Am I alone in thinking that the wailing and gnashing of teeth about England's exit from the World Cup is something of an overreaction? To read the press (all of it) and to hear the bitter comments of returning England fans on the TV, you would think it was a national disaster on the scale of the fall of Singapore, 1942. While I can understand that fans who have spent a lot of money to travel to South Africa are fed up about their early return, the reaction of so many to losing one football match is quite baffling. It seems to be taken as a national humiliation and a sign of loss of virility - and it's not. Aftter all, England beat Australia at cricket and Andy Murray went through to his next round at Wimbledon. Why don't we celebrate events of that kind?
In my opinion, international football has become an unhealthy national obsession which leads to unrealistic expectations of England International players. I think that those expectations are part of the problem, as the players are so clearly aware of what is (unfairly) expected of them. Let's save our soul-searching and scapegoating for something (and someone) else. These men in the picture below are not dealing drugs, helping the Taliban or cutting public spending. In a few weeks time, they will be heroes to their home club supporters all over again. Let's save our opprobrium for the real villains who blight our lives.