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(BBC)   England crashes out of international soccer tournament on penalties. This is a repeat from 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 73
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825 clicks; posted to Sports » on 25 Jun 2012 at 1:10 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-25 01:13:35 AM
We've replaced two English footballers with girls named Ashley. Let's see if anyone notices.
 
2012-06-25 01:18:18 AM
You know, when England went up by 1 in penalties I thought "Great, we are going to get a repeat of the Champions League final".

/dammit all
//Spurs fan
 
2012-06-25 02:59:21 AM
farm6.staticflickr.com
 
2012-06-25 03:36:16 AM
England: Europe's Madagascar.
 
2012-06-25 04:06:36 AM

puffy999: England: Europe's Madagascar.


it-is-law.com?
 
2012-06-25 04:07:48 AM
Actually we overachieved. Italy are a better team, and we did well to hold them to 0-0. This isn't a strong England team, yet we've gone home without losing a game. I didn't think we'd make it out of the group. Quater final is about right - we're one of the top eight teams in Europe.
 
2012-06-25 04:25:20 AM
Can you imagine the number of blowjobs back home Rooney would have gotten had he scored that bicycle kick in the 90-something minute?

Also, I'll give credit where credit is SO RARELY due: Italy, for once, didn't dive this past game, and therefore truly deserved the win.
 
2012-06-25 05:00:50 AM
Dear Brits,

We appreciate your enthusiasm. Don't worry, you'll win something at the international level one of these days. And when you do, we'll all be here to remind you how long it's been.
 
2012-06-25 05:08:22 AM
The better team won, no shame in that.
 
2012-06-25 05:10:40 AM
Better to go out on penalties now than be thrashed by the Germans.

/Italians better start stocking up on lube.
 
2012-06-25 05:13:47 AM
Yeah, Italy deserved it. Pirlo bossed the whole midfield and gave Gerrard a lesson. His penalty was superb and showed class and something else we lacked entirely: bottle. The Cashleys were anonymous. Why Roy didn't sub Young early on is a mystery. Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain offered more than him during this tournament and either one would have played better. James Milner looked like he was playing in his slippers he was so slow. Rooney was poor, Welbeck equally so. They looked like they were toiling away but it was wasted effort. Of them all, Terry and Lescott had the best game. Lescott was on the verge of losing out to Balotelli in every clash but he stuck with it. Terry yet again displayed positional awareness and his ability to read the game which makes up for his lack of pace. I loathe the guy, but he was our best player last night. Glen Johnson and Jordan Henderson have absolutely no business in an England in shirt. Johnson was lucky he wasn't caught out of position more and had good centre backs to cover for him. His fluffed chance was piss-poor. He was anonymous in a weak Liverpool team all season, what on earth did he do to justify selection? Nothing as far as I can tell. As for Jordan Henderson, where to start? He is remarkable only for his complete mediocrity. I challenge anybody to make the case that he deserved to be there more than Frank Lampard did.

Meh. Bunch of over-paid bottlers. A definite second-tier team and we'll remain that way unless something drastic changes. The problem is, nobody seems to know what that thing is! However, I have a suggestion for a start: STOP GIVING THE BALL AWAY YOU PONCY TARTS!!!
 
2012-06-25 05:37:45 AM
the Envoy

Too many things wrong with the current England set-up. The FA needs to be overhauled, the entire system from scoolboy upwards but no one can be bothered.

Henderson wouldn't have been there had Lampard been fit. His being injured was a blessing though as finally a manager didn't have to bow to FA pressure and play both Lampard and Gerrard. It's no coincidence Gerrard looked good in the group matches - our midield was balanced.

Rooney was poor in 2006, embarrassing in 2010 and poor again here. He's a fantastic club player, but we have better international players available (Crouch for example). Again, Hodgson had to pick him due to FA pressure.
 
2012-06-25 05:42:13 AM

The Envoy: Yeah, Italy deserved it. Pirlo bossed the whole midfield and gave Gerrard a lesson. His penalty was superb and showed class and something else we lacked entirely: bottle....


