Did England get what they deserved?

Richard Williams says that England got what they deserved – absolutely nichts!
In the aftermath of a punishing defeat, no man should be called to account for his impromptu remarks. But when Frank Lampard said on Saturday night that England had “deserved” to win the match in which defeat had just eliminated them from the World Cup, he was inadvertently exposing the problem at the heart of the team’s consistent inability to scale the highest peaks.
David Beckham had used the same word earlier in the campaign. England would get to the World Cup final, the captain said, because they “deserved” to be there. Since no deeper analysis was forthcoming, his listeners were left to infer that the evidence in support of his contention might have included any or all of the following: England’s historic role as the game’s mother country; the vast popularity of the Premiership at home and abroad; the inflated pay and celebrity status of its players; and the attention lavished on the public appearances of their wives and girlfriends.
When Sven-Goran Eriksson also spoke about the team “deserving” to reach the final, he tried to suggest that it was because of the quality of their football. Strictly on the basis of their successive performances against Hungary, Jamaica, Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago, Sweden and Ecuador, however, it would have taken a battalion of the world’s finest legal advocates to make a case for the justice of their arrival in the final rounds of the biggest international football tournament of all.
The attitude represented by the words of Lampard and Beckham represents a culture of complacency at work, and it could be seen in the climactic shoot-out against Portugal, when three of England’s penalty takers failed with attempts in which the slackness of their body language and their shooting spoke of men who were ready to put their trust in the belief, as England players have believed for several generations, that their reputations alone would be enough to ensure their success.
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2 comments on “Did England get what they deserved?
  1. England got what they deserved alright.
    I was livid at Rooney. What a complete moron. Yes, he is very talented, but he is a profane hothead who lost his cool at an inopportune moment. I don’t agree with the red card, but (again) it was not the most egregious call made. Rooney stomped on Carvalho’s balls and shoved another player – he was just BEGGING to be tossed.
    The guy works like a dog on the field, and I am convinced if he had remained on the pitch, England could have won. But he screwed the pooch.
    And don’t blame Ronaldo. How absurd! It is that attitude – the same thinking that leads England to think they “deserve” the Cup – that is killing the Three Lions.
    Argh!

  2. I’ve watched England fail to get past the quarters for nearly thirty years ['78 was my first tournament as a fan], and it occurs to me that English soccer just isn’t all that good.
    Maybe ’98 side deserved better, but generally the team ends up about where they belong.
    Sure they fought hard a man down. So did the US for heaven’s sake. In fact, like the US, England seem more comfortable with backs against the wall, a sure sign of an inferiority complex.
    As for that matter is Rooney’s idiotic behavior. Hard to figure whether the stomp or the shove was dumber. On its own, Rooney looks like a moron. Taken with Beckham’s previous self-destruction, makes you wonder.
    England needs to go into a tournament without expectations. Maybe they’ll relax, play free and surprise people, including themselves.
    There’s very interesting new scholarship about sophisticated Pre-Columbian societies in the Amazon. Maybe an archeologist will unearth evidence that the game was actually invented in Brazil, then England can finally shake the whole “we invented the game” thing, act like a genuine underdog and win.

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