Thursday, 15 March 2012

Steady as she goes...

Don't you just love the good old British press?

Back in October the England squad was drowning in a press-led vat of negativity. As the team struggled for fluency on the field, stories emerged of booze-fuelled dwarf chambermaids bungee-jumping from ferries and, following the ¼ final defeat to France, a vicious post mortem portrayed the squad as a bunch of out-of-control, ill-disciplined, greedy prima donnas led by an out-of-touch and ineffective management.

Five months later, all has changed. New management and a new team, made in Leeds, all led by the most down-to-earth of Cumbrians and England are now talked of as honest, hard-working and united in self-belief. All fantastic qualities, no doubt, and all lapped up by the nation’s media. Add to that a sprinkling of stardust in the form of young Farrell and Morgan and an improbable victory in Paris and it’s a heady cocktail indeed.

Neither picture, of course, is the whole truth. Just as things were never as bad in New Zealand as the press would have had us believe, one victory in Paris does not an “England re-birth” make.

Don’t misunderstand me. Stuart Lancaster has done a remarkable job so far and, yes, on Sunday I was punching the air with the best of them as Tuilagi, Morgan and Croft tore past French defenders. We need, however, to get things in perspective. It was one win against a terrible French team and no more than that. Let’s not get carried away.

Win again against Ireland on Saturday however and…


Hannah Chia said...

Congratulations to Wales on a well-deserved Grand Slam and to England for performing beyond most people's expectations!

I do hope they keep Lancaster. He seems to have the respect of the players - Ben Morgan's post-match interview seemed to indicate that the players want Lancaster to keep the job. He's put a good team together and I'd hate to see it broken up for someone else's 'experiment'.

Nursedude said...

After demolishing Ireland at Twickenham, my only question to the RFU is "Where is the contract and a pen to sign Lancaster up?"

Owen Farrell is doing a helluva job in the #10 shirt.