On the penultimate episode of our World Cup Project podcast series, we tackle a topic that is sure to make headlines at the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off on June 14. The England national team last won the World Cup in 1966 and their performance in every tournament is always a topic of conversation. The country is the birthplace of modern football after all and the Premier League is often lauded as the best league in Europe. So why can’t England live up to expectations? We discuss on this very special episode about the Three Lions.
Joining host Marc Damon is fellow PSG Talk contributor Matt Gooding. You may know him as the hilarious @PSGTourist on Twitter. Gooding, who grew up in Cambridge, England, supports his local team despite having a soft spot for Paris Saint-Germain. That love for the local squad is something that is unique to England supporters. No matter how bad that team is, it seems like more than anywhere else, the English stick by their club no matter what and it’s that passion that flows over to the national team–for better or worse. Rabid support aside, the fact that many believe the game was invented there gives supporters a rose-tinted view of their national team where expectations can be beyond the actual quality of the players on the squad.
Damon and Gooding go back to 1966 and discuss the team that led England to World Cup success and most of the subsequent teams that have come up just a bit short since. Why hasn’t the strength of the Premier League meant more success for the Three Lions much like FC Barcelona’s success and the Spain national team? Is it harder for English players to develop in the Premier League with so many top foreign players taking up starting spots? Why have so many managers failed so spectacularly despite having all of the resources and a fairly decent team at their disposal?
The Three Lions have looked impressive in qualifying and in their few friendly matches leading up to the World Cup, but with a speculative media and many fans who have had their hearts broken before, it’s hard to believe this is England’s year. Can they pull off the impossible though? Listen as Damon and Gooding discuss the highs, lows, and future expectations of the England national team.
Be sure to subscribe to our podcast (iTunes | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher) to receive every episode of The World Cup Project. The next episode will be available on June 11 and we will be talking with Jon Olangi and previewing the World Cup. Talk to you then!