Sunday, 23 September 2007

England Go Out

I was disappointed to see the England team get knocked out of the Women's World Cup yesterday. With there being no Scottish team at the tournament it's fair to say that I was supporting England.

Yes, you read right I was supporting England. I was supporting England for exactly the reasons I'd like to support them in the men's game but just can't. I like some of their players and I enjoy the fact that their continued involvement makes the whole tournament a bit more interesting. But what always holds me back from wishing the men's team well just wasn't a factor here. That is the overwhelming media bias and unfounded belief that England will win it. Although the Women's World Cup is being covered live on the BBC, there's nowhere like the amount of national interest the men's tournament would enjoy.

Here I could watch an England team without the nagging feeling that if they win it'd be mentioned in every single football commentary from that day forward. I could cheer them on safe in the knowledge that if they get beat there would be no town squares wrecked. And I could support them feeling like I was rooting for the underdog, as without the hyperbole of an overexcited media we all knew their chances of a win were slim.

As for the women's game itself, while technically nowhere near as good as the men's it's still pretty entertaining. England's 6-1 win over Argentina had it all. Crazy mistakes, long range goals, penalties and a red card. Sweden and North Korea also served up an end-to-end encounter on Tuesday. Certainly there are more unforced errors than you see in the men's game. Attacks break down as passes inexplicably go astray, poor ball control often means teams lose possesion and keepers seem to have a bit more difficulty getting across their goals for long range efforts. But watch a professional men's game and you'll see similar errors if perhaps with less frequency.

David James writes a good article in today's Observer about women goalkeepers and the women's game in general.

Below is England's win over Argentina, kickstarted by Argentina captain Eva Gonzalez's Terry Butcher-like own goal.

1 comment:

Unit said...

I watched the Brazil vs. Australia game the other night. Some of the Brazilian goals were excellent.