To be or not to be optimistic? Peter Jenkinson asks the question as he assesses England's chances at this year's Euro 2012 Championships.
What a fascinating few weeks in the world of football. The end of the domestic season was a stressful time for seasiders like me, as Blackpool made it to the play-off finals and then fluffed it.
The build-up to the Euro campaign here in the UK has been dogged by post-Panorama hysteria surrounding the hooligan culture of the host countries, which has now shifted to one side as pundits across all media discuss stats/facts and figures ranging from mildly interesting to those able to send you into a snooze.
What is remarkable about this tournament, unlike any I can remember, is the general lack of expectation for how the England team might fare - aside the occasional fan(s) interviewed after a lengthy liquid breakfast in an Eastern European café extolling the virtues of the home nation, with little substance to back it up (save the loud “C’mon Engerland” with a defiant fist in the air.)
Is this expectation management taken too far? Is it risking reaching tipping point and becoming slight pessimism?
Nah, I think it’s because we’ve had such a cracking celebration of British-ness already this year with the Jubilee effect.
Add to that slightly surprising way in which the entire nation has been backing the Olympic flame as it does a tour of UK (the scenes on TV don’t make the games look very London centric any longer), and we’re giving our chaps a bit of a break for the Euro campaign - supporting them with a “go on lads and do your best” attitude.
Sadly I’ve been unable to replicate this expectation management, and anticipated much better things upon my return from sunnier climes last week, but, it appears if you don’t hold hands tightly and offer a written step-by-step guide of what’s to be done then some peoples brains can become befuddled and blank and the net result is sheer frustration. Mine.
This frustration with third parties turned itself into anger by midweek after I “expected” a resolution to be forthcoming, well that was another failure on my part and angry Pete started produce steam from his ears and turned a colour fit enough to entice any bull into battle.
At that very moment midweek, just as I was about to interact with an inanimate object, a call came in quite unexpectedly from a third party - a well respected person in the digital music business - asking if they could be part of our Appletics event and organise the music appcessory area on our behalf for free as they were as passionate about that side if the business as I am about the playthings part – I didn’t respond immediately as my jaw was on the floor for a few seconds.
Lesson learnt? Manage expectations but retain some optimism for the unexpected?
Sweden 0 - England 4
Peter Jenkinson is organising the Appletics event in July and has been told that when there is a football at his feet his skills are quite camp.