FIFA got in the news again this week for banning England from wearing shirts embroidered with poppies in Saturday’s game with Spain – and I just don’t understand why they have to get involved with things like this, to be honest.
Common sense eventually prevailed and I see England, Wales and Scotland will all be wearing a poppy on their black armbands for the internationals against Spain, Norway and Cyprus, respectively, after all.
But it should never have come to this. It’s an internal thing and each country has their own beliefs and it should be left to the country itself to make the decision, not FIFA. It’s just ridiculous from FIFA, a poppy is a mark of respect for people who fought in the war for their country.
FIFA always get involved when they don’t need to in terms of justifying themselves.
Football has been going for a lot of years, but often it’s a case of changing this and that, but FIFA should be more interested in bringing in goal-line technology and things that can improve the game than arguments about poppies. For years and years, technology on the goal-line has been needed and they haven’t done anything. I’d have thought that would have been more important than worrying about a few poppies.
Why should the English FA have to go to FIFA to request that the ban should be overturned anyway? Poppies are to do with this country and the UK. Poppy Day is one of our great traditions and what makes us aware and proud.
On the pitch, we got a good result at Leicester on Sunday and it looks one of those leagues this year where everybody – other than Southampton – aren’t showing any consistency.
The players showed a lot of courage after the display against Blackpool to put things right and I was pleased for the fans; we didn’t want to be sitting in the international break in 12th or 13th place.
But we’ve the same amount of points as the fifth-placed teams.
We can now push on after the latest international break, which I think is the last one this season and things can settle down.
All these breaks this season haven’t done the league any good, I don’t think, along with the movement of games to Fridays and Sundays. It’s difficult to get into a routine for supporters.
The Blackpool game was such a heavy and unexpected defeat. I remember all those years ago when Burnley came over here and beat us 4-1 at home.
No-one has any reason why that sort of things happens; the best thing is to forget about it as quickly as possible and getting a win at Leicester has got it out of our memory.
One thing that amazes me is that West Ham, ourselves and Leicester – three of the so-called fancied teams – have struggled more at home than away at certain points.
Away form seems to be more consistent than home form, which is very unusual.
If we’re going to make a serious challenge, we’ve got to win our home games and make Elland Road a fortress.
It would be nice to hit teams harder in the first 10 minutes than we have been doing.