England and Belgium will face off in the World Cup third placed play-off tomorrow but is it really worth it? Both of these two sides have had a very good World Cup but both fell just short in the semi-finals.
This game was labelled the most pointless game in the history of football by former Southampton man Matt Le-Tiser this morning on Sky Sports News and I have to say that I agree with him. Who on earth would want to play in a pointless game when they have just given everything to fight for a place in the final. If you lost at any other stage you would be on the plane home the following day and this should be the case after the semi-finals.
This is the hardest task Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez will have as managers to pick their players up after painfully losing in the semi-finals. Both sides gave everything in their bid to reach the final and you could see the toll it had on the players especially the England players in extra time finishing the game with 10 men.
We are now less than a month away from the start of the 2018/19 season and the clubs will want to get their players back and give them some time off before getting them up to speed in time for the start of the campaign.
If we were to put this to Fifa they would say the reason we stage this match is so that we can give the deserving team the bronze medal and the right amount of prize money to each association but surely both teams that reach this stage should be given a bronze medal and we say both teams finish joint third.
The difference in prize money is just £1.4 million is it really worth making the players stay and play this utter pointless game of football. Just think how much it costs to stage the game. There is the costs of the security, the stadium costs and all the match day fee’s. The interest in the game is minimal and the audience figures for the game are low all pointing to further facts that the game is pointless. A game that is branded as the two teams that were not good enough to play in the final. It just sounds disrespectful to both of the nations and the supporters.
If Fifa believe this is a good idea then they should subsidise the price of the tickets for each and every single supporter who they want to attend this pointless and waste of time match. For both Belgium and England fans it will make no difference to how they view their players over the course of the competition. Plus the fact most of the supporters have headed home.
There is one possible positive cause for this game (who would of thought it!) This is a chance for those players who haven’t featured during the tournament to have a run out. For England the likes of Jack Butland, Danny Rose, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford and Eric Dier who haven’t featured too much may get the chance for some game time and Gary Cahill who could well call time on his England career go out on a high.
As England fans we are all so very proud of what our boys have achieved out in Russia and how they have grown as a group of players. I will be honest going into the World Cup I said if we get to the quarter-finals then I would be happy and the fact we reached the semi-finals was fantastic. This World Cup has not only made English fans fall in love with the national team again it has brought together a country that has been divided.
Whatever happens tomorrow our players will return home to a hero’s welcome and that will not change regardless of the result in this pointless game.
Do you agree with Alex? Is the third placed play-off the most pointless game in football? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us at @AllOutFootball_ using the hashtag #AOF.