Could football really be coming home?

Max Hope Roar Rookie

By Max Hope, Max Hope is a Roar Rookie

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    With a heavy sigh, mother England wakes up to find the porch light still on. It’s been a long 48 years since she last saw her pride and joy, since she last saw Football.

    England birthed Football and watched it grow into the wild beast that it is today, toying with the emotions of millions, breaking hearts around the globe and leaving no stone unturned. England knows the pain this cruel beast carries; it suffered its deceit oh so many times before.

    But it also knows the joy Football possesses. The unity it provides. The strength it gives. The ability it has to muster all kinds together, regardless of upbringing, culture and history. It views all as equals.

    If ever there was a time for Football to return, it missed its most favourable chances of arrival in 1998, 2002 and 2006. Its talents shone the brightest they had since it packed its bags and said its goodbyes to go to Brazil in 1970.

    “You won’t be away for long, right?” asked England nervously as it rushed to the door to see its own leave.

    A wry smile, a step out the door. Gone.

    Forever?

    Gareth Southgate

    (Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

    Full of broken promises and shattered dreams, Football hasn’t been kind to England. What started as a trip to Brazil has taken on a different path to that England would have liked.

    Every four years, when Football had the chance to return home, the grey, hollow feeling spreads in England’s heart. It knows better than to believe Football will ever return, but it just can’t help it.

    In 1996 England pleaded with Football to do the right thing.

    “Come home. Come home now,” but 30 years of hurt never stopped England dreaming.

    Now they can see Football standing out on the street, unsure where the wind will blow it next. Maybe next door to France, perhaps the glorious seas of Croatia. Perhaps to the comforts of Belgium for a maiden voyage.

    England has heard the words too many times before.

    They just want to hear that knock on the door and the porch light turned off.

    Football, it’s time you went home.

    Getting hassled by a parent or partner about spending too much time playing video games? Now, you can tell them the story of how some ordinary gamers scored $225k for just seven weeks of work.

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • July 11th 2018 @ 5:07am
      lunchboxexpert said | July 11th 2018 @ 5:07am | ! Report

      I would argue that the home of football is in South America, it might have been born in Europe but as a baby it was adopted in South America. So if England (or France for that matter as I think they have as much claim as England to the birth of the world game) does manage a minor miricle, its more a case of the world cup visiting a neglectful parent than anything else.

      • July 11th 2018 @ 7:32am
        peeko said | July 11th 2018 @ 7:32am | ! Report

        exactly, its not their game. really England hasnt been close for ages, havent made a final in my lifetime and the emotions and togetherness happen in every country that does well. but w only here about the English

      • July 11th 2018 @ 11:33am
        Lionheart said | July 11th 2018 @ 11:33am | ! Report

        England is credited with writing the first set of universal rules and with the first organised competition of what is called Association Football’. Thus they have the FA, not the EFA or whatever. They, along with Scotland, Wales and Ireland, hold the only permanent seats on the FIFA body that determines the rules of he game.
        It hardly gives right to being the home of the game, but England does have a fundamental place in the history of the modern game.

        • July 11th 2018 @ 3:16pm
          lunchboxexpert said | July 11th 2018 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

          Agreed.

      • July 11th 2018 @ 12:21pm
        IAP said | July 11th 2018 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

        Nah. Just because the South Americans like the game a lot doesn’t make it theirs. It’s akin to saying India is the home of cricket, or South Australia is the home of Australian Football.

        • July 11th 2018 @ 3:14pm
          lunchboxexpert said | July 11th 2018 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

          Home is where the heart is. And the heart of football is now in South America.

    • Roar Rookie

      July 11th 2018 @ 11:55am
      At work said | July 11th 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report

      I just don’t think England have the quality to beat France, or Croatia for that matter.

      I wonder if that is the authors real name or if it’s just a very fitting name to signify how he feels about England lifting the cup.

      • July 11th 2018 @ 12:43pm
        Lionheart said | July 11th 2018 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

        I don’t think they do either. We really haven’t seen them tested yet. I saw them in a friendly v France last year in Paris, and France won easily, although the Lions have made a few changes since then.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 11th 2018 @ 12:45pm
        Max Hope said | July 11th 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

        I think Croatia’s side is better, yes. However without the weight of the world on their shoulders, this mob of young English lads are simply enjoying playing football with nothing to prove – don’t be surprised if they knock the Croats off 3-0.

    • Roar Guru

      July 11th 2018 @ 1:00pm
      Chris Kettlewell said | July 11th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

      This is football, so anything can, and probably will happen. Certainly France would be favourites at this point, but you can’t put it past either England or Croatia pulling an upset. Part of my likes the idea of Croatia, simply because it’s always good to see a new country make the breakthrough and win it for the first time, but England v France in the final has a pretty good ring to it! A rivalry going back hundreds of years ignited on the football field.

      We’ve certainly had enough upsets to this point to show that the best team “on paper” is no guarantee to win!

    • July 11th 2018 @ 9:44pm
      MQ said | July 11th 2018 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

      The thing I love about English football fans is that they possess a fantastic sense of humour. The Guardian blogs are hilarious to read (whereas most of the posts on the Roar, apart from my own, are quite dull and boring).

      I was only just having a laugh at a post I was reading.

      According to Guardian readers, England will win the final 8-0. The poster suggests that this might be a touch over confident.

      Someone responds that that’s the half-time score.

    • Roar Guru

      July 11th 2018 @ 11:23pm
      Cousin Claudio said | July 11th 2018 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

      Don’t watch the football world cup or you will be contributing to domestic violence.

      http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/domestic-violence-services-prepare-england-croatia-world-cup/9972380
      Cracker of an article on the Victorian Rules biased ABC website today.

      Think they are a bit jealous of the success of the FIFA World CUp and how its taking attention away from Victorian Rules.

      Pathetic really.

      • July 11th 2018 @ 11:34pm
        Kurt said | July 11th 2018 @ 11:34pm | ! Report

        Come on CC, the article is in no way an AFL inspired dig at soccer. It refers to a range of evidence showing an association between major sporting events and domestic violence in the UK, Australia and the US and presents a couple of hypotheses about why this association exists. Worth a read and a bit of reflection I would have thought given the increasing awareness of the seriousness of this issue.

    • July 13th 2018 @ 7:21am
      MQ said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:21am | ! Report

      As I mention above, I lament the lack of humour in these Australian forums, whereas the British forums are chock full of humour. Not only can the British sing in tune at football matches, they’re good for a laugh as well.

      Good to see Peter FitzSimons getting into the spirity with a hilarious contribution in his latest SMH article:

      Writhing, rolling, hands on heads: What footballers are really saying

      He examines the various gestures one sees on the football pitch, remarkably consistent across all nations and cultures.

      With most of the gestures, he concludes that it means: “Please love me more, than ever. I know I do!”

      When someone scores, and they’re running around like a madman, and another player, perhaps the one providing the match-saving assist, tries to get in on the act, the scorer pushes him away, as if to say: don’t try and hog the limelight, this is about me, me, me, me!

      An exception is when the keeper concedes one, and he scowls at his team mates as if to say: “You miserable b—-s! Call yourselves fullbacks? Call yourselves defenders? How can I work like this? I am seriously not sure I want to play in a game where fools like you are all I have between me and these marauding mongrels, and the reason I am glaring at you and shaking my sorry head – like, every single time I have to get the ball out of the net – is because I want to make it absolutely clear that I personally could have done no more, and it’s all your fault.”

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