Tonight the English national football team look to put the memories of their dismal World Cup firmly behind them as they face Hungary in a friendly at Wembley. Fabio Capello will be looking to win back the support of England fans, but I imagine its going to take some effort to achieve the forgiveness he is looking for. The players and staff are expecting hostility from the Wembley faithful tonight, and they certainly deserve it. Steven Gerrard has come out and said he would boo the team this evening if he were a fan. I personally feel it is never appropriate to boo the side you are supposed to be supporting, but in England's case I might make an exception.
For me, it all starts with this apparent "Golden Generation" we have. First of all, I detest almost all of them. John Terry, Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, and so on; I can't stand these players for the majority of the football year. Being an Arsenal fan, these guys are my enemies, especially Cashley. So it makes it increasingly hard for me to really attach myself to this England side when, if I'm really honest, I wouldn't give them the time of day. I still try to get behind them though, and I was as disappointed about England's collapse in South Africa as any other English football fan. But I just do not feel the same way about England as I do about Arsenal, and probably never will. Arsenal are "my team" and are unique to me, whereas I was born English and I have to share them with everybody else. So in that respect, I don't feel very close to this England team and find it rather difficult to get passionate or feel concern for this bunch of overpaid football divas.
However I will still tune in to ITV tonight to see how England get on against the Hungarians, for one reason in particular. For the first time in what feels like forever, there are some Arsenal boys in the national side. Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott have all been summoned by Fabio Capello and look set to feature at some point or another in tonight's contest. I hope Gibbs will be given the start at left back and Walcott can get a start too. I'd like Wilshere to make an appearance also, coming on at some stage to win his first England cap. I'd be over the moon if he started though! All I really want is for England to play some exciting football for once, and hopefully the Arsenal lads can help achieve this. I always struggle to watch England's friendlies - they tend to feel slow and drag on for a while, and my attention wanes rather quickly. In simple terms, England are boring to watch. But I'll make sure I hang in there and watch tonight, just to see how the Young Guns get on.
This weekend brings the return of proper football, as the Premier League resumes play for another season. Arsenal travel to Anfield to battle Roy Hodgson's Liverpool on Sunday, in a match I am quietly confident about. Looking at Liverpool's squad, even with the acquisition of Joe Cole, they really don't have much in their locker anymore and I reckon they will struggle in the battle for 4th position this year, unless they make some decent signings and get Torres and Gerrard firing on all cylinders. So I will be hoping for a good win from the Gunners, a statement of intent that we may challenge for some silverware this season (but please buy a new goalkeeper soon Arsene). If you are lucky faithful readers, I may even write a match preview closer to the time (may being the key word there - depends if I feel like it haha!).
Thanks for reading.