35,000-40,000 fans are expected to trot through the turnstiles at Wembley tomorrow evening as England face Norway in an International friendly before their first European qualifier against Switzerland, that number is extremely low for a team that boasts an average home crowd of 79,000.
Unfortunately for the England national team, the gate tomorrow night will represent a disillusioned fan-base who see the England team as nothing more than a distraction to their domestic campaigns. Fortunately my team (Norwich) don't have any players on show and I wouldn't have it any other way, I want them resting, ready for the game away at Cardiff rather than going through the motions against Norway (Although Norwich midfielder Alex Tettey will be playing for Norway).
It's a sad state of affairs for a country with such a rich footballing heritage. However many feel as though the national team is racing headlong into an era of mediocrity, you only need to look at the current crop of players to feel as though we won't be seeing too many World Class players at Wembley over the next 5 years, unless they are coming from the away dressing room.
The FA have acknowledged that they need to do more to make the England fan base feel more part of the team. After a disappointing World Cup, the FA have scheduled home and away fixtures with France, Spain, Italy and Germany, games they will play alongside their qualification campaign. Will that be enough? and do we want fans coming for the away team.
The FA may be the problem, does anyone really feel tuned into the way they are handling the national team? does anyone relate to stuffy old men in suits trying to explain to us that they have our future in their hands. When you paid that with a manager who has never inspired confidence and I can see why fans will elect to stay at home and watch it on TV, or just catch the highlights on the BBC after the game. Lets be honest, we'll all just waiting for our domestic teams to be back in action.