What if… England go out in the group stages of Euro 2012?

The Premier League Owl

Some of the nations more notable sportswriters have already penned their disappointment with the Roy Hodgson’s appointment as England manager, so can you imagine if England flop at the first hurdle in the Summer?

Those writers will waste no time at all in reminding everyone that they were fully on-board the Harry Redknapp bandwagon if that happens. It will be unbearable; there’ll be vegetables, animals, and lots of crude photoshopping.

The long-term effect will be far more damaging though.

After the failure in South Africa, a section of the press were relentlessly and aggressively negative in their approach to Fabio Capello. Everything he did was wrong, anything one of his players did was the Italian’s fault, and the tabloids took every opportunity to print derogatory puns as headlines. They’ll hound and antagonise until the FA has no choice but to remove him from the position. The press think that they should pick the England team and the manager – and because they don’t, the next best option is to dictate the atmosphere that surrounds the side so that they can hold some authority. Placating our media is harder than winning the World Cup.

If Roy Hodgson’s England come home after the group stage, the media hammering will start at the final whistle in Polkraine, and continue until his reign is over. That’s they way they are – endlessly clinging to their agendas.

England won’t win the European Championship, we all know that, but the manner in which they fail this Summer is very important. The media, as they’ve shown time and time again, are capable of creating an atmosphere so poisonous around the England team, that the players become petrified of wearing the white shirt. We can’t afford to go through another cycle of this, it’s so self-destructive.

Hodgson and his players better pray for a good showing in June, otherwise they know what’s coming.

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