Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Saturday 21 June 2014

Why do English teams lose?

A few weeks ago the English sports enthusiast relished the prospects of a Golden era of English team performances. Ahead lay the one day cricket tests against Sri Lanka, the World Cup in Brasil and the three Rugby Union tests against the All Blacks in New Zealand. Despite the usual English optimism we now look back on the smouldering wreck of defeat in all three disciplines and wonder how it is possible for the English  to fail at the top levels of sport. In the cricket we must accept that Sri Lanka have adapted to the short game better than England ( score 3-2 to sri Lanka) but what of football and rugby?
England football team is out of the World Cup with one game remaining to be played in the group round. They lost both their earlier games to Italy and Uraguay despite playing the better football. They lost because they scored too few goals despite having created numerous chances and fluffed the majority whilst their opponents took their opportunities. One has to feel some sympathy for those players who are out of the tournament without having taken any or minimal part whilst others, perhaps more illustrious, were allowed more than ample time to expose their shortcomings. At the time of writing England played two and lost two.
It is much the same picture in New Zealand for the rugby. In the first two tests the English team forged some great chances to score but failed to finish moves in the face of fierce All Black resistance whilst their opponents plucked scores out of anywhere. In the third test it was clear that with the series lost, having given their all, the team just wanted to go home after a long season. England played three; lost three.
It  appears to be the case that despite great preparation, the English sports teams are not psychologically disposed to finish the job; they haven't got the hunger or guile to win like some of their continental opponents. The English still believe that it is the taking part that counts whilst the opposition only countenance winning. Meanwhile the English supporter must remain sanguine and remember there will be another world cup; another opportunity to test our sporting prowess against the best but hope that the next generation of players will have adopted the killer instinct and the teams score, score and score again.

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