Whilst England have won only 17% of their penalty shootouts, Germany and Argentina have won over 70%. Even Denmark and the Czech Republic have higher success rates. So why is it that even these smaller footballing nations have significantly more penalty success than England? Jordet identified an "ego-threat" which can cause athletes to change their behaviour when they perceive a situation as being potentially harmful or threatening to their status.
Football is simple to learn, inexpensive to play, and loved across so many borders. As such, it can teach its fans (and its players) the values of mutual respect and tolerance. When your young heroes are so diverse, it is bound to stutter racism.
Expectations were at an all time low and we were left scratching our heads in bemusement as to how a pub team like England qualified for this tournament to stand shoulder to shoulder with giants Sweden, Ukraine and France (ranked 17th, 52nd and 14th respectively).
The thing with England and football, is that we're prone to erraticism. Rarely are we satisfied with our national side and seldom do we expect realistic achievements. Usually this is because a familiar process happens: 'we won a game, going to win the tournament' ...'oh we've not won it, we're rubbish after all'.
A ball has yet to be kicked, and already Euro 2012 has become the most controversial football tournament in recent memory.
For nearly a year I've been harangued on Twitter by an account dedicated to attempting to point out and prove that Carrick is sh*t. It's been an amusing journey and experience, for I think, and always have thought, that Carrick is a very reliable and good footballer. Needless to say, that a year after its creation the account has a very low follower count.