Welcome to Euro 2012
No full-time manager, a captain stripped of the armband amid accusations of racism and nothing to shout about on the pitch… welcome to England’s build-up to this summer’s major football tournament, Euro2012.
It feels like an on-going road crash for the Media and PR professionals at the Football Association to deal with, but here’s a bold prediction… England may be set for the best press that they’ve had in recent years when the team get to Poland and Ukraine.
Usually trying to manage down the over-the-top hysteria and setting realistic levels of expectation is an almost impossible task for Adrian Bevington and his team at the FA.
This year, however, the job has been done for them.
Fabio Capello’s petulant walk out on the team, the player’s awful showing at the last World Cup in South Africa and nothing to get excited about on the pitch in the past two years, means that no one gives the team a prayer of winning or even performing to any kind of level this summer.
The players are often thought to freeze under the ludicrous weight of expectation at major tournaments.
Well, not this year chaps. No one rates you or believes in you.
I’m sure we will still have the chest-thumping, OTT build up in the final few weeks before that start of the tournament on 8th June but the team’s poor performances and, perhaps, the Olympic focus this year – seem to have brought a more realistic level of expectation amongst fans and media.
Shaping the narrative and outlining what would constitute a successful tournament will be a key part of the FA’s role.
But, you never know, we might just turn up and outstrip all expectations.