We Came, We Saw, We Failed

So, there we have it. The World Cup is over for another four years. "Bloody hell, that was quick. Who won? Bet it was the Argentinian's, wasn't it? Or the German's? Or the Brazilian's? Too much to hope it was us, I suppose?" Much too much.

So, there we have it. The World Cup is over for another four years.

"Bloody hell, that was quick. Who won? Bet it was the Argentinian's, wasn't it? Or the German's? Or the Brazilian's? Too much to hope it was us, I suppose?"

Much too much. And, if it was, you'd surely have heard about it by now. At the very least, a bit of patriotic bunting would be hung from the lamp posts in your street. To be honest, the only thing to be hung from a lamp post should be the over paid players who have once again let us down.

While the planet's most celebrated football tournament actually continues until July 13, the truth of the matter is it was all but over for England the moment they stepped on the plane to Brazil. Not even the most optimistic of us thought we'd get very far in the final 16.

However, it wasn't beyond the realms of possibility that we'd make it through the group stages. Now we know that was a dream too far as well.

By the time of reading, we might have already lost to Costa Rica, thereby completing a hat-trick of misery. No matter if we do emerge victorious from that encounter, it's too little too late.

To my mind, it's Roy Hodgson you've got to feel sorry for. In post match interviews you could genuinely see the agony and disappointment etched onto his face. Every one of his 66 (there's those dreaded figures again) years had been leading up to this.

When he was surprisingly appointed manager in 2012, he almost certainly knew in his heart of hearts that he was the wrong man for the job. Ringing any bells, Ed?

It should have been Harry Redknapp all along. Come to think of it, Harry Redknapp would probably have made a better leader of the Labour Party.

OK, maybe Roy shouldn't have plumped for such a young and inexperienced squad. As it turned out, he'd have had more luck dragging Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer out of the studio and putting them on the pitch. Alternatively, Gabby Logan would have been a better player than an interviewer. Microphone in hand, she could have run up to Luis Suarez and bored him so much with her inane questions and comments that he'd have nodded off there and then, allowing Sturridge to weave past him and put one in the net.

I'm rather relieved that the FA have publicly come out and made a statement declaring that Roy will not be fired and that he'll still be the man in charge in 2016 when the European Championship in France rolls around. Therefore, fully expect to see Harry at the helm (just when we were wondering what sort of role a fun loving Prince could fill), ably assisted by Prince William and Princess Katie rushing on at half time with a tray of oranges to revive the players.

The members of the current team are, of course, remorseful. Wayne Rooney says he knows the hurt people are feeling. Umm...not so sure about that. If he genuinely believed such words he'd have made amends by inviting a busload of us to his holiday home in Barbados, where he'll shortly be fleeing to, like a disposed dictator, to lick his wounds and restyle his hair.

"Another fruit punch?", I'd find myself saying. "Well, I don't mind if I do, Colleen".

Sadly, I've received no such invitation yet and I'm not sure I will.

At least, there's some positives to England's early exit.

Fair-weathered fans such as me can stop pretending to be interested in the great game that only piques our interest periodically. I have a feeling that the next time mine's piqued will be '66 ( that's 2066) when in an ironic twist, we will once more play Germany in the final at Wembley and beat them 4-2.

Until that momentous occasion, we can all turn our attention to another game that most of the time we couldn't give a toss, volley, drop shot or lob about. Namely, tennis.

Yes, this week sees the beginning of Wimbledon when an expectant nation eagerly awaits the arrival of Andy Murray on court to defend his title.

Henman Hill (somehow Murray Mount will never catch on in quite the same way) will be as packed as ever, as we cheer (or jeer) on the SNP's poster boy. Frankly, if it meant not having to support him without any feelings of guilt, many would happily see the dissolution of the Union.

His form, although what the hell do I know, doesn't exactly seem to be tip top this year. If he fails to make it through to the final, we'll fortunately be spared two whole weeks of the camera forever focussing on the anguished and celebratory gurnings of Judy Murray, tennis's very own Margaret Thatcher.

Shove ha'penny and tiddlywinks aside, I'd have to conclude that watching sport is grossly overrated. Something it frequently has in common with a lot of our countrymen who play it professionally.


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