Monday, 25 June 2012

We'd have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids...

Gotta say I'm a little - as in massively - disappointed with the England squad. We've been knocked out on those pesky penalties yet again!

I do feel sorry for the players, really I do, but only to an extent. It's not easy to bear the nation's hopes on your shoulders - unless you're Andrea Pirlo, it seems - and, having missed in a previous (penalty) shootout, I applaud Steven Gerrard's courage to still step up and smash it in the net.

But the squad and the media's attitude has really gotten my dander up! I'm fed up of hearing how 'we have to draw the positives from this'. Clearly, they're not: if they were, we'd be going further in international competitions.

And oh can the pundits please stop banging on about we need a little bit of luck in these tournaments. Maybe we do, but how long did we think we were going to wing it for? Having a good strong team wins tournaments, not just having a bit of luck.

When they rattled on how about well we defended against Italy last night, they irked me. I'm not big on match tactics, but the object of the game still is to score more goals than the other team, right? Defending well, as far as I'm aware, doesn't take you through to the next stage, whereas, as I understood it, scoring goals does.

Number one gripe: if Gary Lineker is to be believed - and considering the team's track record, he can't be far wrong - it's only under Roy Hodgson that England have been practising penalties, their argument being that they can't recreate the conditions in practice. Fair enough, they can't, but surely - surely! - they should at least be trying. It's tantamount to going out based on nothing but sheer laziness.

Look at Pirlo. With that cheeky little chip he looked as if he took penalties for fun. I admit that kind of composure is superhuman, but we've also seen it from the Portuguese in the past. 

Mediterranean countries seem to know how to take penalties. What are they doing that we aren't?

Let's not put it down to all that good weather. Maybe instead of going the extra mile, they're going that extra 11 yards.

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