A Nation Sighs → FIND ←

Tuesday, 29 June 2010 11:39 am
tags: football worldcup

I'm a little late off the mark on this one, I've been away from home, in Essex for the past 2 days. The UK England have had a chance to morn the death of another failed England world cup campaign. Was it Capello's fault? Was it the players' fault? Frankly there's been enough discussion over the past few days to form your own opinion. I've always - perhaps somewhat naively - believed the players are the most important link in the winning chain, well above the manager; and I think this is true of England's World Cup exit.

These players earn an exorbitant amount of money each year and they will readily admit they're getting paid this salary to do the thing they love, play football. So how is it, if you give these players the biggest platform in the world to play on, with the biggest reward, they flop? Media pressure and expectation from the fans plays a big part in it. But I think the main reason, and as much as I hate to admit this, the England players just aren't as good as we make them out to be.

The Premier League is dubbed one of the best leagues in the world, but English players are not in the majority - especially in the more successful teams - and haven't been for some time. The Premier League is heralded as one of the best, in my opinion, purely for its diversity of nationalities. With the exception of the most recent season, English teams do so well in the Champions League because World Class international players flock to them.

Despite the confident football these English boys are producing and the goals they're knocking in at club level; take out the international element of skill and finesse and you're left with a half baked cake.

That's an impressive England tally, and yet out of the meager 4 goals we managed to net this World Cup, 1 was an own goal and 1 was scored by a defender. Wayne Rooney. Wayne, Wayne Rooney: Not very nice to hear your own fans booing you? They're booing because they paid an arm and a leg to fly to South Africa to see you score goals.

But the final 16 knockout by Germany will - I imagine - be forever tainted with the 39th minute 'what if' goal that never was. As unfair and crippling as it was to see the goal not given, I think it's very shortsighted to dwell on this as a reason we lost to the Germans. Yes, it may have turned the game around and England may have had more fortitude to go on and find a winning goal. But when all is said and done, we defended atrociously and the Germans capitalised. Football is, afterall, all about putting away your chances and the Germans did just that.

Where do I stand on goal line technology? Bring it in. There's really not a good enough reason not to have it, in this day and age. We live in a technology fueled world; why should it be left out of the biggest sporting event in the world, leaving holes for injustices and forcing the officials on the pitch into making instant match-changing decisions. But, hey, at least Blatter apologised.