Communicator (communicator) wrote,

England vs Portugal

At the start of the England/Portugal match I thought that I didn't mind if England went out - their play hadn't been that great, and if they couldn't lift it then they didn't deserve to go further. In the event they played like Lions, and Portugal won using shameful tactics. The Portuguese methods in this tournament - exposed at times by the improved TV we have these days - have changed my opinion about video evidence. If teams can win in this way, then football is worse, and we need to stop it.

Portugal beat Holland in a cynical unsportsmanlike way, and they beat England in a similar style. I don't know if it is at Scolari's advice; if so, I am glad he isn't going to be our next manager. The referee on the whole was wise to them. When one of their players threw himself theatrically to the floor, he generally ignored them, play continued, and the player picked himself up sheepishly. At times there were two or three of them, on their backs like stranded beetles, yards from the line of play.

Rooney's sending off was a disgraceful decision, though. Rooney was fouled over and over again by Carvalho and somebody else I forget. The referee didn't stop the play, I think because Rooney had managed to retain possession. Eventually however ( I say 'eventually', it was actually a few seconds) he lost his footing and stumbled.

Now, some say he stamped on Carvalho's testicles. This was certainly what the Portuguese players were claiming, and Carvalho was writhing around. I think in fact Rooney lost his footing and stepped back onto Carvalho. Consider - Within seconds Carvalho was on his feet, he didn't need any treatment, and his pace wasn't hampered in the slightest for the rest of the game - if I have overlooked some evidence to the contrary please let me know - but this is not the behaviour of a man who's testicles have been stamped on. It appears to me that it was cynical play-acting aided and abetted by Christian Renaldo, who came over and stirred things up. After Rooney was sent off Renaldo gave a blatant wink of triumph to Scolari, which was captured on camera.

However, now I'm going to contradict myself and say that it wasn't until Rooney was sent off that England had a chance. It was from this time that I changed my opinion and wanted them to win, because they played with great hearts.

Beckham is a great captain, but we were better off with him on the bench and Lennon playing down the wing, he's a lively and creative player. Beckham might have got to Rooney and calmed him down, though.

And finally, surely it exposed the weaknesses of Sven's formation decisions that we just could not score, although we outplayed Portugal in every area.

So it came to penalties. I was watching the match with some friends and one said - why do we make ourselves suffer in this way - I suppose it's part of being English.
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