It’s easy to be a miserable England fan.
There will always be things you can moan about.
In fact that’s largely true for being an Englishman, full stop.
We’re a nation of moaners. There is nothing we love more that having a good moan about something to make us feel a bit better about ourselves.
It’s in our genetic make up, I’m sure of it.
Indeed if there was a moaning World Cup we’d probably win. Even if there were 47 other competing nations and not the 31 we’ve become accustomed to…
But it needn’t be all doom and gloom and in a truly optimistic fashion here are…
5 reasons to be cheerful and positive about 2017 for England fans.
- We actually played pretty well in our final 2 games of 2016
There was many a raised eyebrow when Gareth Southgate took over as caretaker manager last summer and lacklustre performances against Malta and Slovenia did little to buoy confidence.
However England performed much better in their final two games of 2016, sweeping aside the auld enemy Scotland and drawing with European giants Spain in a game which they surely should have seen out.
Nevertheless, and despite the result against Spain, there was real reason for optimism for once. England passed the ball much better and looked much more dangerous moving forward.
Perhaps Mr Southgate will actually be capable of cultivating an England team enjoyable to watch.
2. We’ve all these tournaments to look forward to this summer
Good news for wives and girlfriends everywhere! There is no such thing as a summer without football in this day and age, and just look at this feast we can look forward to this year –
UEFA European Under 17 Championships in Croatia from 3rd to 19th May. The top 5 teams qualifying for the World Cup in India later in the year.
FIFA Under 20 World Cup in South Korea from 20th May to 11th June.
UEFA European Under 21 Championships in Poland from 16th to 30th June. England have been drawn with hosts Poland, Slovakia and Sweden in Group A.
UEFA European Under 19 Championships in Georgia from 2nd to 15th July, with final qualifying still to take place for that one (so maybe don’t book your flights just yet).
UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 in the Netherlands. Twice runners-up England have been drawn in the same group as hosts Holland, Germany and France.
Finally the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in India, if we’re one of the top 5 teams from the Croatian tournament is from 19th August to 10th September.
3. The future is bright
I had the pleasure of watching the under 21 side last year and they are a joy to behold. Organised, free-flowing and swift on the attack.
Hopefully we’ll see many of them get some game time for their club sides and begin to challenge for places within the full senior squad.
Aidy Boothroyd is doing a great job – with England qualifying for the aforementioned European championships undefeated.
I can’t wait to see Nathaniel Chlobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Lewis Baker ,Tammy Abraham and many others make their eventual marks in the Premier League and hold down regular places there just as Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse have at Southampton.
4. Adam Lallana
One of the brightest shining stars during the second half of 2016 was undoubtedly Adam Lallana. The Liverpool man was certainly one of the most improved England players over the last 12 months and is now one of the first names on the teamsheet.
Hopefully he can continue to improve under both Southgate and Jurgen Klopp and can push on to be a true England great.
5. Bitter rivals on foreign soil
In addition to all the tournament play in 2017, the full senior squad have some tasty matches already confirmed for this year; many of them away from Wembley.
Germany in Dortmund in March, Scotland at Hampden in June and then three days later a friendly in Paris against France.
They should all be brilliant trips and hopefully also good tests for the team. We end the summer with Malta away.
And what could be better than a few cold ones in the sun cheering on our lads?
You see? It’s not all doom and gloom being an England supporter.
You might also like this; My Choice For England Player Of The Year 2016.