Looking ahead to 2014
I’ll be brief. I didn’t see the England versus Germany match because I was watching Lolli’s gymnastics competition (where she picked up a silver medal). I did see the post-match analysis and the obvious talking point was the ‘goal that never was’. I hope that the match officials feel suitably ashamed this morning, and I hope that stubborn old git Sepp “we don’t need video replays” Blatter had a sleepless night. In a game in which the outcome is essentially based on the number of goals scored, making a correct decision of whether a goal has been scored would seem to me to be fairly crucial.
The what-if scenario… if that goal had been given (as it should have been) then England might have gone into half-time at 2-2. That could have changed the second half – when you’re behind and chasing a game it can leave the defence exposed, and the risk is conceding more goals… which is exactly what happened.
However… let’s be honest. We can sulk about that goal and the what-if scenario, but it doesn’t change the fact that England were massively disappointing during the World Cup. Robert Green was the scapegoat after the first match, but show me a goalkeeper who hasn’t made that sort of blunder during his career – poor old Greeny just chose to do it at the most inopportune moment. England’s real problem wasn’t their goalkeeper, it was the fact that they then couldn’t go on and score a couple more against a USA side ranked below England.
After the poor performance against Algeria (ranked twenty-two places below England), it was relief rather than admiration when England beat Slovenia (ranked seventeen places below) by one measly goal. And there you have it… four matches, four goals (if you count the one that wasn’t but should have been). Matthew Upson out-scored Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch. After the same number of matches Argentina had scored ten goals. That’s how to progress in the World Cup.