Monday, June 28, 2010
Leaving the world cup behind me, my journey took me through a former German colony, into Frankfurt, and then a connecting flight threw me, amongst largely German teens coming for summer schools, into London. This was significant because of course, England faced Germany in the first knockout phase.
Serena got me from the airport and I didn't get any exposure to the English media AT ALL until I set foot in Walkabout bar at Temple (£5 cover, £3.95 a pint of Guinness) and heard the BBC coverage. And I quote...
"Looking at these two teams, how many Germans would be automatic starters in the England side? One, perhaps two."
"Based on their performances so far, what we have here are two average sides."
To me, and surely the vast majority of the football world who haven't been deluded by a national media who instills a belief of some god-given right to a minimum achievement of a semi final appearance at every world cup finals, it came as absolutely no surprise that Germany ripped England apart. Having seen England play for only about 120 minutes, and having seen all of Germany's three games up 'til that point, I fail to see how professional analysts can be that blinkered when it comes to something that seems blatantly imbalanced to me.
What we had was effectively an ageing ("experienced" - English media) team who have always underperformed ("are familiar with each other's style of play") on the big stage, when they get there ("back where they belong"), who had scored 2 goals.
Playing against a young, quick, confident team who have scored 5 goals and dominated the only game they lost, despite having only 10 men.
The UK media is something that I will be finding very difficult to take seriously. I may not even be able to pick up the back pages of the Evening News.