Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Seven thoughts on the morning of yet another England football failure

  1. All this talk about "humiliation" is no help to anyone. England lost a football match. As the young Boris Becker pointed out all those years ago, "nobody died."
  2. I don't buy the idea that England footballers don't try. Very often they try too hard. What matters is trying effectively
  3. And it's nothing to do with how much they're paid either.
  4. Our best players play at a the top level, but generally alongside players from overseas who are technically better and can deal with pressure for them. As soon as things go wrong for an England team you can see the fear in their eyes.
  5. When the England rugby team won the World Cup in 2003 Martin Johnson was the captain but they had another four "officers" on the field who could have done his job. That's what you need to win in any team sport.
  6. Iceland are a good team unencumbered by expectation whereas England are a fragile team saddled with mad levels of expectation.
  7. The next England manager should do just one press conference a year. 


  1. Your rugby link is valid. Now we have Hartley, Robshaw, Farrell and Ford all controlling the plays. Despite the disappointment of the world cup the last year has in particular been one of stunning success for our rugby team... glad I'm a fan of that sport and less of football ;-)

  2. Ordinarily football is something that happens to other people. Around European or World tournaments the reach of the game expands and I can't avoid it. One thing that struck me about Euro 2016 is how little I heard about England "going all the way." Did anyone have high expectations for this team? Are they anything special?

  3. The difference was that we either lost to Iceland this round, or France next round.

    There are bigger issues in the country at the moment.
    Though I have wondered whether Roy deliberately lost so that he could stand for leader of the Conservative Party on Thursday. Maybe a job swap?

  4. David

    Is there another British (and maybe Welsh and Cornish) exit from Europe you feel brave enough to comment on?!


  5. "Technically better"?

  6. Re: Backwards. No, I don't think there were particularly high expectations of them but in the wake of disappointments like this the nation and its spokesmen do tend to immediately go into "you've let me down and your mother down but most of all...." mode which always implies that we all had high hopes.
    Re: Richard. No.
    Re: Frehley. All right, Better.

  7. You might want to make that eight, David:

    8. Chances are an England captain, any English captain, will never lift any silverware again. Ever.

  8. I make you correct on all counts. Not only that, the majority of football fans, if not sports journalists, have been saying this for years. Different players, different coach, different tournament, same result.
    We didn't have that one player who could unlock a defence with a single pass, and when you look through the Premiership teams, that player is always foreign. Shame, but those are the facts.