LONDON - British newspapers were
unsparing in their condemnation of the England football team after
they were defeated 4-1 by Germany in the second round of the
World Cup in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
The headlines made grim reading with both the players and
coach Fabio Capello carrying the can for the last-16 exit.
"You Let Your Country Down" was the front page of the mass
circulation The Sun which devoted its first nine pages to
The back page said "Time's Up Fab" calling for Italian
Capello to resign.
Even Frank Lampard's first half "goal" that was not given
despite the ball bouncing well over the line when the score was
2-1 was not held up as an excuse.
"Lampard Travesty fails to hide England defects" said the
Daily Telegraph while the Daily Mail reaction was "Awful England
Have No Excuse".
Despite arriving in South Africa as one of the favourites
England misfired through a group containing the United States,
Algeria and Slovenia and were outplayed by Germany.
"By the bedraggled and humiliating finish here, even the old
standbys, the cry of injustice and the desperate grasp for the
moral victory had been torn into ruins," wrote John Dillon in
the Daily Express.
"The Golden Generation were in their final meltdown. The
World Cup campaign had finished, as it started, as a calamity."
Matt Lawton in the Daily Mail said a disallowed England goal
had not been the reason for the defeat.
"Because for all England's frustration with going into the
interval a goal down, this should not be used to hide how awful
England were yesterday.
"England were a mess - a team that were tactically and
technically inept; a team that for all the quality of the
individuals were so painfully inferior to their well-drilled
Writing in the Daily Star, Danny Fullbrook said manager
Fabio Capello's humiliation was complete when distraught England
fans sang the name of former team boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.
"England's World Cup ended in catastrophe, as embarrassing a
defeat as this proud nations has ever know," he said. "And
Capello has to take the blame."
In the Guardian, Richard Williams said the defeat spelled
the end for the golden generation, with captain Steven Gerrard
and Frank Lampard unlikely to play again at a major
"So the era that began on a hot June night in France 12
years ago with a flash of lightning - (Michael) Owen's scamper
through the Argentinean defence - and a roll of thunder -
(David) Beckham's red card - is finally over," he said.
Former Liverpool and Scotland defender and now BBC pundit
Alan Hansen was withering in his analysis.
"Against Algeria they were abysmal but yesterday they were
four levels below that. Their performance was embarrassing."
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