By Alex Iwuoha
The England football team can overcome all obstacles to earn their glory in the Euro 2016 competition. The three lions must be bold this summer and have confidence in their ability to make a big impact in the European nations’ cup competition because winning doesn’t start around you – it begins inside you.
But there is one obstacle – our mind. In other words, lack of self-belief. We need to renew our mind. The only way England can be transformed from a loser with flimsy excuses to a winner who can overcome all obstacles is by the renewal of our mind.
Our mind is our greatest obstacle. England usually crash out of an international tournament at the hands of a superior opponent – the mindset of the English players.
As soon as England crashes out of a tournament they are often torn to shreds by their fans and the press. As a result, an inquest will follow in which an overhaul of grassroots football is discussed. Another excuse which many consider as an obstacle is the small number of English players in the Premier League. One more known stumbling block is that the manager is either deemed to have not made use of the talent at his disposal. These “flimsy” excuses and “internal” obstacles are often the reasons why England don’t win international tournaments. That’s why English fans and players must “not conform, but be transformed by the renewal of their mind,” because winning does not start around you – it begins inside you.
Another major obstacle is that England has relied on some under-performing big names for too long. Players like Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere have been automatic starters for Roy Hodgson based on their reputation and supposed ability. But their lack of inclusion against Germany due to injury proved a blessing in disguise.
A new English team
This time, it could be different if England sees an obstacle as the motivation for winning. When Roy Hodgson’s team lines up against Russia in the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, you could be looking at a new or “born-again” team. England could actually have a winning chance.
England had breezed through qualifying rounds. They’ve won some friendlies impressively and the hype had begun to build. Fans are now talking about a newly improved team. They are saying maybe, just maybe, England might convert their obstacles into challenges this time around and they might have a chance of winning the tournament.
What is very encouraging is the attacking side of the squad – this is an area where there are lots of options. England has one of the best pools of strikers to choose from in Europe. Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge are good enough to give any defender in Europe lots of headaches. England’s best players are upfront and their midfielders – Ross Barkley and Dele Alli come with goal-scoring abilities too.
England, like other European clubs, do have some obstacles, which must be converted into challenges. No excuses would be tolerated by fans and observers who are looking forward to a great tournament this summer.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2