Death, Taxes & England Out On Penalties

Posted: June 24, 2012 in Soccer
Tags: , , , ,

ixSNKeWYY7zCQ GIF: Andrea Pirlos Panenka Penalty v England. Genius.

Pirlo… flat-out ballsy!

The above moment you see is one where England, in the lead in the penalty shootout at the time, went from “OMG we’re going to win!,” to “Oh sh*t, we’re going to lose in penalties like we always do, aren’t we?”  I’m sure the 3 Kittens will lament about losing yet again in a penalty shootout, despite its utter inevitability, but the fact of the matter is Italy were the much better side for most of the night & England were frankly, embarrassing at times throughout the match.  There’s 3 inevitabilities in life- death, taxes & England bowing out of a tournament on penalties.

You can check out the highlights but it’d basically be an Italian highlight film as England were second best all night long getting outshot, 35 to 9.  Yes, 35 to 9.  This included 2 posts hit by the Italians.  This statline also included a 68 to 32 superiority in time of possession for Il Azzurri, as well.

It was clear from the off with Daniele De Rossi’s long-range effort that whizzed over the bar just minutes into the match that the Italians were going to have the initiative tonight.  England for all their talk about playing in a pragmatic system employed by Hodgson, having cohesiveness & camaraderie in camp & going into the tournament with realistic expectations, the simple fact of the matter is, England lacked quality.

Personally, I think England always lack quality (apart from Rooney & Gerrard & Hart)  & is usually much more overrated than they should be due to the ubiquitous nature of the English press.  People mistake having the most competitive league in the world for having the best players.  Well, you often do have many of the best players playing in the Premier League.  However, the vast majority of those players are foreign, not English.  Until England realize you can’t tackle & hustle your way to a championship, they’ll forever “underachieve” & not win anything.  I put underachieve in quotes mainly because the simple fact of the matter is, England are never as good as they think they are.  All this talk of being unlucky in penalties & the like is simply excuse-making.

Yes, England won their Euro group.  But they beat an average Sweden side, they drew with an also overrated French side & looked vulnerable against Ukraine & second best by a mile against Italy.  Italy’s Ignazio Abate took over from Ukraine’s Oleh Husyev finding joy up the right flank from the fullback spot & the English were guilty of gifting the ball away all night long.

But since the Italians couldn’t find the back of the net, to extra time & subsequently penalties we went.  England were leading the PK shootout through 2 rounds, 2-1, but up stepped Andrea Pirlo to pull off his audacious Panenka PK which completely seized the momentum of the shootout with its sheer ballsiness.  It takes brass balls to attempt a PK chip, it takes titanium steel ones to attempt while losing the shootout.  The full heartbreak of England’s shootout in all it’s beautiful schadenfreude.

And oh by the way, Ashley Young is a diver.  That scourge of the game that the English press loves to blame on foreigners, now has two of its best dive artists hail from the UK in Young (from Stevenage) & Gareth Bale (the Monchichi from Wales).

So, thus ends about as dominating as a nil-nil match could be & the inevitability of England’s exit will now lead to the English’s real favorite past time- feeling sorry for themselves.

3 Kitten PKs

3 things are certain in life: Death, taxes & England exiting on penalties…

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