...not that England's footie fans have much, if anything, to smile about! Frank Lampard's unfairly disallowed goal pales into insignificance compared to England's 4-1 defeat in Bloemfontein this afternoon.
The young German team played very well, were a joy to watch and I hope they'll go further. But even someone who knows as little about what constitutes good football as I do, could see that our team made their victory easy for them. When I switched off the television, the head-shaking pundits in the studio were lacing their post-match summing-up with words like 'abysmal' and 'abject failure' and one compared Englands's performance to that of a Sunday morning under-10s team. The bewidlering thing is that our players are individually capable of great things when they play their club football and it's a mystery as to what went wrong when they came to play for their country.
One theory is that some of our best players were forced to play out of position - for which, blame the manager, whom some were describing as 'stubborn'. And maybe it was Fabio Capello's stubborness that prompted him to say, when interviewed, that 'we played well'?
The post-mortem will clearly run on and on but I'm sure there will be many here who will be delighted that England's World Cup run is over and normal life can resume - or, at least they can watch Wimbledon in peace from now on! But England playing Germany in the World Cup is so much more than just another football match, tapping in, as it does, to a longstanding rivalry. So, with the German Ambassador to Britain's permission, here's John Cleese in a classic episode from the comedy series 'Fawlty Towers', that might just go some way to lifting the gloom -
And if you're not a footie fan or if you don't support England, it doesn't matter, you can enjoy it anyway!