Interesting world cup. I've deliberately tried not to talk about it, but now we're out I might as well. England were rubbish. Utterly. We played 4 games, won one, and played badly in 3 of them. In fact, the Algeria and Germany games rank as amongst the worst ever England performances. Hence the picture of the Women's England team, who are actually good and I suspect would run rings around the shower we just watched for two weeks.
Everyone will have their opinions about why we were bad. Some people say we play too many games, but Tevez plays in England and got two (well, one and a bit) goals against Mexico. So I don't buy that at all. There are some really obvious points though. First, Wayne Rooney, probably the best footballer in England at the present time, was invisible for all four games. His only notable contribution to the World Cup was slagging off the fans for booing them.
In addition, the defence was all over the place. It's a bit difficult to work out why. Losing Rio Ferdinand was a major blow to the team, and his replacement in Ledley King got injured after the first five minutes of the first game. In addition, Dawson was sat on the bench, having given up his holiday at short notice, and is probably wondering why he bothered. And as for John Terry. Quite what got into him during the Germany game, who knows. He was out of position for every one of the England goals, which is baffling for a player of such talent and experience.
Which I suspect solves the problem of why we were so rubbish.We had a team of individuals who just weren't able to play as a team, for whatever reason. I suspect that's down to the manager, because it's his tactics, his team, his player choice, and it looks like he got it badly wrong. He appeared unable to change the team formation, when it became obvious that 4-4-2 wasn't working. His substitutions invariable replaced like players with like. Defoe off, Heskey on. Lennon off, Wright-Phillips on. Taking into account also, that midway through our limited time in South Africa, the manager and players were clearly at odds, this would seem to confirm that the blame is with Capello.
Anyway, it makes no odds. We were rubbish, and all four games were dull, dull, dull. But the last two weeks weren't excitement free zones, you know. I watched Wigan-St Helens, and after the England-Germany match, watched Warrington-Leeds. Both Rugby League matches, both outstanding games of their sport. Both with video referees, so the ref can't make idiot mistakes like disallowing Lampards goal, or not spotting that Tevez is 3 miles offside.
Each to their own, I guess. I was brought up watching Rugby League, so I suspect I'm a little biased. But honestly, the last two weeks have just reminded me why I continue to watch it, why I continue to advocate it, why I will always maintain that despite it's failings as a world sport, Rugby League is a country mile ahead of the round ball game. Give it a go. Support who you like, preferably your local side. Although, as a Hull FC fan I must warn you off supporting Hull KR...
Find out about it here...http://www.therfl.co.uk/