BS! Yes it somehow worked this time, but if I were Italian and had Hart not dove like Adam Dunn on a slow change I'd probably be looking to contact some Colombian gangsters right now.

/apologies in advance
 
2012-06-25 05:58:20 AM

omgwtfetc: Dear Brits,

We appreciate your enthusiasm. Don't worry, you'll win something at the international level one of these days. And when you do, we'll all be here to remind you how long it's been.


We appreciate the words of comfort from the Canadians, world champions in....um.....er.....something will come to me....any minute now......nope, can't get it. Help me out?

omgwtfetc: The Envoy: Yeah, Italy deserved it. Pirlo bossed the whole midfield and gave Gerrard a lesson. His penalty was superb and showed class and something else we lacked entirely: bottle....

BS! Yes it somehow worked this time, but if I were Italian and had Hart not dove like Adam Dunn on a slow change I'd probably be looking to contact some Colombian gangsters right now.

/apologies in advance


If you're trying to claim that chipping a keeper of Hart's calibre in a penalty shoot-out in a major tournament is not an example of bottle then you're simply not informed enough to comment on the matter. Also, a huge part of a penalty from the taker's point of view is shaping to send the keeper the wrong way. Pirlo dummied perfectly, he looked like he was going to blast it low to Hart's right and once Hart was committed he calmly chipped him. Under that amount of pressure it was a display of skill, technique and bottle that was great to watch. That you can't see that is a shame.
 
2012-06-25 06:19:54 AM
And it couldn't have happened to a nicer lot.

/ SIEG
 
2012-06-25 06:20:41 AM

The Envoy: omgwtfetc: Dear Brits,

We appreciate your enthusiasm. Don't worry, you'll win something at the international level one of these days. And when you do, we'll all be here to remind you how long it's been.

We appreciate the words of comfort from the Canadians, world champions in....um.....er.....something will come to me....any minute now......nope, can't get it. Help me out?


Sure thing: HOCKEY

omgwtfetc: The Envoy: Yeah, Italy deserved it. Pirlo bossed the whole midfield and gave Gerrard a lesson. His penalty was superb and showed class and something else we lacked entirely: bottle....

BS! Yes it somehow worked this time, but if I were Italian and had Hart not dove like Adam Dunn on a slow change I'd probably be looking to contact some Colombian gangsters right now.

/apologies in advance

If you're trying to claim that chipping a keeper of Hart's calibre in a penalty shoot-out in a major tournament is not an example of bottle then you're simply not informed enough to comment on the matter. Also, a huge part of a penalty from the taker's point of view is shaping to send the keeper the wrong way. Pirlo dummied perfectly, he looked like he was going to blast it low to Hart's right and once Hart was committed he calmly chipped him. Under that amount of pressure it was a display of skill, technique and bottle that was great to watch. That you can't see that is a shame.


You might have a point there. I was born in Romania and I'm still reeling over the shiat at 11:23 of this vid Link. Yes, there's a difference in execution but Hart guessed right and if he didn't dive like a maniac and had England gone on to win Pirlo would probably had been lynched upon his return to Italy. That has to be the lowest percentage shot you can take in a penalty shootout.
 
2012-06-25 06:34:42 AM
I would have liked to see England win the shootout, but Italy deserved to win, no doubt about it. Same thing applies to any other team that has 30+ shots on goal in 120 minutes.

I just hope that Germany win the title, because despite their incredible talent and wonderful short-passing Spain are incredibly boring to watch.

/never would have believed it 10 years ago that I'd be supporting Germany, but they really are the best team to watch
 
2012-06-25 06:38:06 AM
Came here for the video montage of headline PK defeats...leaving disappointed. I keed!

England was second-best yesterday, but I have to give them credit for not making asses out of themselves, something that could have happened. Fortunately, Italy isn't very good this cycle either. Like was earlier said, at this time, England is a top-eight team in Europe, and I don't see them progressing much further than that for the time being.

