(England players react to Fabio Capello reading the below excerpt from Soccerlens aloud during Friday’s training session)
Considering the past several generations’ disappointing returns for his national team, SoccerLens’ Andy McPhail declares, “watching England play at the World Cup is akin to Chinese Water Torture”. With Saturday’s England v. U.S. Group C match in the offing, McPhail argues “watching England fail is far less taxing than it is watching them succeed…because England can never succeed in the conventional, stress free sense.”
Come the World Cup, British football journalists lucky enough to cover England™s games must be getting ready to sit back and relax. This being because they can simply rely on using the old œSynonyms for Disappointing textbook. Word™s like: unconvincing, witless, unimpressive, discouraging and many more appear all too regularly in the myriad column inches dedicated to England™s pursuit of glory. Unfulfilled potential is mainstay of conversations in pubs up and down the land and talking heads on TV studio sofas try to pin down what exactly œit is that England are missing. And so it is that this collective madness turns to hilarity. Fans who had been declaring, œThis is our year, no less than a minute before the final penalty miss, trudge away preaching realism.
In a purely footballing sense it would be an absolute tragedy for the game if England were to win the World Cup. Possession football doesn™t appear to be an option, however that could conceivably be cancelled out by dogged determination, defensive strength and outstanding team spirit a la Mourinho™s Inter Milan. Yet this England squad has shown that they do not possess any of these qualities in the abundance required to overcome their glaring deficiencies.
I accept that the World Cup is all about getting behind your team, your nation, but it is just too hard for me to ignore the glaring injustice that would be England winning the World Cup in South Africa. For football™s sake, I can™t wait until England get knocked out.