Nations League in June, World Cup in winter: Football must be purged

Football needs a purge. But none of the ones that the League of Nations has served us well since the beginning of June, including those offered by the England team, 2018 World Cup semi-finalists and Euros finalists 2020, should be the most visited example.

In other circumstances, the Three Lions’ balance sheet at the exit of this prolonged passage in front of the buffet prepared by the UEFA for the goinfres of the ball would have to face Gareth Southgate in the wake of criticism of such violence as the Wembley archery. apparently trembled. The usual enthusiasts have made their living on Twitter, but they also did after Italy beat England in goal -scoring shots last July. Also, don’t pay more attention to them than usual.

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Too many matches for too much indifference

On the other hand, when one looked more closely, beyond a few taper titles, there was an almost total indifference. The journalists who covered the humiliation in Molineux came up with a few well -meaning words to describe this gifle, but it felt good that the heart was not at all.

Take it Hours et le Guardian the next day of the Hungarian racetrack at Wolverhampton. The two daily were good at sporting one. But not football, left in the queue of their editions, like the other days where nothing but normal passes into the microcosm of the ball. Hindi, in cricket, which includes little in the face of the quite extraordinary performance of the English batters against New Zealand, who had snatched an anthology victory over the current world champions of Test matches. A little-but no more: England have yet to beat 4-0 at home, in an official competition, by a team that tops the 40th place in the FIFA world rankings (thirty-five places behind the English, therefore).

Gareth Southgate and Mason Mount, the bottom, after England’s defeat against Hungary (0-4) – 14/06/2022

Credit: Imago

Moreover, this Hungary, even if it has progressed – a little – since Marco Rossi took over in 2018, and hindi na big thing to see with the Magical Magyars of Puskas, Hidegkuti, Czibor and Kocsis who had inflicted on the Three Lions a famous 6-3 defeat that gives you the true myth that England were invincible on their lands, in 1953. She is no longer worth the seductive team in the mid -1960s, the one that won the 1967 Gold Ballon, Florian Albert.

In fact, she had lifted her qualification for the 2022 World Cup by leaning twice against Albania, and then being terrified against Andorre (1-2) in Budapest. These were the terrorists who therefore beat England twice in the space of ten days, on a combined score of 5-0.

However, despite a few setbacks in Molineux, despite matches against Italy and Germany (1-1 at 0-0) that were not the most convincing, despite two points over twelve possible in the Nations League ( and the more real danger of a relegation of his “Ligue B” from the Nations League for the next edition of the tournament), Gareth Southgate will continue to enjoy the support of the majority of English supporters and media.

The fans, too, were fatigued

It’s not just the players who are fatigued, exhausted, in free wheel. There are also fans. Journalists. Television presenters are constrained to fend off enthusiasm when they talk about a tournament in which everyone is confronted. All of us have only one envy: that dish that fills our dishes as soon as they are fine and prevents us from digging back to its ovens, so that it serves us a lighter dish the next time.

The majority of English supporters and media (and in many other countries) know that the object of their anger, rather than that a selector is at a loss for ideas because a player’s physical and mental condition is impaired. would be acceptable, there must be those who have found the means to run four competitive matches in a space of ten days at the end of an expiring season.

L’UEFA? Oui, and no. Because UEFA didn’t really have another shooting window to close its matches, let alone shoot a trait on a competition whose first edition, in 2018-19, had been a frank success, and that’s where it heard convict the nations of the CONMEBOL in a near future; and if she had no other shooting window, it was because, for the first time in her history, the World Cup would not take place in June and July, but in November and December.

It is difficult, indeed, to play football – or to watch it from the stands – when the average temperature is 37 degrees in the shade, with regular points over 40 and even over 50, as it were. if it was in Doha.

The FIFA cashier was however clearer. The countries nominating for the 2022 World Cup were marked black on white by FIFA that the tournament will be played in June and July. They had prepared their files consequently, including Qatar, which had claimed that its use of revolutionary air conditioning systems would allow it to organize matches and supportive conditions for athletes, officials and fans – in jullet we understand .

Gianni Infantino takes home the World Cup trophy

Credit: Imago

Only there. Like the FIFA assessors themselves, it was written in their evaluation of the five qualifying files for the 2022 World Cup (besides Qatar, Japan, South Korea, Australia and the USA), even assuming that these revolutionary air conditioning systems (which have not yet been properly tested) work, despite being too hot. And so, after a while, despite its own specifications, it is quite clear what the Japanese, Koreans, Australians and Americans might have thought of the way FIFA decided to do. detonate a bomb on the international calendar, charge others to throw debris.

It’s just a debut …

The FIFPro, the Leagues, the Confederations, the clubs, the supporters all stand and all know their opposition on the World Cup trip in winter. But what FIFA wants, FIFA gets. And that’s how we are here in June 2022, asking us how we could force desperate players to be a little more involved in a competition that no one wanted at this time of year.

Raphaël Varane, injured in France – Denmark

Credit: Getty Images

And this is just a debut. Don’t forget that if the World Cup starts on November 21, it will be a week before the selected players will have to join their national team. In the case of England, this means that the Premier League will have to find the means to turn around the seven days lost due to the World Cup, planted there in the calendar like a giant cactus in the beautiful middle of the lawn. The FA Cup finals and the Ligue des Champions will be played in June.

Let’s stop there. Let’s stop before evoking the bisanuelle World Cup sponsored by Gianni Infantino, Arsène Wenger and this FIFA colony that became the CAF; or the addition of matches to the Champions League program; or the dream of a Superleague – in Europe and elsewhere – that continues to seduce too many big clubs for one to ignore.

In 21st century football, it seems, too much is not too much. Too much is never enough.

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