The last time England were eliminated after the World Cup group stage was in 2010 and we saw a poor performance and a birdie hit the roof of the net at half time. First, believe that it is very safe. place in Cape Town.
At that time, a team with John Terry, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney had a bad night, thanks to a 0-0 draw with Algeria, and England manager Fabio Capello was disappointed to fear: “fear. stop walking, stop thinking, stop everything”.
Rooney, who went into that match with high hopes, looked in style, style and style, his anger in the final whistle when he heard the crowd England mocking his team.
“It’s nice to see your fans make fun of you,” he exclaimed dryly, in a television clip. “You are the ‘loyalty supporters’.”
In 2010, England were in the midst of a World Cup meltdown. Terry, who had been sacked as captain four months earlier, announced in a press conference two days later that he and his teammates were going to show their displeasure with Capello in a meeting that evening.
“If it upsets him or upsets another player, what? I really think, ‘Sod it’,” said Terry, to the surprise of many in his audience.
Capello ended this revolution and England beat Slovenia 1-0 in their last group game to cut the knockout stage. But by finishing second in the United States, they put themselves on course to face Germany in the round of 16. And there they were humiliated, losing 4-1. , and Terry, Gerrard, Rooney and their team-mates went home with something approaching. national wall.
Qatar 2022 will not look anything like South Africa 2010. England’s game ban was in their 0-0 draw with the US on Friday night, but that is not the “fear”. explained them in the late 2000s and through the majority. the 2010s. There is no intention of a threatening player to threaten a rebellion against the manager, or a player to respond to the screams of the fans by mocking their loyalty to the cause.
What we got on Friday night was a quiet, heady reflection of those players who stopped to talk to reporters in the group section.
“It was probably a good result if I’m honest,” said vice-captain Jordan Henderson. The Athletic after that. “It was a tough game. The USA has done well and it has been difficult for us, as we have seen. We’re not happy because we didn’t get a picture, but it’s still good to keep a clean sheet, so it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s a score and it puts us in a good position and it’s in our hands for the next game.
The boos? “Obviously you have high expectations of this team and so do we,” said the Liverpool midfielder. “We came after the game and of course we were disappointed because we wanted to win every time we played, but that’s not how football works sometimes. You have to appreciate the opposition and we always know it will be difficult in the World Cup. “
When asked about the boos, Henderson pointed to the same thing that happened at Wembley on the way to the European Championship final last year. “I think it was the second game we drew 0-0 with Scotland,” he said. “So there’s a lot to play for, we’re in a good position and we’ve got to go out and score a point in the next game.”
According to his manager’s answer, he was measured properly. It may be measured or too mild for some tastes.
It’s one of those England tournaments that people get mad about: big build-up, big expectations, big investment (and for those fans in Qatar a big investment) and then big letdown.
Michael Cox and John Muller analyze England’s performance here in depth: the quiet period; no problem finding it; the struggles of Kieran Trippier, Luke Shaw, Jude Bellingham and Mason Mount to make an impact going forward against a strong, well-organised, talented US team that aims to hold them back; Southgate’s substitutions were conservative, waiting 65 minutes before making two like-for-like substitutions and keeping Phil Foden and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the bench throughout.
The criticisms are valid, but so is the approach given to mitigation. “Obviously the fans want to see goals and win games,” Trippier said. “Of course, we are obviously upset because we didn’t win the game, but we gave everything. The score was a good result. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but it was a good score. We took care of it. We have a clean sheet, it’s a good place for us in the team and we just move on now. Think about the next game.
Everything is true. The performance was disappointing, but a draw, after a 6-2 victory over Iran, left them all but guaranteed a place in the knockout stage. Even if Wales beat them by three goals on Tuesday, England will go through. Most of the teams in this competition will enjoy such a competitive streak going into their final group game; Argentina and Germany, beaten by Saudi Arabia and Japan.
It is true that it was not a 2010 event – let alone a repeat of four years later, when England left after two games, beaten by Italy and Uruguay. It was a much tougher team in 2014 and the pool of talent at Roy Hodgson’s disposal was far less appealing than Southgate’s now, but expectations were lower; After a terrible 0-0 draw in their last match in Brazil, a deadlock against Costa Rica, England’s players were well-received by fans who went the extra mile and spent a lot of money. to the thrills.
Two years later in Nice, they were kicked out of the European Championship by Iceland. Now that’s it work to provoke anger, and almost distrust from the fans. How can it not be? That’s a dangerous job without character, purpose or conviction, never mind cooperation and skill. If there was ever a time when English fans were able to mock and ridicule their team, it was in the mid-2010s.
Between 2010 and 2016 England played 15 competitive matches and won just four (against Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine and Wales) and never by more than one goal. The unexpected run to the World Cup semi-final in 2018 came with signs about the quality of the opposition, but they won in Tunisia, Panama, Colombia (on penalties) and with Sweden in that tournament and beat Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ukraine and Denmark at the Euros before losing to Italy on penalties in the final.
In that sense, it is believed that England’s fans have developed a low tolerance for low motivation, pushing them after mediocre performances but good results that have left the team in a strong position. Friday night may be a legacy of the Commonwealth Games (six games, three draws, three defeats, including 4-0 at home to Hungary) but given the same result as Scotland’s draw at the Euros , perhaps. It’s just a case of the fanbase demanding better.
Really really, really; it can be difficult to look at the young talents in this team – both those on the pitch and those left on the wall, such as Foden and Alexander-Arnold – and accept a low performance.
That humility is part of the approach. Southgate’s style is cautious – not defensive by any means, but safe-first for the most part. They played with freedom when they beat Iran 6-2 on Monday, but on Friday night it was too much of a case of handbrake. And when you’re playing with a handshake and you’re not winning, it’s frustrating, even if you have a lot of attacking players at your disposal.
But these games can be competitive; look at England’s World Cup record and a 6-2 win over Iran seems better than a 0-0 draw with the US.
It was encouraging that Southgate and his players reacted more calmly on Thursday – to the nature of the game and the fans’ disappointment in the final whistle – than England’s players. in Cape Town 12 years ago. Many have had their work cut out for them, but at no time have they been characterized by fear or overcome by anger like Rooney did against Algeria.
There was something that Southgate said later: “People will do what they do. I can’t change my mind. This is the competition of the outside noise, and we have another class of That’s what I’m sure of, but we’re still on the way.
“The competition of external noise” is a great line. There have been many matches in the past when England have been recognized by the noise – especially the noise from the media – but under Southgate they have been very good at defending and getting on top.
When the noise starts, the only way to stop it is to overcome it. This will be Southgate’s third competitive campaign and, as he has established a sound reputation that has been better than two, he and his team will need to continue those good vibes. If not, they should face the music.
(Top photo: Berengui/DeFodi photos via Getty Images)