If Rupert Murdoch was watching the England game last night, no doubt on one 
of his Sky TV channels, he must be a confused man.

How come the richest league in football, the English, could perform so 
badly? Especially after he had invested so much money in it?

Just as off piste is more exciting in skying, so off pitch in football was 
the real site of the most dramatic battles. Could national governments spot 
all known criminals and racists from getting to the football venues, what 
strength of beer would be available, should cafe's have tables and chairs 
available facing the main town square, how did the Belgian police team 
compare with the Dutch police team for pace, coordination and results?

Keegan's strategy was to pick the best English players from the league, 
(not that brilliant) and to try to get them to play together. But they 
lacked ability to work as a team. In his post-mortem they lacked ability to 
trust each other to pass the ball. So smaller and poorer countries like 
Portugal and Romania showed much more overall team ability.

These are the fruits of treating individual players as individual atomised 
commodities, bought and sold between companies backed by finance capitalism 
for the highest fee.

Also in broader Gramscian terms it shows the bankruptcy of Little 
Englandism as an ideology, with supporters from nations like England, 
outside European civility, sitting handcuffed in the main town squares 
continent protesting that allowances should be made for their behaviour 
because their grandfathers allegedly won the last world war.

Finance capital will have to think again where it puts its money. In 
particular in British politics it will now be subtly important how strongly 
Murdoch's paper, the Sun, continues to play the card of little England 
jjingoism, in an attempt to prevent the Labour government from joining the 
European currency union.

Chris Burford


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