England’s World Cup campaign kicked off last night with an unconvincing 1-1 draw with the USA. There were some flashes of brilliance early on, but far too many mistakes, including a horrifying goalkeeping error from Robert Green which led to the equaliser. (Please read on: marketing-and-pr isn’t turning into a football-crazed blog, don’t panic!)
The nation appeared to be absolutely determined to get behind the national squad yesterday. There were St. George’s flags flying proudly from car windows and a last minute rush to buy “Tailored by Umbro” shirts before kick off. But after questionable results in the warm-up games and a troubling performance last night, how long can British World Cup fever last?
Most level-headed Brits have already resigned themselves to the notion that we’ll be lucky if we get to play a quarter final game. While the kids may still believe that Stevie G. has a hope of lifting that trophy, they may just be the only ones. Call me cynical, but improving public perception of our chances is becoming a bigger challenge with every passing day.
Add to the poor performances on the field countless rumours about affairs off the field, and our chances of regaining a rapport with the squad look more desperate than ever.
We’ll need, then, a PR miracle that will absolutely reverse the public’s feelings about the squad – and there is hope. A good result in these World Cup finals or (do we dare dream?) a win, would surely right the recent wrongs and leave the nation pleasantly abashed for not having more faith in its national team.
Our pride would be restored and our cynicism shelved – at least until Euro 2012…
That leaves me with just three words to say: Come On England!