finals.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now