The Facts Are What Remain. . .

So the English football team have failed to emulate the heroes of 1966 once again. These overpaid, overindulged and over sexed Gods of the turf have shown that despite all the money in the world; all the celebrity wagging and wagging with other people’s wags; despite all the newspaper columns, product endorsements; tub thumping and union jack waving. . . that they are unworthy of the faith an over-expectant England public placed upon them. Are we surprised?

And now, in the way that they always do there is the inevitable search for a scapegoat. And, the first target is always the manager – he, or a player that made a balls of something. In 1998 it was Beckham kicking an Argentinian in a display of petulant indiscipline. In 2006 it was Rooney who got himself sent off, but the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo came into the firing line for daring to suggest his teammate should be sent off and then compounding things by winking. What do you expect from a porker only a grunt?

In this World Cup, the players playing for England simply weren’t up to the job. Whether the management ballsed up the pre competition preparation; whether John Terry’s mouth managed to destabilise the ship further, we will never know. In a tournament where at least the French had the deceny to self destruct in the most incandescent way possible. . . and where teams like Germany and Spain showed that it’s easier to win football matches by keeping hold of the ball, the English team simply failed on every front.

The facts are what are left when you strip away all the hype, the bullshit and the blame. And the facts are that once they take themselves onto the pitch it is the players that are required to show people what they are made of?

What then of Ghana, exploding onto the stage and exploding off it again and taking the hopes of Africa with them. What of Uruguay, cynical South Americans to some, but a well drilled and competent team that exited last night, weakened by suspension and the incompetence of another linesman. What of Argentina, brilliant forwards and with great attacking play but not a defensive bone or sinew in their body. Like the wonderful Maradona, unpredictable but doomed. . .

And so despite all of what we’ve seen over the last few weeks, Mr Capello will manage England for another while. . . nothing changes though, does it really? It wasn’t his fault but try telling that to the English.

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