Germany 4, auf wiedersehen England

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Colin Randall watches another England dream fade …

At half time, we hoped the sense of injustice felt would impel England to victory after a calamitous error by match officials prevented a stirring fightback from 0-2 to 2-2. A bit like 1908 when, as every schoolboy should know, Sunderland were so enraged by an appalling penalty decision, which allowed Newcastle to go in 1-1 instead of 1-0 down, that we went on the score eight more in the second half.

But that was St James’ Park and this was the Royal Free Stadium in Bloemfontein. And suddenly a German breakaway after a poor England free kick into the wall led to a third goal.

Three-one somehow seemed a lot worse than 2-0 had been earlier, and was already enough to have the French commentator (I was watching in the Var) talking about the England dream being over. And even that seemed nowhere near as bad as 4-1 very soon afterwards.

The pace and purpose of the Germans was mightily impressive. And the hopelessness of England’s defending was an embarrassment. It was as if we were the plucky part-timers up against Premier League elite.

Who knows how different it might have been had we been able to complete that first-half recovery from a shambolic start and get back to 2-2? Our defending was so powerless in the face of the fast, direct Germans that we would have remained at risk until the final whistle.

Upson had partly redeemed himself for his part in the opening goal by rising well to guide Gerrard’s inviting cross into the net as Neuer came charging out in a passing impression of Lionel Perez in the playoff final.

Two-one and we had hope. Then Lampard’s shot came down from the underside of the bar deep into the goal but not quite deep enough for the bumbling officials.

But did we, in the end, deserve much better?

On 20 mintues Upson had joined John Terry in permitting Klose to run effortlessly onto a long punt by the Neuer and slot the ball past James. Had Klose gone down under Upson’s blatant attempt to foul him from behind, it would still – in all likelihood – have been 1-0, and also 10 versus 11.

When Germany scored for a second time, we looked well beaten. They could have added more. It was, then, a spiritied fightback and one that should have given us the right to see what we could do at 2-2.

But German power told, and no one can honestly say they didn’t deserve their win, even if the Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda and his visually challenged linesman will not be able to forget their clanger in a hurry.

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12 thoughts on “Germany 4, auf wiedersehen England”

  1. They don’t look so golden in the cold light of day. Like the French team, the English side needs rebuilding from the bottom up, by people who know what they’re doing. It’s supposedly easy to be wise after the event. The FA, alas, is so often stupid after the event.

  2. to me the most annoying part of this whole cockup is the players who went knew they where injurred, but to them the money was more important to them than the team, i still believe that the FA picked that team, because capalldi, ( postman pat) said he would pick the team on merit and performance, when is he going to figure it out, the FA dont give a sh….. about anybody else apart from the golden boys who will make them money

  3. We will never know Bill. The question for me is what effect would getting pegged back have had on the younger element in the German team. It will run and run of course, but the reality is that the second half was shambolic. The thing that irks me is that, given the shocking “no goal” the referee would have been itching to guve a spot kick to redress the balance. They didn’t even have the wit to get themselves into a position to claim a plausible foul in the box. That comes down to witless players and an equally witless coach. Unbelievable!

  4. It looked momentarily as if Mexico might have had a similar goal claim to England’s this morning, though by a lot narrower margin. It was never replayed so who knows? If it had been a goal and Argentina’s first had been disallowed, it would have made the score after 90 minutes 2-2. But that’s academic. No doubt that the better team won but they were never 100 per cent in control of the game. Their match against Germany should be fascinating, if the officials are halfway decent. We can only hope.
    Would England have come back to beat Germany if their goal had been allowed? Given the nature of the team, I’m inclined to doubt it. But it’ll boost a lot of bars’ profits as the debate continues ad infinitum!

  5. It’s easy to say that it wouldn’t impact on the outcome but it’s goals that determine whether a team goes through or not. The fact is that these matches are being turned by useless officiating. Goals at particular times influence the way the game goes thereafter. I have no doubt that had the Germans been pegged back after having a 2-0 lead that tide would have turned in England’s favour. That’s exactly what happened with the USA against Slovenia. The impetus invariably with the team that fought back.

    Officials cock ups are ruining the competition in almost every game. Sending players off that they shouldn’t as well as the goals that shouldn’t and goals that were. As long as they keep appointing referees and linesmen from Gopher’s Elbow in Nomansland then this is what we get. They make referees from the EPL look good. This is not about human error. It’s about incompetence and a lack of courage of their own convictions. Interesting to compare two howlers today. It’s about contracting in to a decision and contracting out. Easy to go against the Argentina offside because the ball was already in the net. Easy to not give Lampard’s goal when the keeper ended up with it in his hand. You don’t need to be judge whether the ball was over the line when it comes down off the bar at an angle bounces back up on the bar itself and all the while is coming away from the net due to back spin. If the linesman can’t see that this is a goal is he shouldn’t be there. End of chat.

  6. Halfway through the Argentina-Mexico game and how much more crappy officiating must we endure? Not that it’s likely to make much difference to the result. Mexico started this match the way they did the first game of the tournament, against South Africa, with fast, dangerous breakaways and a couple of good scoring chances. But, as they did then, too, they’ve started laying back. And their defence is full of holes. All the same, blind officials — as England will attest — don’t help one bit. Surely, after this World Cup, FIFA must institute some system of instant playback? Be that as it may, Maradona can count his team’s first goal as coming from the closed eye of god.

  7. You have to admire the humility and self-respect of the Japanese coach, Takeshi Okada. He offered his resignation just a month ago when things weren’t looking particularly good for the team. Now, having brought them this far, he says he’s quitting anyway after the World Cup so he can spend more time in his garden.

  8. There’s not an outfield player involved today that shoud ever wear an England shirt again for me. A shapeless and slow back four with a midfield that can’t create anything. Rooney is appalling. Not an effort on target for him. Useless at this level. The myth of Rooney is over.

    Milner has shown himself to be very limited indeed, insisting on crossing balls from 30 yards out which were food and drink to the German defence. Gerrard kept shooting from a ridiculous distance and was completely ineffective. England a’e finished as any sort of international force unless there are serious changes made at all levels. Let’s see Capello’s head on a plate for a start. This was the most humiliating exit and defeat in my living memory. Can anyone remember a 4-1 defeat in a major tournament.

  9. Steve Gerrard on the BBC website:
    “It’s bitterly disappointing to go out of the World Cup and especially so to Germany. At stages in the game we were on top of them – at 2-1 down, I thought we’d go and win it 3-2, but at 3-1 it’s game over. World Cup-wise, it’s probably over for a few of us.”
    Probably.

  10. Or maybe not. I’m looking forward to hearing his excuses.
    Angela Merkel and David Cameron ducked out of the G20 summit in Toronto to watch the second half. I hope Merkel was gracious afterwards. I imagine Cameron wants to leave now and join the demonstrators outside and set fire to something.

  11. I think it behooves me to maintain, for once, a dignified silence (though I’m laughing on the inside). Suffice be it to repeat what Diego Milito of Argentina reportedly told the Daily (“It’s War!” Star: “When we hear the English or anybody else in the world of football trying to compare Wayne Rooney with Messi, we find it laughable. Rooney is a very good player. . . maybe even a top 20 player in the world. ., . there is no doubt about that – but to put him on the same level as Messi is wrong. It’s not up for debate. It’s just wrong.”
    MAYBE even top 20…

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