Republic of Ireland 0-0 England - now there's an executive summary for you, just the result. And it is just the result that matters, for there is little else to discuss. Messrs O'Neill and Hodgson must have anticipated a ferocious, passionate, competitive encounter between two frenemies in world football, yet the result provided an accurate reflection of the match.
Ok, it was a friendly, but the two teams were so 'friendly' that the match had a feeling of some mates playing on a big lawn in readiness for a BBQ; it was certainly the weather for it.
Ireland had the first chance through Murphy which Hart saved, yet he must have been as miffed as the home crowd that a corner was not given. Rooney had England's best chance. Brady and O'Shea were Ireland's best performers, where as Lallana and Smalling put a shift in.
This friendly did little to excite or even invite any positives from either side, and questions need to be asked about how England can improve. On that, here is a thought: England need to be more English. Hear me out.
All countries do what they do best, and they do it well, in fact, they do it brilliantly well. Brazil have the skill, Germany the efficiency, Netherlands the flair, Italy the Pirlo, Argentina the best player ever +Aguero, + Tevez, +Lavezzi. England have, er, well, let's see now......
The main thing lacking for England? Arrogance, with a capital Arrrr. We need to adopt an over confident boxers mentality (more Froch than Eubank Snr).
For a nation that regards BGT as more worthwhile than Mastermind, there are social issues that desperately need immediate attention. As aggressive as arrogance is, it is what made us a considerable force in sport and we now need to readdress this.
By being more arrogant, a bit up ourselves, self fond, however you put it, we need it to happen. Of course in true English style it needs to be all, strictly, introverted.
It simply will not work any other way.
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