04 December 2022
I was very unsure about this years’ World Cup, mostly for its hosted location, Qatar, and the very known issues it has with human rights, gay rights and, well, just rights in general. I appreciate the need to respect other countries culture and way of life and I believe that, to a great or lesser extent, Western nations have meddled too much in the affairs of other countries. That being said, that doesn’t mean a competition such as the World Cup which, in my opinion, is meant to be one meant to unite all nations and all walks of life, should be in a country that it, itself, does not abide by. This also throws a unique curveball with the USA among the joint hosts for the next one and their record isn’t exactly squeaky clean either.
It confirms, I think, that life is never clear cut and generally just shades of grey. It’s a life lesson I’m trying to pass on so my kids don’t try to treat life as a fair or not fair sort of a deal. Or that something is either a yes or a no and all the fun nuances of life. At the same time I do kind of envy their approach as sometimes it can be easier just to be very definitive about things. Anyway, it’s been an interesting tournament outside of the politics. Some upsets and some big teams heading home already like Germany and others perhaps performing above their ability such as Australia; well until this morning against Argentina. It was a good game and Australia definitely gave a fantastic account of themselves which, to be honest, is a massive achievement in and of itself.
England play tomorrow morning and I think we’re in for a tough game for sure. Once you hit the knockout stages it’s anyone’s game as all it takes is one moment of magic to decide a tie, or a mis-placed penalty when it comes to England. I’ve been impressed how they’ve come together as a group again and some players, such as Bellingham, have really shone when given the chance. Much like our performance in the last Euros, its giving plenty of promise even if we fall short again this tournament. If we don’t make it to the Semi-Final I’d imagine Southgate might call time on being England’s manager. I feel plenty of fans would be happy with that but, personally, I think he’s probably the best man for the job. The right mix between coach, life manager and guidance counseller which I think are great qualities when you only see your players a few times a year and have to somehow work them into a cohesive unit.
We’ll find out in the morning whether we progress or not and certainly questions will continue as to the suitibility of Qatar as the host but, if recent events in the world has taught me anything, few countries can claim to be free of discrimination and questionable laws.