I'm a US fan, and I have had to come to realize, even after the brief brilliance of the 2002-2009 cycles, including dominating Mexico and then beating Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup, that we are a top-20 team at best. We should consider ourselves lucky to even make the World Cup when we do, and that is only because we're in such a crap region. Right now, Mexico is a damned good team, and we are second in CONCACAF. Fortunately, we have the ability to draw on the road (except at Azteca) in our qualifiers and beat everyone at home (except most likely, you guessed it, Mexico).
 
2012-06-25 07:01:39 AM

omgwtfetc: Sure thing: HOCKEY


Really?

omgwtfetc: You might have a point there. I was born in Romania and I'm still reeling over the shiat at 11:23 of this vid Link.


Can't access youtube at work I'm afraid!

omgwtfetc: Yes, there's a difference in execution but Hart guessed right and if he didn't dive like a maniac and had England gone on to win Pirlo would probably had been lynched upon his return to Italy. That has to be the lowest percentage shot you can take in a penalty shootout.


Well that's where the bottle comes in. It was a risk, but he backed hismelf and pulled off something special as a result. He could have tried to place it in the corner or blast it straight down the middle, you're right. But look how that worked out for Cole and Young! Hart was made to guess right, he didn't do it all of his own accord. It's a small distinction but it's important in this situation I think as it further highlights Pirlo's skill.
 
2012-06-25 07:26:03 AM

The Envoy: omgwtfetc: Sure thing: HOCKEY

Really?


The IIHF World Championship? Not really the best way to make your point. It's a 2nd rate tournament, often won by whichever country has had the most NHLers bounced early from the playoffs.

The Juniors and the Olympics - now THOSE are tournaments. And yes, I know we didn't win the Juniors this year.

/Canadian
//Living in UK 5+ years
///Proud of the English football team, think they lost to a better team but the future could be brighter
 
2012-06-25 07:39:31 AM

chixdiggit: The Envoy: omgwtfetc: Sure thing: HOCKEY

Really?

The IIHF World Championship? Not really the best way to make your point. It's a 2nd rate tournament, often won by whichever country has had the most NHLers bounced early from the playoffs.

The Juniors and the Olympics - now THOSE are tournaments. And yes, I know we didn't win the Juniors this year.

/Canadian
//Living in UK 5+ years
///Proud of the English football team, think they lost to a better team but the future could be brighter


Sorry, that was just the product of a quick Google. I genuinely don't know anything about hockey, have never watched a full game. I didn't think my near-encyclopaedic knowledge of "Happy Gilmore" really qualified me to argue the case so I went to Google instead!
 
2012-06-25 07:41:13 AM
Traditiooooooooooon!
 
2012-06-25 07:51:09 AM

The Envoy: omgwtfetc: Sure thing: HOCKEY

Really?


That's a rather recent link, isn't it? Let's talk again in half a century. Hopefully the hand of God won't slap us in the face anytime soon.

omgwtfetc: You might have a point there. I was born in Romania and I'm still reeling over the shiat at 11:23 of this vid Link.

Can't access youtube at work I'm afraid!

omgwtfetc: Yes, there's a difference in execution but Hart guessed right and if he didn't dive like a maniac and had England gone on to win Pirlo would probably had been lynched upon his return to Italy. That has to be the lowest percentage shot you can take in a penalty shootout.

Well that's where the bottle comes in. It was a risk, but he backed hismelf and pulled off something special as a result. He could have tried to place it in the corner or blast it straight down the middle, you're right. But look how that worked out for Cole and Young! Hart was made to guess right, he didn't do it all of his own accord. It's a small distinction but it's important in this situation I think as it further highlights Pirlo's skill.


OK, as long as bottle means balls I'll give you that. I still maintain that if you're trying to win a game you shouldn't get cute. Either hit your corners or blast it down the middle. I'd like to see Pirlo pull that shiat again this Euro.

