Anorak News | Cheating Rosbifs

Cheating Rosbifs

by | 15th, June 2004

‘IT’S hard to know what the England players expected their French counterparts to do in the aftermath of their last-gasp win on Sunday.

Let’s not have a disco

Have a moment or two of quiet reflection? Get out a good book? Sit down to a rubber or two of bridge?

Whatever it was, it’s clear that singing songs and loudly celebrating their great escape wasn’t on the list.

Frank Lampard was the first to complain publicly about the noise coming from the French dressing room and Stevie Gerrard takes up the torch of injustice in the Mirror today.

“Hopefully we will meet them in the final and get our revenge,” he said (overlooking the small matter that England currently lie at the bottom of their group).

“We heard the French singing and shouting in the dressing room, but they have not won the tournament yet.”

Had England won in similar circumstances we feel sure that they would have kept the celebrations muted – a handshake from the manager, a pat on the back from colleagues and maybe a celebratory bottle of Lucozade would suffice.

What is worse, the French are accusing us – the fine upstanding English – of being cheats.

Patrick Vieira launched what the Sun describes as “an amazing attack” on our boys.

“They fouled a lot and cheated,” he said, “but we stayed calm and showed the strength of character we needed to win. Even when England fouled us, we stayed strong as a group.”

England now need to win both their remaining games to guarantee qualification from the group (although a win and a draw may well prove enough).

But they will have to do so without Nicky Butt, who the Mail says may be ruled out for the rest of the championship.

Also possibly missing from the line-up against Switzerland on Thursday is Paul Scholes, who has a twisted ankle, and Ledley King, who will be replaced by a fit again John Terry.

Meanwhile, the absurd sniping at Sven Goran Eriksson’s decision to substitute Wayne Rooney goes on, mainly from hacks who couldn’t be trusted to manage a Subbuteo side.

In the Sun, John Sadler says “blatant mismanagement” was to blame for the defeat, and says if England are to win Euro 2004 they will do so despite their coach not because of him.

It is the same ignorant nonsense spouted yesterday by Jeff Powell in the Mail, who is banging on the same broken drum again today.

England lost because they missed a penalty and made two mistakes at the very end – the first by Emile Heskey, the second by Steven Gerrard – both of which were punished by the peerless Zinedine Zidane.

Yes, the French controlled most of the match, but the fact that they could not break down the English defence speaks volumes not only for the players but for the manager.

The idea that the substitution of Rooney had any effect on the outcome is ridiculous and is being peddled by journalists who are paid to know better.’

Posted: 15th, June 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink