A summer England will want to forget


A lot has been said since England departed the 2010 World Cup in what seems like a lifetime ago. The Three Lions’ 4-1 defeat at the hands of Germany was in fact just little more than a week ago, but already the team and the nation have moved on. The FA have decided to keep Fabio Capello as England manager until the 2012 European Championships, whether that’s a good decision we’ll just have to wait and see, and the players are being snapped on their annual holidays in the sun as usual. But is it really that easy to forget?

Westwood’s been on his travels but like the rest of the country still managed to watch and experience the disappointment of the game. The big dawg reckons that England as a nation has already moved on, and maybe that’s due to the fact that we really didn’t turn up in South Africa and give a good account of ourselves. It’s often harder to forget when you invest such a lot into something and get really close to achieving something special, but that just wasn’t the case in the 2010 World Cup. People always recall Italia ’90 as a time when England fans really believed, but South Africa couldn’t have been further from that.

People had hoped and did believe in the dream and Westwood witnessed a few tears being shed, but generally it wasn’t dwelt on. A dream was all it was and like many dreams this one didn’t come true. We’ll always reflect on Frank Lampard’s ‘goal’ and wonder what might have been if the Chelsea midfielder’s strike had of counted, but in the grand scheme of things Westwood reckons we’d be kidding ourselves if we think that would’ve made a difference, and he’s right.

Exit from the 2010 World Cup was more devastating for a number of countries, no more so than Ghana. The whole way their tournament ended with the deliberate handball and the agony of the penalty shootout wasn’t great and I think football supporters from around the world generally did feel for them. As for England, it’s just the same old story and now things have to change. Even though the manager isn’t changing, the time for the younger lads to be brought in is overdue and as Westwood puts it, “we’ve got to get some excitement back into our game.”

To read Tim Westwood’s latest World Cup article in full head to the News of the World website:

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