Anyway, I just realized yesterday was probably a pretty tough day for you guys. I guess it's been a long time since I actually cared about the outcome of a soccer game. My hometown club is currently languishing on the verge of bankruptcy in the Romanian lower leagues and the Romanian national team hasn't been a serious contender for a while. These days I mainly stick to the non grass diving type of football. Still, there was a time when a final whistle could make me cry so I can empathize.
 
2012-06-25 07:58:52 AM
Andy Carroll is a stiff.
 
2012-06-25 08:01:00 AM

Trapper439: I just hope that Germany win the title, because despite their incredible talent and wonderful short-passing Spain are incredibly boring to watch.


This. Watching Spain is about as much fun as watching a warm-up for a training exercise. And good teams have figured out that if you are patient and hold your shape, Spain will pass the ball around between the box and the halfway line without ever creating a threat (other than boring their opponents to death). The only time they ever looked likely to score against France was when they abandoned the passing practice and attacked with speed down the wings.

Luckily for Spain, France played like a team that had not only packed its bags, but had brought them to the stadium ready for a quick getaway to the airport. Portugal will put a hatful past them, with Ronaldo scoring whenever he feels like it.
 
2012-06-25 08:15:15 AM
Czeti

You are half right. Spain are dull as they never have any end product so every attack by them lasts five mintues and ends in anticlimax. You are wrong if you think Portugal will fill their boots though.

Spain don't pull the trigger, but they do keep the ball and their defence is very, very good. They've only conceded one goal so far and that was in their first game against Italy. They haven't looked like conceding since. Portugal won't have the ball much, when the do get it they won't get close enough to shoot.
 
2012-06-25 08:16:25 AM

MugzyBrown: Andy Carroll is a stiff.


Not sure what that means. I don't rate him particularly as a striker, but given the other moving parts available to England, they had a much better flow with him in the team. He was surprisingly good at receiving and holding the long ball upfield, England's primary option for bypassing the superior skills of the Italian midfield. Unfortunately, he didn't really have anywhere to go with the ball after that. Welbeck and Rooney are a better strike pair, but without either Carroll or a midfielder who could hold the ball and run with the ball, they weren't going to get any service.

Now Peter Crouch on the other hand: Peter Crouch is a stiff.
 
2012-06-25 08:20:01 AM
Rooney should have been taken off for Carroll, not Wellbeck. And Ashley Yougn was just awful. That said, losing on penalties in the QF is just about England's level, so not exactly an unexpected result. As an Englishman, it rather sticks in my craw to admit this, but of the 4 teams left, I'd be most happy with Germany winning it all.

/Gerrard was England's tournament MVP, and it wasn't close.
//Brazil 2014 quali starts now...
 
2012-06-25 08:20:47 AM

Swiss Colony: Czeti

You are half right. Spain are dull as they never have any end product so every attack by them lasts five mintues and ends in anticlimax. You are wrong if you think Portugal will fill their boots though.

Spain don't pull the trigger, but they do keep the ball and their defence is very, very good. They've only conceded one goal so far and that was in their first game against Italy. They haven't looked like conceding since. Portugal won't have the ball much, when the do get it they won't get close enough to shoot.


Sounds like someone's projecting.

/But basically yeah
 
2012-06-25 08:22:36 AM

czetie: Not sure what that means. I don't rate him particularly as a striker, but given the other moving parts available to England, they had a much better flow with him in the team. He was surprisingly good at receiving and holding the long ball upfield, England's primary option for bypassing the superior skills of the Italian midfield.


He was great with his chest, too bad he has ham hocks for feet.
 
2012-06-25 08:43:16 AM

MugzyBrown: czetie: Not sure what that means. I don't rate him particularly as a striker, but given the other moving parts available to England, they had a much better flow with him in the team. He was surprisingly good at receiving and holding the long ball upfield, England's primary option for bypassing the superior skills of the Italian midfield.

He was great with his chest, too bad he has ham hocks for feet.


Basically, he's great from the waist up, useless from the waist down.

