The Euro 2012 tournament is just a few days away and the decision was made to write a profile about the position of manager and team member of the English squad. It would be an understatement to say that the position of manager and team member are jobs racked with tension.
The job of managing the English Euro 2012 squad is made difficult taking into account the fan base, the press, and the decisions made. The phenomenon is not limited to England since this is also part of human nature.
It is important to discuss each complication in order to arrive at a solution.
The Fan Base
We the sports fan [like fans of other hobbies or likes] are very demanding of our team. We want instant gratification and results for our teams, players, and managers.
We compare the present teams and managers to previous ones that won trophies in a distant or not so distant past. When a team wins and advances, we cheer them and proclaim them as our idols. We do the same with the managers of the squad
We hang posters and pennants bearing their likeness while listening to every word they say. We praise them and wish all the best in the world.
When the team loses, the player is not up to the very high standards set by us, we criticize with the intent to destroy. The team and the player is disparaged and scorned with a burning intensity.
The examples are the negative comments, the tearing and burning of photos or other souvenirs of the player or team. It is the negative comments that hurt the most since morale is more affected psychologically than physically.
The manager also bears the brunt of the frustrated fan base and is immediately fired with his or her reputation destroyed. The fan base is not alone in its elevation and emotional demotion of team, manager, and player.
It needs fuel to add to the fire of positive or negative feelings which is the press.
The press is good at promoting and demoting teams and players. The press is composed of the mainstream media as well as the blogs.
It can be great when it comes to praising or demonizing a team during and after a match. The problem with the press is its tendency to set excessively ridiculous high standards for a team and player.
The excess standards are promoted by the press as mantra and passed on to the sports fan that reads and agrees without questioning. The result is more demand placed on the team and the player.
The same demands can be placed on the manager to perform and comply with the excessively high standards. In the case of England, the comparisons are made with the 1966 World Cup.
England was the host and champion of the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The victory brought great memories to the English fan base and players which is great.
The problem is that the press [as well as the fan base] love to draw comparisons between what happens in the present with 1966. This will be dealt with later in the article.
The Decisions Made
The decisions made by the manager can also come back to haunt him or her. The decision to replace players that are injured with those that do not have the experience may help or hurt.
When a manager makes a decision to exclude a player, the result could help or hurt the team. It remains to be seen whether the recent changes will help or hurt the English squad.
Whether England can win or not Euro 2012 remains to be seen. The primary solution is to stop making comparisons with the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
The 1966 World Cup was played in England during one era and the seasons change. The players and managers [as well as the fan base] changed dramatically over the past 46 years.
England has to go to the Euro 2012 with the mentality of attempting to do its best. The fan base and the press could help by praising but keeping expectations to a minimum.
While this has been done, it needs to remain consistent in order to avoid the extreme anger and derision. It should also be remembered that England is a squad in transition with the older generation of players being phased out in favor of the 1990’s and beyond generation.
In other words, attempt to perform without obtaining many results against France, Sweden, and Ukraine. At the same time, there should be an internal process dismissing the word impossible.
Whether that can be done remains to be seen. The Premier League Insider would like to wish England and the other participants the best in Euro 2012.