What a fabulously boring England performance. I watched it only because I had this to write and now feel resentful towards you, which is unfair. Because I don’t suppose you want to hear anything about it, really. The inquest into our national team’s appalling performance at this World Cup (“I couldn’t have asked for any more from the players” – ©Roy Hodgson, every game. Well in which case, mate, you’re the wrong bloke for the job.) has of course already begun. It is being said that Woy has been given an easy ride – which is a way, I suppose, of not giving him one.
But when we look for the reasons it’s worth remembering this. The three most gilded and affluent and therefore extravagantly remunerated leagues in the world are the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga. And in each case the country which hosts these obscenely loaded carnivals is out of the World Cup at the very first stage. No coincidence. I don’t think it’s foreign players keeping our boys down; I think it’s more likely that the players cannot find it within themselves to become as excited about international football as we are. And so they get stuffed by players of around about English Championship level and beyond.