A Silver Lining for England

After 120 minutes of stalwart defending, midfield mediocrity, and a little help from the goal posts, a pair of missed penalties from the pair of Ashleys sent England crashing out of the Euro 2012. Now that the dust has settled and Rooney’s hair has been earnestly lathered and blow-dried, the media has begun to search for bright spots in the Three Lions’ utterly forgettable tournament effort. Commentators and journalists have pointed out that England successfully progressed out of the group stages (they didn’t even qualify for the tournament in 2008), young talents like Danny Welbeck and “The Ox” promise a talented future, and everyone wins when John Terry manages to go abroad without racially abusing other players or stealing a teammate’s girlfriend. While those are indeed notable accomplishments, without question the silver lining of England’s 2012 Euro run is the way they played with hart. Joe Hart, that is.

For those unfamiliar with the cruel saga of English goalkeeping, the last ten years have been an ordeal.  Since the decline of David Seaman and his disastrous gaffe in the 2002 World Cup quarter finals, the Three Lions have been starved for a pair of steady hands between the sticks. David James and Paul Robinson traded the position back and forth during the 2000s, both hell-bent on finding a more audacious way to lose the starting gig.

Joe Hart rose out of the ashes of ten years of inconsistent English goalkeeping. The job was his for the taking, and he seized it with both gloved hands. For the last two years, the 25-year-old bleached- blonde Hart has been England’s undisputed starter. Winning the 2010-2011 Barclays Golden Glove award, Hart firmly established his place at Manchester City, and led them to victory in the 2011-2012 season. He is almost unanimously considered one of the top ten keepers in the world, and stands to mature and gain experience with age. His howler-free performance in his first major international tournament has put the fears of many to rest, and Hart seems to have broken the curse. At the rate he’s going, Hart looks poised to win the English Captaincy in the future.

So as the footballers enjoy their short summer vacations, English fans will go back to scouring the earth for the savior of English Soccer. Without doubt, many Theo Walcotts and Jack Wilsheres will be built up and torn down by the tabloids over the next few years — but thankfully the media can concentrate its efforts on the ten other positions on the pitch, because the spot between the posts is finally covered.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More