THE FULL ENGLISH: Restoring England’s Pride.

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With a crunch qualifier against Lithuania in our midst, Really Like Football’s George England asks the question: Where has the hope and glory gone, from the land of hope and glory?

I love the international break. There, I said it. If that offends you, then stop reading now.

We all love the Premier League, that’s not up for debate. It’s the best league in the world after all. But evidently it’s this love, that justifies the hate for our national team.

Often I hear the same nonsense over and over again, “It’s an inconvenience,” or “these packed schedules tire out the players,” or worst of all “who cares about England anyway?”

I care about England. I care about England qualifying for the Euros. But do I care if that derails your side’s push for the top four? Do I care if that means one of your overpaid poodles might injure a paw? Do I care if you think that showing some pride in your country is something to be ashamed of?

The answer to all of these is no.

For too long the national team has been treated like an embarrassing secret that we keep locked away. Often we’re told that the hooligans and the racists have ruined it for all of us. Not for me.

No crowd in world football can match the Wembley atmosphere. The roar, as we welcome the Three Lions onto the pitch. The passion, as we belt out the national anthem. Even the pomp and splendour of the supporter’s band.

Once upon a time it was every schoolboy’s dream to play for England, but now we’re practically begging any jumped up little prima donna to wear the shirt. If Paul Ince isn’t giving Tom a hiding the next time he sees him, then he’s failing as a father.

Make no mistake, our national team is headed for catastrophe, and we’re all to blame. Unless we’re to become another also ran, like the Scots seem content to be, then It’s time to stand up and be counted. It’s time to restore a little pride and see us return to the glory of years gone by.

I know that tomorrow evening, as the teams line up on that famous old turf and the anthem begins, I’ll be singing along with hand on swelling heart. Then as that whistle blows, cheering on every one of our brave warriors in battle.

Can you say the same?

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