Sows’ ears and silk purses

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Are the Belgians apoplectic when they fail to qualify?
Do they need the coach’s head upon a plate?
In Budapest do untoward recriminations fly
When group results do not turn out that great?

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Do disappointed Latvians carp bitterly and cry,
Lambasting their poor manager with hate?
And in shivering Helsinki, when all hope has slithered by,
Does a trickle of abuse become a spate?

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 But in England, lovely England, expectation’s way too high,
Its always been an Anglo-Saxon trait,
A second tier nation who will rarely touch the sky,
No matter what the journalists dictate.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 And now another scapegoat; yet another has to die,
Because he couldn’t punch above his weight.
From Robson through to Eriksson, the best have had a try,
But silk purses are so hard to recreate.



The weight of expectation has always been unrealistically high in England. They are a good second tier European nation, like Russia, Poland, Serbia et al – sometimes they’ll do well, sometimes not so well. But the press dictates anything less than a semi-final is a failure and demands heads.
We are fast developing the same self-deception here in Ireland, deeming it a national disaster that we only finished third in a group containing the Germans and the Czech Republic.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/sows-ears-and-silk-purses/