Monday 16 December 2019

Is it okay to cheer for England at the World Cup?

Cormac Byrne

We won't be at the festival of football in the country where it is played with most purity so is it okay to cheer on our nearest neighbours in Brazil?

Irish footballs fans have an affinity with the Premier League and its players and most always have had.

Avid fans of the beautiful game are the League of Ireland fans who continually support grassroots football in this country and they won't be giving up their seat on a Friday night at Dalyer of Richmond Park to watch the action from Rio.

Whether the team you support in Brazil is determined by a World Cup sweepstakes, your favourite player, your favourite colour or for whatever reason, should we reserve some support for the long-suffering English?

Whatever about supporting them, we will certainly being following their progress and not because of the dazzling play they are capable of but because of magnetic draw they seem to possess for drama, hype and the usual implosion in the knockout stages.

Their ability to flop horribly on the biggest stage makes them box office and while we are all drama junkies deep down, it would hardly be the worst thing in the world if they did lift the trophy.

I'm a Chelsea fans and I want to see Gary Cahill and Frank Lampard having great tournaments. United fans will look to Luke Shaw and Liverpool supporters to Adam Lallana for a glimpse of what next season might bring.

The English team is going to consist of the players that are most easily recognisable to us and I bear them no ill will.

We also beamed with pride when President Higgins performed so admirably in his recent state visit as both countries look to build closer links.

What I ask myself is 'would they cheer for us?' and I can't help but think they would.

I'm not going to wave any flags or don any jerseys but I'll wish them all the best and see where the chips fall next month.

They do make it hard to like them sometimes with the crazy hype that is generated by their presence in any major tournament.

In December 2009, the Sun newspaper ran a headline on its cover which declared “E-A-S-Y” in reaction to the news of the 2010 World Cup draw which put England in the same group as the United States, Algeria and Slovenia

I have no issue with arrogance, in fact, the best players and teams should have an element of it but misguided or misplaced arrogance is very different.

What are you going to do? Share your view in the comments section below.

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