Angleterre no more

800px-Flag_of_Germany.svg And so with almost inevitable finality, England have exited the world cup. No doubt reams of exciting content will be written with opinion, but from where I was sitting, the better team won. Salut, Germany.

Watching it in Germany was pretty interesting. The build up was all about England’s star player, Wayne Rooney, although they did take a bit of time to reflect on the 1966 world cup. The other people in the room were clearly all supporting Germany, and it certainly feels very weird to be supporting a team against such odds. The noises were all wrong, when I felt there should be cheering and excitement, there were instead noises of panic. And indeed vice versa. Of course, there weren’t too many noises of excitement from the England supporting side.

Celebrations were somewhat muted to start with, as I think folks didn’t want to be too in my face about how badly England were doing, but by the end, when it became clear no recovery was in sight, the muting was removed. I was asked on occasion why England fans were dressed as Knights or Bomber Pilots, I had no particularly brilliant riposte lined up. We like celebrating death during football presumably.

After the “Goal that wasn’t”, the German commentators had an excellent debate about implementing video technology, which was almost heated. I was given the impression that otherwise the talking heads were your standard talking head, great at saying nothing over long periods of time. The goal that wasn’t was clearly acknowledged to have been a goal by everyone I was watching it with, and the relief after the next two goals went in was palpable, like they had earnt the win rather than won on a poor decision.

Sure, England may have played differently had they come out 2-2 at half time, but I can’t really see it having ended any other way. Germany face Argentina next, which may actually be a real challenge.

I expect the fluttering flags and other England supporters paraphernalia will now be being packed away for our next footballing attempt, by which point our players will be in wheelchairs. Don’t lose heart though folks, we’ve still got Murray and Wimbledon to keep us entertained. Oh, and the English representatives aren’t doing half badly in Formula 1. Over here the flags still fly as Germany head deservedly to a quarter final spot. Good luck to them!

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