Why England should go back on tour

by Gary Taylor

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

The game with Sweden looks set to be the lowest attendance at the new, improved Wembley since it opened in 2007.

And to be frank it was only a matter of time.

The stadium lacks any sort of character and that makes it an almost unplayable atmosphere for the players because they can hear people’s disgruntled whispers when things are not going to plan.

Even the game against Spain lacked something despite the result and I think in order to get the passion back into the fans, the England team need to get back on the tour bus.

When the Three Lions toured the country to footballing Mecca’s like Old Trafford, Anfield and St James’ Park (or the Sports Direct Arena if you like) during the re-development of Wembley the crowd were buzzing with excitement.

They were sell out’s every single game and you could feel the passion seeping though TV screens all over the country.

There is a north-south divide when it comes to the national side, with those north of London feeling cut off with Wembley and the FA headquarters being based there.

The atmosphere at Old Trafford when Becks’ busted the net in added time against Greece back in 2001 was extraordinary and that is what we need to get back to in order to inspire the next generation of Three Lions.

They will not benefit from playing in front of 80,000-strong crowd who seem more concerned about how to beat the rush when they leave the game.

A lot of the passion north of London is being forgotten and wasted when England could do with it more than ever going into a critical year.

Games such as the one against Sweden would be the perfect opportunity to head back up the M1 and get the whole country involved in project England leading into Euro 2012.

I have no issue with competitive games being played at Wembley because that is the main reason it was built.

But friendlies should be moved around the country and the sooner it happens the better.

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  • dexylongshot

    I agree, nearly everyone i know who has gone to Wembley on a night game has moaned about the transport scenario. At 85 minutes, you always see a mass rush for the exits. I have on few occassions been one of the exit runners (Something i never do anywhere else). The last dozen or so times i’ve been to Wembley, i’ve watched the end of the game and then slowly made my way to one of Wembley numerous Curry Houses and plotted there for an hour & half with Dhansak or even a Madras & Bloody Mary if i’m feeling the cold. It’s a better option than standing in a slow moving queue to the tube station and then the platforms, which once took us 55 minutes just to get on the packed train. Then when you finally get to central london, you have to time your runs perfectly or you will miss your last connection. A couple of times, i’ve ended up getting out at Greenwich to find all the last bus’s have gone home to beddy byes. I’m lucky as well living in the London superbs. I hate to think what it is like for supporters coming from anyway else in England. The road system is not exactly smooth in North West London. It’s just another FA balls-up. The amount of millions that they spent on a sliding roof that doesn’t actually move (Have you ever seen a game at Wembly covered up because of the weather?, that has been all swept under the FA carpet?). The dosh that was wasted on that could have been used to regenerate the surrounding tube lines, one of which runs very close by to the Stadium.

    I say bring back the 3 Lions Road trip. It isn’t fair the non Londoners. I went to a few games on the road and had a jolly good time in Manchester. I’d happily venture up to the North East as well. It would be a sell-out and it would keep the whole country happy.

    Rant over.

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