…Out. These are the big names that have fallen by the wayside so far. After another dire performance from the England team against the Germans, it’s a relief to see them land back at Heathrow Airport
from South Africa. Let’s face it, whilst the qualifying campaign proved to be the most successful of all time, our performance against teams made up of more than postmen and bakers was frankly embarrassing. The England team proved without doubt that it's not the quality of the players on the team sheet, it’s the quality of the team on the field.
England were simply outclassed by a young and ambitious German team. Sure there may be fire in the bellies of some of the England camp, namely David James, who clearly had some ‘constructive criticism’ of his back 4 to air, was our best player even when we conceded 4 goals! I’m glad the press had relatively little to say about the Frank Lampard goal that never was. Sure, FIFA rules regarding goal line technology seems in the dark ages, but frankly so is England’s approach to major tournaments. I cannot for any reason see why had that goal been given there would have been a different outcome to the game, the Germans were simply better and wanted it more.
The real upset of the lack of Technology was that of Mexico, who unfairly had to concede a goal that was clearly offside, recognised by the linesman and referee after a technical blunder in the stadium which saw the big screen show the replay of Carlos Tevez 5 yards off-side. Rules and rules and the linesman did not flag this before the whistle was blown for the goal and the rest is history. Well lets hope it’s history and FIFA adopt a sensible approach to this and introduce the 4th referee. It works in rugby, its works in cricket, the argument of cost is wearing thin and it has to be only a matter of time before FIFA accept that in a multi billion pound industry, chance and human error have little part to play. World Cup and Champions League finals can swing on a single bad decision.
So Argentina, Ghana, Brazil, Germany, Holland and Uruguay are through to the last eight and there are only 2 places left for either Spain
and Paraguay or Japan. I would back Spain and Japan to make the last eight.
As for England, the inquest will begin as to why they performed so badly on the world stage. Watch this space.
Spain 2 - 1 Portugal
Paraguay 0 - 2 Japan