England’s Performances at World Cup 2014 Are Still Better Than 2010

One hundred and eighty minutes is all it takes to send a nation into despair.

Watching England against Uruguay was a confusing experience. Knowing you are watching some very good players but feeling there is something missing, something not quite right.

Just like everybody else, I’ve been enthralled by this World Cup, enthralled by the dynamism, the speed at which the ball is being moved, the devastating counter attacks, the professional abandon that most teams have shown and just ‘gone for it’.

England ‘went for it’ — just not with the same quality.

The interesting point here is the lowering of expectation that has occurred.

Sven was lambasted when we reached the quarter finals. Now that would be seen as a triumph.

The last World Cup showing in 2010 has had a lot to do with shaping the nation’s current mood before this tournament.

We went into the tournament with a squad full of experienced Premier League quality and left it as quite possibly the worst team in the whole tournament.

Fabio Capello came, saw, took and left nothing behind.

Absolutely nothing.

He took £6m per year in wages, for which you would expect a coach to leave behind some kind of soccer ‘legacy’ from his time in charge, something we could say yes we learned from that, we could use that, follow this.

But no. Capello left nothing and worst of all, he left not even one positive memory from that last World Cup.

Being an ex player, you understand the game and how it works, how difficult the game especially at that rarified level can be, but the general lack of pleasure and joy in that particular England team at that World Cup was shocking.

The general feeling after that was that ‘we have had enough’ – everybody had looked forward to the tournament and then to endure that, yes endure – because it was tortuous, made a lot of people shrug their shoulders and lose interest.

Consequently leading up to this World Cup, it has seen an attitude of ‘oh well we won’t get far let’s see what happens.’

The feeling is bad at the moment. We’ve crashed out after two games but at least I feel better than I did last time around as in each of the two games there was something to get excited about.

We ‘went’ for it, maybe not always in the right way (but that’s a debate for another day) but at least we gave the fans watching some excitement and that’s far more than can be said for Capello’s dour, expensive and ultimately unsuccessful (however you define success for England) reign as England coach.

Editor’s note: Mark Burke is an English former footballer who played as a midfielder. A player skilled at retaining the ball, he enjoyed a 15 year professional career in England, the Netherlands, Japan, Romania, and Sweden. He played for clubs including Aston Villa, Rapid Bucharest, Middlesbrough, and Wolves.

5 thoughts on “England’s Performances at World Cup 2014 Are Still Better Than 2010”

  1. While I am no fan of Fabio Capello, it is worth noting that he has the highest winning percentage of any England manger ever.

  2. I think I can speak for most England supporters in saying, who cares?
    Their dismal World Cup performances are now a bad memory. I might watch the England/Costa Rica match just to see how bad England are.
    I feel bad for those who spent thousands to go to Brazil to support the team. Hell, I’m glad I didn’t spend $100 on their new World Cup failure shirt.

  3. I’m no fan of Capello or England, but the author may want to use more facts than feelings in making his point. Just because you’ve played professionally doesn’t mean you know more than anyone else about judging performances (especially without pointing to any specific circumstances). For instance, here is the winning percentages of the last 5 England managers: Keegan (38.9); Eriksson (59.7); McClaren (50); Capello (66.67); Hodgson (50). So if Capello left England with nothing (Rnd of 16 and essentially ‘equalized’ against Germany before getting trounced), then surely Hodgson will leave nothing more than mediocrity (wins against powerhouses Sweden and Ukraine Euro 2012; 2 and out in Brazil).

  4. England showed glimpses of a bright future against Italy but they were really poor against Uruguay. We still don’t have a coherent tactical strategy and don’t plan well enough for the opposition. Look at the Netherlands. They change the formation and even the personnel depending on the opposition. We stick Rooney on the wing and all hell breaks lose. We let Pirlo have the freedom of Maneus and let a half fit Suarez do his thing. That’s why we are going home.

    The only good thing to emerge from this tournament are the youngsters getting a taste of tournament football.

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