/That's what she said

LucklessWonder: Rooney should have been taken off for Carroll, not Wellbeck. And Ashley Yougn was just awful.


In principle, I agree. Carroll and Welbeck would have made a better attacking combo given the absence of any service to Rooney and Welbeck. BUT that was never an option for Hodgson, whose primary objective was to get through this tournament with his reputation intact so that he can begin the real work of developing a decent squad for the next World Cup. Imagine what the press would have done to him if England had lost with Rooney available but not playing.

I have no idea what happened to Young. I don't know if it was team instructions and tactics that prevented him from getting down the flanks and serving up crosses, or whether it was simply yet another instance of a good player not performing at a big tournament. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard a commentator say "X hasn't shown up at this tournament yet", I'd have $36.50.

England also need to do something about Millner and Walcott. Milner is slow and clumsy, Walcott is fast but too rarely produces end product. Macca on the ESPN commentary kept complaining that England weren't giving Walcott the ball. That's because they know what he's going to do with it.
 
2012-06-25 08:55:56 AM

omgwtfetc: OK, as long as bottle means balls I'll give you that. I still maintain that if you're trying to win a game you shouldn't get cute. Either hit your corners or blast it down the middle. I'd like to see Pirlo pull that shiat again this Euro.

Anyway, I just realized yesterday was probably a pretty tough day for you guys. I guess it's been a long time since I actually cared about the outcome of a soccer game. My hometown club is currently languishing on the verge of bankruptcy in the Romanian lower leagues and the Romanian national team hasn't been a serious contender for a while. These days I mainly stick to the non grass diving type of football. Still, there was a time when a final whistle could make me cry so I can empathize.


Sorry, yes it does mean "balls"! I see your point and it was obviously a big risk, but shoot-outs always are. I thought it was a great piece of skill and just enjoyed it for that.

You know what, it wasn't actually tough. We all had confirmed what the last 16 years since Euro '96 have been leading us up to: that we're not good enough to win tournaments. We haven't been robbed, we haven't had bad luck, we've been simply shiat. I'm not upset so much as I am bored and irritated. I'm more upset by the fact that I used to be a really ardent fan and they've whittled away at that passion by being crap and generally playing without any real visible heart or belief despite allegedly being some of the best players in the world (Ha!). I'm still massively passionate about supporting the England rugby team, but they play with great heart most of the time and, win or lose, you know they've given it their all. The football team don't seem to care like that and it's sad. It makes it very difficult to be a proud England supporter in the face of that apathy, especially since being one has already been done under the pressure of the terrible reputation England fans have and the woeful media hyperbole about them. The triumvirate of failure is complete.
 
2012-06-25 09:00:16 AM
Disappointing, but not at all surprising. Italy dominated yesterday in a fairly clean game, so hats off to them.
 
2012-06-25 09:12:28 AM

Swiss Colony: Actually we overachieved. Italy are a better team, and we did well to hold them to 0-0. This isn't a strong England team, yet we've gone home without losing a game. I didn't think we'd make it out of the group. Quater final is about right - we're one of the top eight teams in Europe.


I think it might be for the best to be fair - losing 5-0 in the semi finals to Germany would probably be worse than eeking out a not-really-deserved draw and losing on penalties in the quarter finals.

The quarter finals were all pretty poor - 3 teams parked a bus and went out meekly, and England weren't a whole lot better, basically going to that mode in the second half.
 
2012-06-25 09:41:39 AM
Did no one else notice those years are 6, 2, 6, 2 and now 6? They're doing it on purpose!
 
2012-06-25 09:44:17 AM

The Envoy: omgwtfetc: OK, as long as bottle means balls I'll give you that. I still maintain that if you're trying to win a game you shouldn't get cute. Either hit your corners or blast it down the middle. I'd like to see Pirlo pull that shiat again this Euro.

