Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Monday, June 25, 2012

With Age Comes Zero Expectation

Maybe it's because we're growing up, maybe it's because we have a more subjective view on world football. Maybe it's because plenty of other nations are actually much better than us, or that Roy Hodgson has managed to downplay our chances well enough.

I would imagine it's because of how awful we were at the last World Cup in South Africa, with four games off utter shite. A slowly growing realisation amongst English football fans that, no, just because the Premier League is amazing and that England has - had - some of the better players in the world, the England national football team are not instant world-beaters, to just turn up and immediately get past the Quarter-Finals without trying.

Spain, Portugal, Italy and Germany sounds like a more realistic Semi-Final quartet than Spain, Portugal, England and Germany, does it not?

England's problem, in the past at least, has been too many Chiefs, not enough Indians. Too many overly-large egos not gelling together. Now, with the likes of Parker, Welbeck, Lescott and Milner (and to a certain extent Young and Johnson) in the starting team last night, there is more of a balance of leaders, egos and (relative) journeymen. This means teamwork!

Teamwork that is realised in Roy's "hard to beat" mentality. How often have we heard that in the last month? Teamwork that, even last night, led to some amazing passing sequences. All too few, however, as England sat back, were forced back, and had to defend with all their hearts against the Italians. It wasn't an onslaught, nor a lion-hearted defence, just nine or ten guys in white failing to catch Balotelli offside or close down Pirlo at any point.

So when the inevitable happened and England lost on penalties, I wasn't that fussed. How we'd conspired to not lose the game in the previous 120 minutes, I have no idea. But even in the relentless assault by the men in blue, against tired legs and aching bodies in white, there was still the hope and glimmer that England could steal it on the break. Whether through Rooney, Walcott, Carroll or OH DEAR GOD WILL SOMEONE JUST KICK IT IN THE NET (I think he came on for Parker), England could have nicked it. Could have a few times, in fact. But, then again, Italy could quite happily have been four goals up by then, were it not for wayward control and shooting.

So, in summary: we lost, we deserved to lose. I'm not that cut up about it, because it was the right result. We did better than we expected to, so yay for us. Onward to Brazil 2014!

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