It's that time of month again; points have been tallied, scores have been looked at, and at the end of the day it's not even all that interesting. However, it bears mentioning that in the case of July 2012 we can speak of a new high in English footballing history; the home of football has finally managed for the first time in history to be among the top 3 footballing countries on the face of the earth.
Now, there's a time to be excited about virtually everything, but in my humble part-time interest of following these results and news items, I feel I might have a better grasp of the situation of world football than any of the suits who are responsible for churning out this list every month. For the sake of granting you the bigger picture, the Top 10 as of this month looks as such:
- The Netherlands
Now, of course there will always be a differing opinion to be found quite locally, sometimes even in the very same mind, but in this case I feel somewhat more justified in giving mine than at some other times, because I feel that many of you may share the question that was on my mind when I read about this milestone; ''Why? What have we done that was so brilliant?''
That's not just good old-fashioned discontent with the national side talking; I'm genuinely wondering what achievement was so great that earned the England side their all-time-high in this category of sports. I don't seem to recall winning a major tournament (or even a moderately important match, for that matter), but the current #4 on the list, Uruguay, recently won the Copa América, and FIFA thinks it enoguh to reward them 4th place.
You'll notice Brazil is not even on the list anymore. This is to do with the fact that they've played significantly less high-appeal matches in 2012 than the other nations. This doesn't speak of their win/loss record, though. Just on account of playing less, Brazil is now 13th, the lowest they've ever ranked. So what's wrong with this picture?
Obviously, the FIFA ranking barely means anything and generally a Top 10 placement just means other countries will park the bus some more, but the question on my mind right now is ''Who makes these decisions?'' I think it's just another crowd-pleaser from the brass at FIFA. These numbers do not add up whatsoever, and I genuinely would have liked to have seen a 3rd place ranking as a reward for deserving effort on behalf of the national team. This is just sad.