Last week, the England national side failed to qualify for Euro 2008 after losing 3-2 to Croatia.
Numerous theories have been bandied about by sports pundits as to why this may have occurred. These range from poor team management to a failure to nurture home-grown talent, to the team, y’know, just not being very good…
But it seems that otherwise obscure West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green, who didn’t even play in the final match, has the answer:
I think we would have the best team if we could go into every household and throw away every PlayStation, Xbox and video game. We have the players and the best league in the world. The way the game is played here is so different though.
Watching the Premier League is like Formula One – it’s that quick – and then you go to an international game and it’s like a game of chess.
Of course, it’s a quote of two halves, and his second half is even better than the first – if Green clutches opposing shots the way he clutches straws, he’s a shoe-in for the next England team…
Other countries seem to bring on world class players, countries like Brazil and Argentina where, often, it’s football or nothing – in contrast, we live in a country where we have choices, and perhaps the will to do it and the need to escape from situations you’re in are not so clear.
If we all dispose of our games consoles, then we can all play football just as well as the man himself.
–GP UK correspondent Mark Kelly