Anyway, I just realized yesterday was probably a pretty tough day for you guys. I guess it's been a long time since I actually cared about the outcome of a soccer game. My hometown club is currently languishing on the verge of bankruptcy in the Romanian lower leagues and the Romanian national team hasn't been a serious contender for a while. These days I mainly stick to the non grass diving type of football. Still, there was a time when a final whistle could make me cry so I can empathize.
Sorry, yes it does mean "balls"! I see your point and it was obviously a big risk, but shoot-outs always are. I thought it was a great piece of skill and just enjoyed it for that.

You know what, it wasn't actually tough. We all had confirmed what the last 16 years since Euro '96 have been leading us up to: that we're not good enough to win tournaments. We haven't been robbed, we haven't had bad luck, we've been simply shiat. I'm not upset so much as I am bored and irritated. I'm more upset by the fact that I used to be a really ardent fan and they've whittled away at that passion by being crap and generally playing without any real visible heart or belief despite allegedly being some of the best players in the world (Ha!). I'm still massively passionate about supporting the England rugby team, but they play with great heart most of the time and, win or lose, you know they've given it their all. The football team don't seem to care like that and it's sad. It makes it very difficult to be a proud England supporter in the face of that apathy, especially since being one has already been done under the pressure of the terrible reputation England fans have and the woeful media hyperbole about them. The triumvirate of failure is complete.


Funny how that goes. Having played (American) football in high school I know that once you get knocked on your ass once it's pretty much impossible to be complacent at any point during the rest of the game. Adrenaline kicks in and regardless of physical talent, you're much like a bull once the first lance hits. I'm sure rugby and Australian rules football feel the same way. Sadly, soccer is not quite so personal and the possibility of players simply not playing to their full potential always exists. I'm not convinced that that's the reason for England's recent failures but it probably plays a part.

To me England have always been the perpetual favorites, the team that should win it all but somehow can never quite manage to. It's fun to root against them much in the same way it's fun to root against the Yankees or the Heat. Nevertheless it definitely seems like English fans deserve better. Maybe in 2014. The talent is there and it doesn't look like you'll have much trouble qualifying.
 
2012-06-25 10:20:36 AM
It was an exciting match. I was pulling for Italy, and found myself cheering during the shoot-out. I felt strangely connected to my European brethren, and a strong urge to watch Amelie without the subtitles. England played a tough match, and should be proud of her boys.
 
2012-06-25 10:25:45 AM
Holy hell, this tourney serves to remind me that international football sucks ass, especially without any South American teams to make things at least remotely interesting. Funny how much Spain misses Villa, with all the undeserved stick that guy gets they are a much more threatening side with him in it.
 
2012-06-25 10:34:06 AM

Swiss Colony: Actually we overachieved. Italy are a better team, and we did well to hold them to 0-0. This isn't a strong England team, yet we've gone home without losing a game. I didn't think we'd make it out of the group. Quater final is about right - we're one of the top eight teams in Europe.


This. In this occasion, England barely made it to the penalties.

/forza azzurri!
 
2012-06-25 10:36:15 AM

Swiss Colony: Actually we overachieved. Italy are a better team, and we did well to hold them to 0-0. This isn't a strong England team, yet we've gone home without losing a game. I didn't think we'd make it out of the group. Quater final is about right - we're one of the top eight teams in Europe.


Pretty much this.
 
2012-06-25 10:36:49 AM
at least I don't have to watch them get destroyed by Germany now.

and just because:

i132.photobucket.com

England's MOTT for me, although I am slightly biased.
 
2012-06-25 10:38:27 AM

Claka: Better to go out on penalties now than be thrashed by the Germans.

/Italians better start stocking up on lube.


Because Italy surprising a supposedly overwhelming German team is unheard of, right?

/"Andiamo a Berlino!"
 
2012-06-25 10:47:47 AM

The Envoy: omgwtfetc: Dear Brits,

We appreciate your enthusiasm. Don't worry, you'll win something at the international level one of these days. And when you do, we'll all be here to remind you how long it's been.

