Dear England: Make me love you again

Dear England,

I want to love you again — really, I do.  I know we’ve been through a lot lately: I don’t think either of us expected the trip to Brazil to work out… but we had to try.  There were times when it felt like you’d betrayed me… that you just didn’t care any more — or at least not as much as I did.  Things were going wrong but it felt like I was the only one that wanted things to get better.

Even before Brazil we knew it wasn’t right.  People told me I was stupid to stand by you.  It would have been so easy then to go off with someone else – that would almost have made more sense.  I could have had a Spanish lothario — but it turns out they were just an exciting flash in the pan.  There were those German guys – I used to think they were boring (but they were so reliable!  You always knew where you were with the Germans) – but then they got exciting and they were still reliable.

But these decisions aren’t made just with the head, they’re made with the heart.

So I thought we should give it another shot. Clean slate. The past is forgotten. We cannot change history but we can shape our future and all that – if we work together.

Monday night was terrific. That trip to Switzerland… wow. There, I’ve said it. I was wary of expecting too much too soon (you’ve hurt me so many times in the past).

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t perfect. There are still things we need to work on. But at last it felt like your Hart was really in it. (Your Hart was great in fact.)

Raheem Sterling - from

Sterling… it can shine – if you let it

I know, at times, you think that Sterling isn’t enough – but silver can shine brighter than gold… if you let it. On Monday you put that Sterling silver front and centre and proud. That made you nervous, I get that — no-one likes to be proved wrong but you took a chance — we can make that work.

It felt new and exciting again. You got a little over-excited at times and Delph‘d in when at times you shouldn’t have but you never Leighton how nervous you were and I loved you even more for that. There were flashes of the past when you seemed like you had Stones in your pockets but when you threw yourself in the way of that ball that almost made me weep – it felt like we’d crested a Cahill.

That’s what I really wanted. You to be true to yourself – true to us. Yes, people can have their heads turned by ‘prettier’ packages – but don’t try and be like them. I love you for you. We know what we’re good at, let’s be the best at that. We’re crazy and impulsive. Fast, committed, brave. We’re not possessive – that’s not us.

In the past you seemed paralysed by indecision. Not going anywhere for fear of going the wrong way. Should you get me a Christmas Tree or a flying wing-back?  Did I want one striker or two? Or three? In the end you ended up giving me a mish-mash of all of them… half-heartedly and that didn’t make either of us happy, did it?

On Monday you chose a diamond. I wouldn’t care if it was a lump of Cole (although I’m glad you got rid of that if I’m honest) but at last it felt like you were being yourself.  Not trying to please everyone all of the time but taking your square pegs and saying: “You know what? I like square holes!” it was so refreshing.

England fan - from

I’m here… with open arms.

Whereas before it felt like things were on the Wayne — even that seemed re-energised and exciting. And the finish… Wel-beck… what can I say? It was brilliant. It made me feel so optimistic for the future that you never gave up – you just kept on running and trying. All night!

Like I said, it wasn’t perfect – far from it. But let’s be honest – we never will be. All I want is that we try. Together. Last night it felt like you’d come back to me… or at least taken that first step back. I’m waiting here with open arms.


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