During the break in extra time, the commentator, Guy Mowbray, said Hodgson would be telling England to defend and not to attack. The problem is he would have told them that before the game as well. England’s tactics were to hang on for dear life and make it to penalties – and considering how monumentally naff England have been in penalty shoot-outs, that’s pretty baffling.
England did indeed (somehow) make it to penalties after being battered by Italy for 120 minutes; but misses from Ashley Young and Ashley Cole saw them dumped from the tournament and denied a meeting in the semi-finals with Germany, who advanced after defeating Greece. *insert obligatory eurozone bailout joke here*
As many in the English media are delighted that England has an English manager – who is English and is from England – don’t expect to see much criticism of the way the team played. They may point to a quarter final appearance and the ‘bravery’ and passion the players showed as evidence that all is well for the future; but the sooner everyone realises that running around and trying hard isn’t the same as actually being good, the better. (See Andrea Pirlo v Scott Parker.)
Highlight Of The Weekend
The relationship between Adrian Chiles and Roy Keane is a joy to watch. As the facially-challenged ITV presenter desperately attempts to interact with Keane in the studio with matey banter and imploring looks, Keano simply stares back with the eyes of a man ready to snap. When Chiles speaks, in his head he's saying "Please be my friend." When Chiles speaks, in Roy Keane's head he's saying "I want to kill you."
Germany 4 - 2 Greece
Spain 2 - 0 France
England 0(2) - (4)0 Italy (Italy win on pens)
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