01 July 2006

Quiet Mediocrity Is The English Way

Or I could blame it on the Swedes, one dour, morose, self-serving, cowardly Swede in particular, but it was England who chose Sven Goran Eriksson and England who ultimately have to take the blame for yet another ignominious World Cup exit, this time to an only fair-to-middling Portugal side.

On the bright side, this frees up the next week, as much of the remaining drama has now been removed. I can't see Portugal mounting a serious threat to any of the semi-finalists unless France or Italy somehow miraculously manage to get through, so I won't have to park myself in front of the TV working on my ulcers. On the not so bright side, Sven's even less bright understudy is taking over the England managerial duties from tomorrow. Another four years of hurt looms. Come to think of it, the England team reminds me uncannily of New Labour: full of bright faces and promise, micromanaged into counterproductive tedium and constant disillusionment.

8 comments:

Tim said...

I dunno what the pundits are saying stateside, but our pundits are pushing wayne rooney to punch ronaldo back at Man U. Its kinda funny to see presenters crying.

Larry Livermore said...

They're saying that Ronaldo will probably be offloaded to Spain and that England just weren't good enough.

They also seem to think that taking Beckham off was a loss rather than an advantage for England.

Wesley said...

So when does the Premiership start up again?

I pretty much agree with your assessment, and would only add that Rooney is a disgrace. England needs to stop making excuses for him. The only creative movement came once Lennon and Crouch were on the pitch.

Tim said...

beckham being taking off was a great thing. Lennon did more work that whole second half than Beckham did the whole world cup.

kendra said...

wesley, rooney is the future of everything in the world! listen to sven!

it's true that lennon did more than beckham, but becks was moving around for once. you saw him touch the ball more than the odd set piece- that's progress. he may be over-hyped, but i don't doubt that he cares.

dan said...

I don't know why Beckham is getting so much flak when our worst midfielder in the tournament was Frank "couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo" Lampard. Steven Gerrard was a shadow of his club self as well.

Larry Livermore said...

I think Beckham gets a disproportionate amount of the criticism because his performances, despite the occasional brilliant set piece, have been consistently subpar, yet he kept getting picked ahead of Lennon and others who genuinely wanted to play as opposed to wait for photo opportunities.

And while you're right that Lampard had a shocker throughout the tournament and Gerrard wasn't that better, I put a good deal of that down to Eriksson's plodding style of management. These are players who are used to going all out for the cause (witness Gerrard's inspired performance in the 2005 Champions League final), but when they're stuck with a manager who plays every match as though a scoreless draw were the best we could hope for, it's no wonder players get a little disheartened.

Larry Livermore said...

I thought this was a pretty good take on the whole Beckham-Eriksson affair.