It is one of the oldest cliches in modern rugby, but now it is time for England to make the ‘arrogant’ tag their own rather than shying away from it.
Until recently, the England side often looked afraid of their own shadows. They became so preoccupied with how the rest of the world perceived them that they lost sight of what truly mattered – winning! Unfortunately this ‘culture’ also started to rub off on the fans who became almost ashamed to declare their passionate support for the Red Rose.
That period is now well and truly behind us, and you can already begin to sense the swagger coming back into the playing squad. The team look to be enjoying themselves, and they sure as hell aren’t afraid to state they are here to win, and win is what they do. Over the last six months Eddie Jones’ men have beaten some of the best sides in the world, often on their own turf.
Although there is still a long way to go before they can call themselves the best side in the world, this young side should go into every game expecting to win. For all their purported humility, do you think for a second that the All Blacks go into any game expecting anything other than a comprehensive victory?
It is this attitude that England must now continue to adopt. Whether they be hosting a tier two nation at Twickenham or facing off against the All Blacks at Eden Park, England should now go into every game expecting a victory. Inevitably this will not always be the case, however with the right attitude, that win percentage is going to keep creeping up.
The team is buoyant, and the fans are taking notice. You can already sense the palpable expectation from supporters when England take to the field, and it is important this is not lost again. The RFU can throw as many gimmicky marketing campaigns behind the team as they like, but nothing will comes close to winning when trying to stir up supporters.
Not that long ago, non-England fans began to hint they almost found the team bearable as the men in white began to shed their arrogant tag. The problem however is that it is much easier to like an opposition team when they aren’t winning, and that was the problem for England. Now the side are back to winning ways, inevitably the jibes about ‘typical arrogant England’ are going to follow, however now is the time to bask in such resentment.
Ask any fan, and you can guarantee that they would much rather be reviled and winning, than loved and losing. And so, England fans must once again learn to embrace the ‘arrogant’ tag, and not be afraid to expect a win. For all the criticism that comes England’s way, most other nations certainly aren’t afraid to show a bit of confidence.
Just look at some of the promo videos coming out of Australia in the build up to the latest test series, there was nothing restrained or humble about those. At the end of the day, confidence is what we England fans do best, and as they always say, you should never be afraid to be yourself. So let’s look ahead to Saturday’s game firm in the belief that nothing other than an England victory will suffice.