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FA reach tipping point?

Posted By thesportingmouth On Feb 10 2012 @ 1:29 pm In England,Soccer | No Comments

In years to come this might be the week that we look back upon as the tipping point. [1]

For reference “The Tipping Point” was a book written by a guy called Malcolm Gladwell at the start of this century in which he tries to pinpoint causes of change. Sound boring? Well mainly it is but one interesting insight in the book is that he describes the tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point” and I can’t help wondering that this is what we’ve seen at Wembley in the last 8 days.

For starters we’ve seen speed and deciciveness of action and for those of us well versed in lobbing critical petrol bombs at the FA we know that these 2 attributes are about as common as a learner driver attempting their first 3 point turn. But rather than stalling in the middle of the road in heavy traffic, the FA performed the sports administration equivalent of a 60mph handbrake turn by immediately announcing that John Terry would be relieved of his captaincy duties once the courts had pushed his court appearance back to July, 1-0 to the FA.   

They followed this up with a quick second by taking the decision without consulting Fabio Capello, a tactical masterstroke that I suspect they knew he would not only disagree with but would also feel compelled to comment on. So in taking a 2-0 lead they also set up their 3rd strike with a juicy piece of bait that no self-respecting, proud Italian would be able to resist and, sure enough, within 48 hours Fabio was whining to his Italian media friends that the FA were acting against his wishes. Voila. (or whatever that is in Italian).

At this stage the fat lady was warming up for the final kill as by Monday morning the admirable David Bernstein and colleagues knew that they had their man right where they wanted him, all they now needed was for the jury in the Harry Redknapp trial to do what the whole country was willing them to do by finding him not guilty and it’s 4-0 to the FA, hat trick and man of the match performance for Bernstein and we can all go home happy. Sure enough the jury delivered (Harry against the tax man was there really ever going to be a different outcome?) and Bernstein could go into his Wednesday morning meeting with Capello with all the confidence of the Pakistani cricket team needing 10 English wickets for less than 100 runs – a sure thing if ever there was one.   

So exactly one week after a court announcement that Terry would be tried after Euro 2012 we find ourselves in this fantasy land whereby an embarrassment of a captain has been sacked (again), a manager who we didn’t want and who didn’t want us has vacated his post and the man that we all want to replace him is not only available but free of the criminal charges that have been hanging over him for 5 years. 

And so is it possible that we have reached our tipping point? Will England now play consistently well in major tournaments? Might we  start winning penalty shoot outs? Will we no longer be blighted by injury, suspension, scandal and poor decisions? In other words will we be able to hold our heads high with all the smug self assuredness that German fans have been displaying since 1970 (i.e. my whole life)?

You know what- I just don’t believe we’re that lucky and tomorrow I’ll wake up and I’ll be back at Wembley on that wet night in Autumn 2007 looking on in disgust at the wally with the brolly and queuing up for 2 hours in the pissing rain to get a bus home.

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