Talking Sport: Football hysteria was predictable

Trevor Watson
Trevor Watson

The past week has again emphasised how quick we are to get over-excited about football in these islands.

The way was led by the entirely predictable hysteria over England and Harry Kane in particular after the win over Lithuania in the Euro qualifiers.

There was also hero worship over the border for one Steven Fletcher, becoming the first for 46 years to score a hat-trick for Scotland against the might of Gibraltar, who would struggle in the Conference.

At the same time there was justifiable praise for Gareth Bale and his two goals for Wales in a notable win in Israel and Northern Ireland for making it four wins on the trot by beating Finland, after all they don’t have too many Premier League superstars.

Kane is a great prospect but to see headlines such as ‘Prince Harry’ for his goal 79 seconds after he went on as a sub for his debut, with England coasting at 3-0, is not fair to him.

England have won seven successive matches since being shown up in the World Cup. Their other victims were Norway, San Marino and Slovenia at home and Switzerland, Estonia and Scotland away. Some toughies among that lot.

Fletcher has piled up seven goals for Sunderland in two seasons in the Premier League but they don’t play Gibraltar too often. When you think of the Scottish strikers over the last 46 years, eg. Denis Law and Kenny Dalglish, Fletcher may not be high up the list.

Gibraltar were happy with a 6-1 defeat at Hampden because they scored their first international goal. An added bonus was that a place in Glasgow offered them free fish and chips after the game. Compare that with Fletcher taking delivery of a new £260,000 car last week.

We can only hope that all the home countries and the Republic of Ireland qualify for France 2016 to add a touch of culture to French lives as did some Chelsea fans recently.

Best win of the weekend was North Ferriby United, ninth in Conference North, beating Wrexham on penalties at Wembley to win the FA Vase. I bet they had fish and chips after the game as well - if they could afford them in London.

Rugby league creaks into Easter with the usual Super League moans about two games over the holiday - it used to be three when players also worked. Championship sides, with much smaller squads, just get on with it. If you tell somebody often enough they’re tired, they start to believe you.

Difficult not to smile at Lewis Hamilton complaining about noise from his support team over his car radio at the Malaysian Grand Prix. If he doesn’t like unnecessary radio noise while driving, I don’t know how he’d go on in Dewsbury with the bang, crash, wallop through open car windows.

Well done to the fire walkers at the Fox and Hounds at Hanging Heaton. I didn’t take part because I wasn’t keen on the idea of having to wash my feet.