England Syndrome

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 01: New England manager Roy Hodgson poses after a press conference at Wembley Stadium on May 1, 2012 in London, England. (Andy Couldridge - Pool/Getty Images)

England play Italy today, which means a few things. Firstly, there's be an unbearable number of incorrect catenaccio references - I'll have to turn off Twitter, I think. Secondly, we're going to hear a lot of praise for the way Roy Hodgson is handling this England team, treating them just like he did Fulham and West Bromwich Albion and refusing to play into his opponents hand by attempting to play an expansive game his team simply isn't capable of.

And really, Roy Hodgson should be played. His England team aren't good, but they're getting the job done and are reasonably interesting in a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of way. They work hard, they win more than they lose, and now they're in with a shout of reaching the semifinals of Euro 2012. That's pretty awesome. So why am I writing about it?

Because Chelsea already did that, and they won the Champions League, which is played at a significantly higher level than international tournaments, by playing what is essentially Hodgson's style of football. Yes, it was ugly against Bayern Munich and Barcelona, but it's not like England have played against Bayern or Barca in this tournament (pale shadows of those sides, conveniently, have already made it to the semifinals). Chelsea defended their way to the European Cup, but they were also a significant threat going forward, scoring twelve goals in their seven knockout games against some very tough competition.

And they were eviscerated for it. What gives?

I can see people disliking the style of football Chelsea played. It was reactive stuff, and certainly not everyone's cup of tea. But this is a team that won the highest honour in club football that was forced to play in a specific way in order to get that far, and they were marked by the press as bad guys. But England doing it is just fine?

I'm ok with Chelsea being considered villains. To most, that's what we are: A team with unspeakable amounts of money who win a lot without any history of being a team with unspeakable amounts of money who win a lot to make the whole thing more bearable. But I do wish that, villainous though we may be, that we'd be held to the same standard as everyone else. I swear if Frank Lampard was photographed tickling a puppy the title would be 'CHELSEA MIDFIELDER CAUGHT MOLESTING 4-MONTH OLD'.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join We Ain't Got No History

You must be a member of We Ain't Got No History to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at We Ain't Got No History. You should read them.

Join We Ain't Got No History

You must be a member of We Ain't Got No History to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at We Ain't Got No History. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker