You have to love British headlines: “Brilliant Yanks made England look like planks… and Jack Wilshere’s attitude stank.” Yahoo sports got wind of this and put it in good context. We’re probably not really able to teach anyone lessons in soccer. I think Ian Holloway is just pissed at England.
Ian Holloway looks like the prototypical English football fan – shaved head, outspoken, perennially pissed off at England. He manages Millwall, a team known more for their epic fights with West Ham than anything they’ve ever done on the field.
And he’s saying that England could learn something about soccer from the United States. Nice compliment.
He’s impressed that we play with heart. He loves our attitude. Our attitude. If you were talking to someone about an athlete and said “can he play?” And you hear “well, he’s got a great attitude,” you know how good that athlete is.
He also says, “Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Geoff Cameron are well known to football fans in this country. But how many of you would seriously be calling for them to play for England if they had been born on this side of the pond?” They’re not as good as Englishmen but they play with heart! Thanks, Ian.
While he’s mildly complimenting us for our pluck, he’s really just expressing frustration at England. To illustrate the point, he compares England unfavorably to the US, to the people who call his sport “soccer”. So, yeah, it’s a compliment, but it’s a backhanded one.