Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's a knock out

So there we go! The England team have been knocked out in the second round of the World Cup in a 4-1 thrashing by Germany. It was a very deserved win by the Germans too, although they didn't have to play much outside themselves to beat the team they were up against. We've been consistently poor this World Cup and there'll be a lot of blame to spread around - I'm sure the newspapers will have a field day tomorrow, and Capello's definitely going to be parting ways with his job (in his post-match interview he seemed to think we'd played well, which is taking trying to be diplomactic to a new level). The over exaggeration of our performance that followed our slight upturn in form from the Slovenia game hid what was clear to see from the earlier games - the team didn't seem to know how to play together. I have to mention it (although I'm not using it as an excuse), but the game did produce a howling error from the refereeing officials for not seeing Lampard's goal, which may or may not lead to a FIFA rethink on introducing goal line technology (I've argued against video ref decisions before, but in these situations I can see it probably should be introduced).

In the past in tournaments we have generally upped our game playing against the better teams, but that didn't happen at all this time round. It's very disappointing to see, but it actually lessens the blow of our failure quite a lot (for me at least) - it's far harder to take going out when we've played well and deserved to progress. The blow was also lessened by watching the game at home rather than in a pub in Glasgow, where in many places I'm sure there was much delight in our defensive failures and inability to make any sort of coherent attack. I think now I'm going put my support behind Germany - despite their young team they have some very good players (Özil and Schweinsteiger in particular) who could do well (although they may have to face Argentina in the next round). It's also a bit less humiliating(!?) to go out to the eventual winners.