Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Reaction
By Imtiaz Mussa

“It’s All Over”
-News of the World

“End of the World”
-Sunday Express

“NUTS! And We Paid the Penalty”
-Daily Star

“It’s Over”
-The Sun

“England Pay as Rooney Sees Red”
-The Observer

“Agony and ignominy... out on penalties again”
-The Telegraph

“Torture Chamber”
-Sunday Mirror

I love the English newspapers. They make the New York Post seem reliable in regards to content but their headlines can never be beat. As you can see, Andy Murray’s win over Andy Roddick at Wimbledon is not dominating the headlines.

Though it was Rooney’s idiotic action that earned him the red card, the papers are going a little easier on him. They know it was a dumb move but they have seen Wayne Rooney play in the Premiership for the past four years and they know what his temper is like. An outburst was seemingly going to happen and it did.

So, the papers have turned on Sven Goran Eriksson. Many of them blame the man for ‘wasting the finest generation of English footballers.’ To be honest, they are right for the most part. It always seemed as if Sven caught himself up in some sort of scandal more than handling the most difficult coaching job in the world. No coach or manager in the entire world has to put up with the scrutiny that the England manager has to deal with. To his credit, Sven survived five and a half years but with what legacy? The goal was for England to win this year’s World Cup. So much for that after Sven started with a 4-5-1 partly because he chose to bring on the unproven Theo Walcott instead of a proven striker and when Michael Owen went down with a torn ACL, he only had Rooney and Crouch as viable options. Also choosing to go with that formation means that you are going to play it conservatively when this is the quarterfinals and you want to go for the win. The papers are absolutely right.

Love them or hate them, you cannot help but feel for the English players. The pictures of David Beckham, John Terry, and Rio Ferdinand being reduced to tears are dominating the pages. The fans are consistently reaching out on talk radio and message boards saying that their crying represents the feeling of an entire nation. If you really want to know how much the World Cup means to the rest of the world, those images are a prime example.


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