The England-Portugal match went entirely as I had anticipated.
- Early England goal to “settle the nerves” causes players to believe themselves impregnable.
- Early exit of Rooney after extensive build up as “best player since Pele”, etc.
- Inability to perform advanced football-related activities such as keeping possession, tackling opponents, defending, etc.
- Chicken-counting commentary by Motty as per.
- Belief that the only way to attack is to hoof it route-one into pack of opponents in vain attempt to find Owen/Vassell’s head.
- Intensive pressure by Portuguese resulting in late goal by substitute.
- Portuguese scorer/saviour plays for Tottenham, where despite costing £6m he’s managed only two goals in 24 games.
- Entirely fair last-minute winner from Sol Campbell ruled out for no apparent reason by useless biased ref (Ian Wright: “he’s a homer”) with silly beard.
- Hopes dashed in Extra Time by Portuguese goal, rekindled by England equaliser, cue Motty hyperbole and yet more attempts to describe teams using adjectives beginning “P” or “E” as appropriate.
- Kicking penalties into row Z rather than the more traditional back-of-net.
- No footage of Ian Wright bouncing round studio celebrating England win.
One prediction, that England supporters would subsequently sack Lisbon and drape England flags from every unadorned car aerial, thankfully has not yet come true.
So England are out. And Henman is currently playing on Centre Court, about to lose the first set against a plucky Swiss whose best ranking is 102 in the world.
England’s glorious summer of sport moves on…