So today is the day of the first England game. I recall world cups gone by. I remember approaching an Indian Restaurant in Aldgate and persuading them to put up a large screen TV to show Englands opening game, which happened to be on at lunchtime. I took bookings for the tables from my colleagues and we filled the restaurant. It was a memorable day and the boss gave me a free curry later, as it was his best ever days takings. We were so concerned that we'd not get a good place to watch the game that we put £2,000 down up front (which paid for the telly). Such was the excitment and the fear of missing out. The boss gave us a special menu and three beers and as I recall 50 of us paid £40 a head. It is fair to say not too much work was done. Most of us didn't return.
That was how the world cup should be. This time? I was at Hadley FC on Saturday with friends and I don't even recall discussing the tournament. England have amazing young players like Foden, Saka and Mount, they have established superstars like Harry Kane. But there is zero excitement and little interest. I will watch the game on line studio reception, but I'd much rather the England team had downed tools and come home when FIFA banned the rainbow armbands. I don't blame professional players for playing, it is the pinnacle of their career, but if the team had walked, I'd be proud to be an England fan.
In short, this is the tournament nobody wants. Of course if England do well and get to the final, I'm sure I'll change my tune to some extent, but there is nothing about what has happened thus far that fills me with anything but apathy.