Saturday, June 10, 2006

England, Bloody England: a rant

The Three Lions are my sentimental favorite in the World Cup. Well, them and the Czech Republic. Sure, I love to watch Brazil dance across the pitch, and I sure do love me my underdogs (Senegal in '02; T&T presently), but England has always been--for better or worse--my national squad to dream about, laugh at, cry over, and curse when the going gets ugly. And ugly it got today. Sven's lads won alright, but it was frequently pedestrian, boring, unimaginative, and . . . ghastly.

It wasn't all bad, I guess. The team actually seemed to start off strong, Beckham delivered some nice crosses, Joe Cole did his Pele from Albion bit, and the defense was diligent and focused. But the end of the first half and the entire second half were miserable to witness, and I even dozed for a few minutes on the couch when the rough just kept on going and going and going.

Sven and Beckham blame the heat for the lousy performance, and maybe they're right. I ain't gonna blame anyone (even though I could take aim at RoboCrouch and all the other mental absentees) at this point except my own foolish wish fulfillment. For the last week I actually believed Sven's assertion that the team would play more creatively, be more attack-minded, and not shut down offensively once they got their goal. Alas, they protected their goal (and it was an own goal for crying out loud!!!!) like aged skinflints resigned to never see another. After yesterday's inspired and enjoyable Germany v. Costa Rica match, I was more than ready for the Three Lions to heroically add to the goal count and prove to the world that the English style of play under Eriksson wasn't always unpleasant, conservative, and moribund.

Perhaps I'm the one in need of a cold shower.

1 comment:

Lynda said...

Oh dear. I'm glad I decided at the last minute to sleep through this one, but I'm sorry your own sacrifice of shut-eye went so unrewarded.

I can't support England for the Cup if they're going to play like this.