There was an interesting article by Barney Ronay in the Guardian on Sunday. He disagreed with those who wanted the England players to apologise for their performance in the World Cup and said that we should be apologising to them. Here’s a quote:
“A record of one semi-final overseas in 64 years since [defeat by US amateurs in 1950] points to the absence of any coherent remedial measures. The same flaws are there, chiefly the simple failure to produce high-quality, tactically state-of-the-art players, the result of a combination of societal neglect – we play too little; we have too little space to play – and an enduringly inadequate coaching culture, backed higher up by a failure to nurture and show patience with what talent does emerge.
To demand an apology for this from the current group of players seems a bit like raising a child without teaching it to cook and then demanding that child hurl itself at our feet in contrition at the age of 18 for being unable to bake the perfect soufflé.”
As well as agreeing with his article I found it reassuring that somebody else had considered apologising to players. I had never thought about apologising for being part of British society that created the current situation but I have often thought about apologising for the crowds I’ve been in. Crowds can be cruel at times. There is one player in particular that I’d like to apologise to — Ricky Otto. He got off to a bad start at Birmingham City, scoring both goals in a 1-1 draw, and from then on many in the crowd were against him and undermined his confidence. If I ever meet him, I’ll say sorry to him.