Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Mourning After

And so, the post-mortems begin following England's exit from the World Cup yesterday afternoon. The banal predictability of this anti-climax, complete with the controversial dismissal of a boy wonder and penalty shootout traumas, was made worse by the fact the team never looked like potential winners of the tournament at any stage so fundamental was their sheer lack of conviction (let alone evident talent) throughout.

In any World Cup you can find the hard luck stories if you're sufficiently desperate to ferret them out, but ultimately, even given Sven's near-suicidal squad selection decision to choose Jenas and Walcott ahead of Defoe and Bent, the England team were never even close to being good enough. It takes a tournament like this to cut through the Murdoch Empire media hype and realise that a lot of our highly-paid Premiership stars are really quite ordinary when compared like-for-like with their peers across the globe.

And so on to Euro 2008 in Austria and Hungary under the new regime of Steve McLaren. Excited by the prospect? No, not really. Are you?


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