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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Frank Lampard

England's Frank Lampard reacts after his goal was incorrectly ruled out for not crossing the line, Sunday, June 27, 2010. Germany defeated England 4-1, eliminating them from the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

England began their elimination-round World Cup match against Germany by playing in a familiar way. They will end it by complaining in a familiar way. And, just this once, they will have some justification. 
England lost 4-1. A crushing defeat. A deserved defeat.
Yet many English observers will say that, with annihilation at the hands of their oldest and most superior enemy, Germany, they were cheated.
The crime will never be analyzed by a court. However, anyone can analyze, without even referring to notes, just how badly England played.

Here is how they began the game: Hit long balls forward. Bypass the midfield. Bypass elegance, style and guile. Rely on muscle.
The Germans seemed to look at this and chuckle, just as they titter at the anti-German jokes so beloved by many of England's finest.
After all, German football legend Franz Beckenbauer had earlier in the week criticized England for just this very agricultural method of playing. The English, strangely, were offended.
So how odd it must have looked after 20 minutes when a long hoof by German goalkeeper Neuer was misjudged by the ultimate hoofer, England's John Terry. He seemed to stare at it as if it was a shooting star and he was seven years old.

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