Counterpoint by Scott Freeman Bah humbug already and it’s only March


What a momentous year this is going to be: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, The Olympics in London and England’s footballers competing in Euro 2012.

Excuse me, but am I alone in feeling underwhelmed?

Let’s start with the dampest of squibs; the prospect of a post-Fabio Capello England squad travelling to encounter almost certain ignominious despatch in the four-yearly soccer tournament.

I don’t know who’s to blame Mr Capello, Sven, or the men in suits, but the so-called golden generation of home-grown players are about to find themselves pensioned off without a tournament victory to their name – let alone the holy grail of the World Cup.

When it comes to sporting prowess, British Olympians are a far better bet for national glory. ‘Team GB’ as they are incongruously named have some talented athletes among their ranks. But I can’t help but feel the nation’s expectations are excessively inflated. It’s almost bound to end in tears.

Personally I couldn’t be less interested. I will get all the Olympic sport I need on the 10 o’clock news. I certainly won’t be tuning in to the wall-to-wall, press-the-red-button hype of the BBC.

Misery guts? Maybe. But I can’t help but think that this overblown circus is not the sporting carnival it was, just a generation ago. If you want a prediction, I suspect there will be more interest in the voyeuristic beach volleyball than the ‘sport’ deserves.

So perhaps Her Majesty The Queen can bring some national pride back in this, her 60th year on the throne?

I wish it were so, but I fear even the monarchy, the kingdom’s defining symbol is in decline. The excitement of a pretty new princess in the form of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, raised the nation’s blood pressure little higher than when the now-divorced Katie Price wed her cage-fighting beau Alex Reid.

Perhaps this is the uncomfortable reality of ‘UK 2012’ – a nation with a rich past but a dubious future.