The World Cup starts tomorrow. The last one, perhaps, that one can enjoy unreservedly. (I don’t really want about 2022 and everything that that phrase entails yet. Do you know anyone who feels that awarding the World Cup to Qatar was a good decision? Thought not.) In our house the wallchart has gone up, we’ve done a sweepstake – I’ve got Belgium – and the England bunting goes up tomorrow. Even my other half is looking forward to it.
Is it tempting fate to say that I feel cautiously optimistic about England’s chances? I feel that even writing those words down is tantamount to tempting fate. Surely though it can’t get any worse than four years ago? They can’t put on a performance as dismal as Iceland in 2016, can they?
At present expectations are so low that even getting through to the next round and knocking a few goals past….well, anyone even Panama, would constitute ‘success’.
Gone are the days when motorists would stick St George flags on their vehicles, when every Tom, Dick and Harry was clamouring to make a World Cup record. The whole thing now seems to be regarded with a shrug at best, even outright cynicism. Oh yeah, they’ll probably lose on penalties. Again!
I kinda miss the days of delusionary optimism (roughly between 1982-2010), when people actually thought we might have a chance of winning the damn thing.
Oh well, for what it’s worth my prediction is that we’ll get through the first phase but lose to Colombia in the next round. I’d like Spain to win, but I’ve got a feeling it might be Brazil once more.