Off The Ball blog: No faith in England

Thu, Jun 10

Just 48 hours to go until a Mexican or South African boot sets the Jabulani in motion and finally unleashes an explosion of global anticipation so pent up and powerful that Twitter is broken today. I am very worried about how this might be affecting Herculez Gomez.

Yesterday, before Twitter's demise, an enterprising young twit started a #hateenglandweek torrent. Some of the publishable comments included: "We use BATHROOMS not water closets!", "Robin Hood occasionally robbed the poor" and "We already kicked their a---- in WWII." Hmmm. But in truth, most of the comments betrayed a certain fondness for a strange, little country where unattractive people with bad teeth talk too much and eat inedible pies.

But the bigger point is this: You have to know your enemy. And what Americans have to understand is that England loathes itself enough for both of us. We really don't need any help in this department because we think we're crap. According to online pollster YouGov, only 4 percent of us think we'll win the World Cup versus 46 percent of Americans, who, according to Nielsen, think the U.S. will win the Cup. You Americans believe in yourselves, you love yourselves and you love … love.

We English, on the other hand, have absolutely no faith in our abilities and are way more comfortable with being dismissed and loathed and looked down upon. And the only thing that makes us really uncomfortable? Warmth. We don't know how to deal with warmth. Meanness, spitefulness and dismissiveness along with the cold, the rain, the color gray and Marmite are something most of us are entirely used to by age 11.

Click here to read Thursday's entire "Off The Ball" blog entry.