We appreciate the words of comfort from the Canadians, world champions in....um.....er.....something will come to me....any minute now......nope, can't get it. Help me out?

omgwtfetc: The Envoy: Yeah, Italy deserved it. Pirlo bossed the whole midfield and gave Gerrard a lesson. His penalty was superb and showed class and something else we lacked entirely: bottle....

BS! Yes it somehow worked this time, but if I were Italian and had Hart not dove like Adam Dunn on a slow change I'd probably be looking to contact some Colombian gangsters right now.

/apologies in advance

If you're trying to claim that chipping a keeper of Hart's calibre in a penalty shoot-out in a major tournament is not an example of bottle then you're simply not informed enough to comment on the matter. Also, a huge part of a penalty from the taker's point of view is shaping to send the keeper the wrong way. Pirlo dummied perfectly, he looked like he was going to blast it low to Hart's right and once Hart was committed he calmly chipped him. Under that amount of pressure it was a display of skill, technique and bottle that was great to watch. That you can't see that is a shame.


Questo.

/still almost killed me of a stroke
//because you really look like an idiot when the keeper sees through your chip attempt
 
2012-06-25 10:55:54 AM

sotua: Claka: Better to go out on penalties now than be thrashed by the Germans.

/Italians better start stocking up on lube.

Because Italy surprising a supposedly overwhelming German team is unheard of, right?

/"Andiamo a Berlino!"


Wow, those Italian commentators aren't shy about who they're rooting for.

North American commentators could never get away with something like that.
 
2012-06-25 11:24:28 AM

omgwtfetc: Funny how that goes. Having played (American) football in high school I know that once you get knocked on your ass once it's pretty much impossible to be complacent at any point during the rest of the game. Adrenaline kicks in and regardless of physical talent, you're much like a bull once the first lance hits. I'm sure rugby and Australian rules football feel the same way. Sadly, soccer is not quite so personal and the possibility of players simply not playing to their full potential always exists. I'm not convinced that that's the reason for England's recent failures but it probably plays a part.


I played rugby and that never really occurred to me but now you've said it I think you're right. There are fewer places to hide during a rugby match. However, sometimes teams do capitulate. I'll offer up Ireland last Saturday as proof. They pushed New Zealand all the way the week before. Last Saturday they conceded a try within the first few minutes and you could almost see the whole team start thinking about what movies would be shown on the plane home. The result: a 60-point hammering. Not pretty.

I do think that if you can't get motivated to play your best by pulling on your country's shirt then you shouldn't be there.
 
2012-06-25 11:49:29 AM

ZoSo_the_Crowe: Can you imagine the number of blowjobs back home Rooney would have gotten had he scored that bicycle kick in the 90-something minute?

Also, I'll give credit where credit is SO RARELY due: Italy, for once, didn't dive this past game, and therefore truly deserved the win.


The problem, I think, was that only Rooney can score in a brothel. Maybe if the Italian team were older...
 
2012-06-25 11:51:10 AM
They're coming home,
They're coming home,
They're coming,
Rooney's coming home...
 
2012-06-25 12:02:48 PM
Center, passes to halfback, back to center, holds it, HOLDS it, HOLDS IIIIITTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!

/ soccer sucks
 
2012-06-25 12:10:22 PM
....siamo fuori


.....

siamo fuori

/not this time
 
2012-06-25 12:27:19 PM

The Envoy: You know what, it wasn't actually tough. We all had confirmed what the last 16 years since Euro '96 have been leading us up to: that we're not good enough to win tournaments. We haven't been robbed, we haven't had bad luck, we've been simply shiat. I'm not upset so much as I am bored and irritated.


For me, this was easier to watch. We knew this team wasn't talented, but they played to their ability and didn't give up any goals to shocking mistakes.

Teams of the past were much harder to watch, especially the so-called "lost generation". There were England teams that had plenty of talent, but threw it away through a succession of timid and/or stupid managers, inept bureaucrats, and bone-headed play including conceding easy goals and getting stupid sending-offs.

I certainly don't envy the French fans who saw their team amble to a loss amid -- yet again -- dissent and finger-pointing in the locker room.
 
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