If Wayne Rooney had been Argentinian or Brazilian, he may well have been the poster boy of a football mad nation. Unfortunately for Wayne, however, he's English and gets lambasted after almost every performance.
Scotland's 1-3 loss against England was the most recent entry into the annals of brutal football slapdowns; those moments where a team gets a glimpse of success, only to see the door of fate slam shut in their face...
I had the privilege of interviewing England women's international highest goal scorer Kelly Smith and goalkeeper Siohban Chamberlain. The prospect of doing so was nerve-wrecking however, I was lucky enough to be part of a reassuring TV production crew..
So is he really worth it all?... If Rooney continues to score it will remain tough to drop him, but if his performances continue to wane his managers' hands may well be forced.
As with any break, mangers and coaches have had the chance to regroup and plan the squad's development for the coming months. Improvement is the obvious aim for all the clubs, but for some teams the improvement will need to be far more dramatic than others.
What talented young English players seem to miss out on is tournament experience at youth level, while their foreign counterparts are absorbing the opportunities that will prove invaluable when they make the transition to their respective senior teams later.
When I think about Paul Gascoigne I think about his sheer resilience. His determination to provide for those he loved something that has eluded him his entire life. Yes he fell, hard. And he picked himself back up. Countless times. And as it stands he sadly has fallen more times than he has risen. But not because he had it all then threw it away further down the line.
What happens if England win the World Cup next year? That's right; as the men's World Cup enters a four-year hiatus, the women's World Cup is still to come... Women's sport makes up just 2% of all sports coverage in the UK. It's a shocking statistic, but I hope it's something that can change over time... There is an appetite for the game and in some countries women's football is huge.
The 2014/15 Premier League season promises to be one of the best yet with eagerly anticipated competition throughout the table from top to bottom... But over the years history has provided plenty of drama and excitement for this campaign to live up to and here's a look back at five of the very best seasons since the new era began in 1992.
Each team will sign a player at one stage or another who just simply fails to perform. He may not adapt to the side's style of play, he may not get enough time on the field or he may inexplicably lose all footballing ability, what's known as doing a Torres. Here are five players who can relate to this and need to leave their current clubs as soon as possible if they hope to shine again.
Much has been made of the 'gutting' of Southampton after a summer exodus that most seem to have suggested will leave the Saints down to the bare bones... On reflection of the remaining personnel at the club, the lack of desperation to recruit seems just.
Every four years when the World Cup comes along, it must feel like a brand new shop opening for Premier League managers, filled with a number of new products on shiny displays. Is it wise, however, to judge a player solely on their World Cup performances? Here are six players who, despite having a decent individual World Cup, shouldn't be at the top of the Premier League manager's wish list just yet.
What Germany have done so well in promoting and developing talent from their youth teams in recent years is conspicuously absent from the English setup... In England, the mentality when it comes to age restricted international tournaments is completely wrong.
The World Cup in Brazil was undoubtedly the best of its kind in recent memory... Despite the dazzling spectacle, you may be shocked to find out that a number of world-class players did not even make it to this summer's tournament. Here is a starting XI made up out of the best players that did not play at Brazil 2014.
Brazil 2014 started with a bang and a flurry of group game goals, though the tournament somewhat petered out in the knockout stages as nerves and disjointed football took hold... here is a list of three other sides who failed to impress in Brazil, but should be a lot stronger during the next World Cup in Russia.
The main problem holding England back at international level may well be a slight lack in overall technical quality, but it does not have to be the reason that England continue to fail so miserably... an extra effort and more drive should see them able to bridge the gap to the very top of world football.