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5 reasons why England's Golden Generation failed

Divesh Merani
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With a line-up like that, expectations are bound to be high
With a line-up like that, expectations are bound to be high

England won the FIFA World Cup in 1966 and have tried to replicate that amazing feat over the last few decades, but it has not happened. The period between 2001 and 2010 was when the fans actually believed the team could end the drought. A group of players had stepped up like no other. England seemed to have some of the best players in the world.

The England football team was littered with world-class stars who were doing extremely well in the Premier League and Champions League. This was a time when English clubs were extremely dominant in Europe. Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea formed the Big Four in England. Their players also made up most of the England team during that period.

However, things did not click. The Golden Generation could not achieve the things they were tipped to achieve. Having the amount of quality and talent in the side did not come to much use as they did not rise to the glory that was expected from them. This was a team riddled with star power, but they did not take advantage of it.

But why did they not go on to achieve the success that they should have? There are a variety of factors.

#1 Heightened expectations

When the core of the England team was established, many people thought that these were the players to bring back the glory days to the Home of Football. Stars like Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard and Rooney had a tremendous amount of support and expectation to do something in the major tournaments.

The English media can really get into a player's head and affect his performance. The degree to which England is constantly hyped up by the media is matched by the criticism they show after an unsuccessful tournament.

The weight of expectations of an entire nation and lots of fans elsewhere is too heavy to carry for even the best players in the world. The nerves may be too much to overcome.

They feel pressured and unsafe from their own media. It is difficult to do so well with the prospect of fans turning on you looming over your head. England have always done exquisitely well in the qualifying stages of international tournaments but falter on the grand stage.

The biggest evidence of this is the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Wayne Rooney had an excellent qualifying campaign where he was one of the top scorers. He failed to score a single goal in the World Cup.

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