However, at its best, English football is revered throughout the world. There remains a charm, a global admiration for the emphasis teams put on attack, and the optimism infused in all. The most compelling Premier League games resemble the most engrossing of heavyweight boxing championship bouts. Caution and the stultifications imposed by rigid tactics are flung out of the window as champion and underdog alike trade devastating blow for devastating blow without the slightest regard for the other’s reputation. Loftus Road was a relentlessly optimistic place, the two sets of support matching each other vocally as their teams fought it out on the pitch, creating the type of passionate, loud atmosphere which is sadly all too rarely witnessed in England any more.
Manchester City’s trip to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday evening epitomised exactly why English football, for all its idiosyncrasies, is enduringly loved. Sure, the romantic ending did not materialise. Eventually, the richer, stronger, bigger team emerged victorious by three goals to two. However, their victory was earned in the face of a fiercely competitive challenge by ambitious, attack-minded opponents, worried little by City’s status as league-leaders.
For a while, it looked as though Sky Sports’ self-serving clich