England are well on course to win the Euro after dominating Spain at Wembley.
A Lampard screamer not only won England the game but marked the gulf of quality between the sides; England`s disciplined, technical wizards were just too good for Spains lethargic, overrated prima donnas.
Well, that's what the papers will have us believe anyway and no doubt many of the English populance will lap up. We all know the truth of the matter is far from it, England`s 'efforts' against Spain were poor.
At home in Wembley we, fans and players collectively, spent a majority of the time idly watching Spain play football in our own half. Dominating possession whilst toying with the England players with nice, neat short passing and clever off the ball runs.
On the rare occasion we also saw England actually attempt and fail to play football, with every passing movement ending up back to the keeper`s feet. We never really crafted a clear goal scoring opportunity nor did we split the Spanish defence or even pin them back for a period.
Off the ball England admittedly played well, it was a bore to watch but well played all the same. They were disciplined and remained level-headed throughout and Spain for all their creativity, flare, drive and individual brilliance couldn't break it down and became increasingly frustrated.
All the same though, despite our efforts we would've done well to escape without a thrashing. We would've done extremely well to walk away with a draw. We didn't even think about winning, it was never a realistic result. Somehow, through some sort of miracle and against all odds we won.
It's a great victory, it really is but the media will sensationalize the win and raise the impossible expectations that we will go on and win Euro 2012. We just about beat a Spanish side that was traveling away and didn't look like their typical selves but will that stop the sensationalist journos from hyping us up to be the world beaters which we're not?
When England fall, which we will, it's inevitable and arguably a fools hope to believe anything otherwise, the media will be looking for a scapegoat. Like the Euro2012 dreams people will believe the media in the fact that it's solely the scapegoats fault for England`s failings and nothing more.
At the Euro 2004 tournament it was our very own Ronaldo, Rooney made a challenge that was deserving of a red card yet Ronaldo was the target of a national hate parade because he argued it was a red. Ronaldo single-handedly got Rooney sent off resulting in England getting knocked out? Yeah right.
It was England`s failings as a team at the time combined with Rooney's recklessness. A player arguing a challenge was worthy of a card is something we see every game, heck, our players were doing it themselves!
Then there's our most recent World Cup failings of which Rooney was then subjected to a lot of criticism and hate. The England team as a whole was woeful and it was painful watching them play. Rooney though, was especially poor, what difference that makes in a team that was poor is beyond me.
If Rooney played well but England as a whole still played rubbish would it of made any difference? Nope. Rooney didn't help his case and was wrong for the comments he made during the tournament, he effectively handed the media their scapegoat.
Not including the linesman who didn't award Lampard`s goal as that clearly would've changed the game completely and we would've beat Germany... or so we're lead to believe.
There are countless examples throughout history ranging from Maradona and his hand of God goal which knocked us out (not that the 10 players between him and hand of God goal were at fault) to the wally with the brolly Steve McClaren.
It's just a game that's supposed to be enjoyed and no player, manager or official should be subjected to the abuse we've seen dished out over the years, no matter what they done on the pitch. I can't help but feel though that come the 2012/2013 season 1 or 2 Premier League players will be the target of irrational hatred.
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