USA vs. England World Cup: An England Fan Writes

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IIJune 12, 2010

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 12:  Fabio Capello manager of England walks off the pitch after a draw in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between England and USA at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 12, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Anger. Rage. Upset.

That's how I feel.

I shouldn't feel angry and upset. I should have known.

Ever since I've been supporting them, England seem to be awful in the first game of the first round of the World Cup. They weren't beaten, they were just, to use an English colloquialism: crap.

1990? 1-1 with The Republic of Ireland.

1994? Let's not talk about it — we didn't qualify.

1998? 2-0 against tournament no-hopers, Tunisia. They then lost 2-1 to Romania in Game Two.

2002? 1-1 against Sweden (equally pitiful)

2006? 1-0 against Paraguay (an equally poor performance.)

Anyway, South Africa 2010 was meant to be different. The group had been pronounced "E.A.S.Y.," by the Sun after the draw (England, Algeria, Slovenia, Yanks), and the country felt the same.

We didn't think that a team that didn't even think of football as a major sport and two countries that weren't exactly superpowers on the world stage would exactly be world-beaters.

Well, after the first game, you can't help thinking that we'll be lucky to win the group, and to do it, we'll have to put on a better display than the showing against the USA.

Robert Green's awful effort at stopping Clint Dempsey's shot may have enraged the country, but the non-existence of 13 players (Steven Gerrard was a very notable exception) rubbed the salt in the wound. Everyone was below-average.

Possibly it was the tooting horns. Possibly it was the ball. Quite possibly it was a bit of both and a country's expectation and pressure.

England might expect a little less against Algeria — while some of us would just like to see a win, thanks.