Why England didn't deserve to win
- 3 Jul 06, 12:07 PM
LONDON - So, penalty heartbreak again. England missed more penalties on Saturday (three out of four) than Germany have missed in all four World Cup penalty shoot-outs in which they've been involved (one out of 18. Who & when was that miss? Answer later.)
What exactly is it England have done to upset the footballing Gods so? Or do fans need to front up to the fact that yet again, despite the hype, the team just weren't good enough. Here's one view. But do you agree?
By Ben Dirs, BBC Sport. This was a joyless World Cup. Joe Cole’s goal against Sweden apart, I can’t think of a single act by an England player that got the veins on my neck bulging or which led to beer raining down on me down the pub.
I’m not in the "winning is the only thing that matters" camp. Primarily, I watch sport, whether it’s darts or football, to revel in the skill and passion of its competitors. England appeared to have very little of either in Germany.
Which is why there won’t be effigies of Wayne Rooney hanging from the roofs of east London pubs this time around. England’s fans, primed for the fall, will sigh and shrug and return to the tedium of everyday life, having never been raised too far above it by this mid-range saloon car of a team.
Like a mug punter at an Essex car lot, I bought into the idea that this England team was the best in a generation before the tournament began.
But as it stuttered and choked its way through the group stages, bits falling off at every turn, it became clear that I'd been sold a Ford Mondeo tarted up to look like a Ferrari.
The skipper only had one gear, the midfield was in dire need of fine-tuning and the strike force’s backend had gone before the World Cup had even started.
So when the end came, the depression wasn’t as acute as in previous tournaments – this time I’d been expecting it.