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Chris Hatherall - Groundhog day for England

Published: 29 Jun 2010 - 07:27:37

Author Nick Hornby famously described an unwritten law of football in his novel Fever Pitch that says if your life is s**t you can guarantee your team will be also.

In essence he was saying don't rely on football to cheer you up - good times come in good times.

So when I went down with a serious bout of food poisoning on the eve of England's game against Germany I should have known what we were in for.

If there is one thing worse than watching England go out of the World Cup with a woeful performance it's throwing up between the goals and not daring to shout too loudly for fear of projectile vomiting.

- Will Tidey on England's failings

- FA make Capello wait

In fairness, England made us all feel pretty sick in Bloemfontein, so I wasn't alone.

It just seems incredible that after two-and-a-half years working under Fabio Capello the team still made the same mistakes that have cost us in the past.

My big hope when it came to the knockout stages of this World Cup was that Capello's canny Italian football brain would be the difference; that the players rather than run around like headless chickens would play smart. Unfortunately it didn't happy that way.

The game was lost at 2-1, and not by Lampard's disallowed goal; it was lost by the way England's players lost their heads and went all-out attack way too early, leaving huge gaps at the back for Germany to score on the counter-attack.

The look of total abject misery on the faces of England fans (who were too miserable to even boo), was just as depressing, although by that time I was squashed between 20 giant Germans in a post-match mixed zone wondering if this would be the worst possible place to die.

For Capello, however, the situation was probably made even worse by a hastily-arranged farewell grilling from the Press at England's Rustenburg training camp yesterday.

The big question of course was 'should he stay or should he go' but we were left with something in between.

Yes, he wants to stay. But no The FA won't be giving him a vote of confidence - they want a two-week cooling off period to analyse what went wrong.

You could hardly say that is ideal but reading between the lines it doesn’t look as though Fabio is going to get the boot - although some of his players may not be as lucky.

So, all in all, the verdict on England's World Cup campaign? Sickening.

CHRIS HATHERALL IS BLOGGING EXCLUSIVELY FOR FOOTBALL.CO.UK AT THE WORLD CUP

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Chris Hatherall
CHRIS HATHERALL has been covering football at the highest level - and Brentford - for 20 years. He has written for most UK newspapers and many overseas through the Hayters agency, and covers Premiership and Champions League football for publications in Japan, the Middle East and Ireland. He covers England at home and overseas, and this is his fourth World Cup where he hopes, once again, to see the trophy come back home.

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