Panama

June 24th 2018

Today the nation made me proud. I took my Mum and Dad to a Wetherspoon’s (really treated them) to watch the England v Panama World Cup match.

England winning 6-1 was great and all, but the best part of my day was my Dad being astounded at the fact that you can get a beer and a burger for £6 in Wetherspoon’s. What a fantastic country we live in.

I lured Mum to the pub under what turned out to be false pretences. I promised her a rowdy and entertaining atmosphere, and the pub failed to deliver. The last time I watched an England match at that particular pub was England vs Wales in Euro 2016, and when Daniel Sturridge toepoked in the winner the place went nuts. There were people on tables, pint glasses thrown around the room, and grown men hugging strangers. All we got today was a half-hearted chorus of It’s coming home when England’s fifth goal went in.

Perhaps it was situational, or based on expectation. We expected to beat Panama, so the emotion of actually doing so is not quite as high.

To be honest, I was kind of glad that there was no over-exuberance in the celebrations. As a man that worked as a waiter in a restaurant for six years, I have sympathy for the pub staff who would have to clean the beer off the ceiling until eleven o’clock that night.

As well, I think often that those scenes of jubilation are often pre-meditated and a bit contrived. People don’t actually care that much, they’re just using it as an outlet for somewhat socially acceptable carnage and destruction of property.

But maybe I’m being a killjoy. I’m just there to watch the football.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, the England men’s national football team are not only good, but they’re likeable. They’re an absolutely great bunch of lads, and Gareth Southgate really is bringing football home.

It was a weird game, full of set pieces and penalties, and England somehow managed to make 6-1 look flattering to themselves, and to Panama. They didn’t deserve six, yet should have had more.

My Dad is a more noble person than I am, and so was pleased when Panama got their consolation goal. “Look how happy their fans are,” he said.

I did not share his sentiment. Because, do you know what’s better than winning a World cup game 6-1?

Winning a World Cup game 6-0, that’s what.

Until tomorrow, never stop me dreaming.

Jacn

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