STUDENT SHOUT: This generation of England fans must show heart

Bobby Moore holds aloft the Jules Rimet World Cup trophy in 1966 Picture: Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Bobby Moore holds aloft the Jules Rimet World Cup trophy in 1966 Picture: Popperfoto/Getty Images)
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Student Shout is a weekly column by journalism students at Highbury College.

As a young England football fan I have not witnessed the glory days of the past.

I can’t claim the 1966 World Cup heroes as my memories.

They are part of the successes of previous generations.

My England hasn’t come anywhere close to those glory days.

The general feeling now about the national team is one of negativity.

And I believe that is the very root of the problem.

Struggle and criticism are prerequisites for greatness, but to pass through those, you must first have belief.

The older generations are so hung up on our past successes that they have become fixated on the false expectation that England should be the best.

But after decades of disappointment, the overriding consensus is that we are bad.

The problem is that this has become infectious, and it has rubbed off on the younger generation too.

I can’t remember the last time I read a sports page comment section and saw satisfaction.

On social media – a platform created by millennials to connect with and help each other – we’ve somehow managed to disadvantage ourselves with widespread discontent.

How can our players thrive in a game where mentality is as fundamental to success as ability, with an atmosphere so poisonous?

There’s no doubt that we aren’t the force we once were, but I struggle to name 10 better-placed teams than us.

The young blood of the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford have shown signs of promise.

But while quality can get you places, what we are truly missing is heart – the essential ingredient of life.

Now, we can either supply that for our national team, or kill it off completely.

But as long as it is still beating, there is hope.