It’s been a week of World Cup qualifiers in the world of football and once again fans have accused England players of a lack of passion and effort.
What an absolute load of rubbish.
It’s about time we all got off the players’ backs and started to give them 100 per cent support. Then we might just start to do well.
You can tell at times how nervous England players are on the pitch – not because of the opposition but because of the negative reactions they get from the press and fans.
I suppose some find it hard to understand why players who shine for their clubs in the Premier League cannot transfer that form to the national team.
You see players, some earning £200,000 a week, unable to play a forward pass or get a shot on target when otherwise they would surely score.
We seem to want Champagne football every time we play, but sadly, poor opposition in the qualifiers sees 10 men defending, which we then have to patiently break down.
It’s not pretty and sometimes we might as well play with 10 strikers and a rush goalie.
But when the real tests arrive, we fail.
We have plenty of very good players, but we don’t seem to be a great team.
Sometimes it’s not about picking the 11 best players, but the 11 who gel into the perfect team.
It takes bottle from a manager to drop a big name for the good of that team.
Terry Venables and Bobby Robson had not only the tactical brains, but also the man-management skills to blend teams that reached semi-finals.
I’m pretty sure we have players who are good enough to achieve this once again.
My hope is that Gareth Southgate can do for England what Chris Coleman is doing for Wales.
But our expectations of the team need to change.
We may have the best league in the world, but we certainly do not have the best national team.
If we believe like underdogs instead of having an arrogant expectancy, who knows what might happen in Russia next summer?
WOMEN, SHOPPING AND MEN: WHY THEY SHOULD NEVER MIX
It turns out men can waste up to three weeks of their lives waiting for their women when out shopping.
This, I believe, is true.
Some high streets and outlets offer a man crèche to keep us occupied during such shopping trips.
It usually means coffee, beer and Sky Sports News.
Then again, I’d be happy to while away an hour doing this while she shops.
I remember one bitterly cold day on a weekend work trip to St Malo.
Bored, I wandered off for a coffee and a crepe.
I returned an hour later to find Sarah coming out of the same shop.
I asked what she had bought.
‘Nothing took my fancy,’ she said.
I’ll never get that hour back!
A RARE CHANCE TO SEE OUR TOP FUNNY MAN AT CLOSE QUARTERS
A rare night out took us to the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton to see one of the UK’s most successful comedians.
Michael McIntyre was doing a one-off night on his Work in Progress tour.
This is where a comedian tests new material at small venues.
For McIntyre, The Mayflower is small these days. It was packed.
Being an observational comic, it’s difficult to relay any jokes on offer.
But let’s just say his wife, kids, car drivers and Christmas all inspired him.
Needless to say, the audience was close to wetting themselves.
It’s clear to see why he’s the nation’s favourite and great to see him so close up.
He’d normally be a dot in the distance at Wembley.