England - Ukraine. To London for defeat?

2023-03-22 11:01 In a few days, Ukrainian footballers will play a Euro 2024 qualifier against England in London. ... England - Ukraine. To London for defeat?
22.03.2023, 11:01

In a few days, Ukrainian footballers will play a Euro 2024 qualifier against England in London. Everyone is in a great mood before the game - the team is all smiles and optimism! No anxiety, no excitement!

Mykola Neseniuk

And it's not because our team is stronger than the opponent and is confident of its own victory. Quite the contrary - no one believes in a victory over the English, and it seems that no one really needs it. Because a team capable of beating the English national team in London will be treated completely differently - it will be demanded to win more!

And who needs it? Everyone has already agreed that we essentially do not have a national football team - there is a group of players who went to England, led by a coach who works with the main team of Ukraine in his free time with the Oleksandriya team and the U-21 national team. I have nothing against Ruslan Rotan - I know him as an exceptionally decent and responsible person. I have no doubt that he will make every effort to achieve the maximum result in London. Another thing is what will this result be?

Let me remind you that the year before last, the Ukrainians lost to England in the quarterfinals of the previous European Championship. They lost without a chance to the English, who won 4-0, and didn't even break a sweat. This did not prevent our "observers" and "experts" from claiming later that the Ukrainian team led by Andriy Shevchenko showed "modern football." Not like the team led by Oleksandr Petrakov, which never managed to lose to anyone with such a shameful score.

Therefore, according to the logic of our "experts", another loss of our national team to the British with the same score of 0:4 will be considered a successful return to the "modern football" of the times of Andriy Shevchenko. If our team loses not 0:4, but 0:3, it will be considered a remarkable progress! If our team loses only 0:2, it will be declared a great achievement. In the event of a 0-1 result, Ukrainians will be carried in their arms, and when we draw, the question of choosing the metal for Ruslan Rotan's lifetime monument will be raised. It's scary to think about what will happen when Ukraine wins. But it's unlikely to come to that - you don't go for victory with that kind of attitude!

The players of the USSR national team of the second half of the eighties could remind today's players and coaches of this. That team, on its way to the final tournament of Euro 1988, defeated France in Paris, and in the final tournament defeated first the Netherlands, then England, then Italy, losing only in the final match to the same Netherlands.

That USSR team was three-quarters Ukrainian. Players of that team, Oleh Protasov, Anatolii Demianenko, and Oleksii Mykhailichenko, are now working fruitfully as first vice presidents of the Ukrainian Football Association. But they also seem to be in a very good mood before the match in London. Why not, when we have been prepared for defeat in advance and are offered to rejoice in it?

Or maybe I'm wrong? Maybe our team has a secret that is still unknown and will allow us to fight for victory over the English? This is the only thing we can hope for!


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