It’s interesting to read the Guardian’s comments about yesterday’s failure by the England football team. Suggesting we welcome them back as heroes. For failing, yet again? For progressing no further than they have previously?
As an Aussie living in London, I will always support Australia in any sporting matches. So maybe my comments are a bit biased, but here goes anyway.
Compare the performances of the two teams:
Australia, in only our second world cup appearance, make it to the first round of the knockout stage, only to get beaten via a questionable penalty from a team who have since gone on to the semi finals (Italy).
England, in their umpteenth world cup appearance, struggle to get past a team who were in their first world cup (Ecuador) in the first knock out stage, and then lose yet again to penalties at the next round.
For Australia, football (“soccer”) is only our 5th most played sport – behind rugby league, Aussie Rules, rugby union and cricket. To get as far as we did was a big achievement, and the socceroos are deservedly being hailed as heroes back home.
But for England, football is probably its number one sport. The combined value of the England squad is probably more than that of any other team in the competition. And for them to fail yet again to at least get to the semi finals is absolutely nothing to be proud of.
In fact, the England supporters should quite rightly feel cheated and conned. The team should have done better – no excuses. They are overpaid, over rated and hence over here early again.