Eng­land ‘stars’ out of touch with the real world

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - World Cup -

HOW apt that Eng­land play­ers had pants stolen by ho­tel staff in South Africa.

And how in­ap­pro­pri­ate that they should re­ceive VIP treat­ment when touch­ing back down on these shores early yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Our fail­ures were whisked through a suite nor­mally used by roy­als at Heathrow Air­port be­fore con­tin­u­ing their jour­neys in a fleet of chauf­feur­driven cars and pri­vate jets.

It was all part of an FA op­er­a­tion no doubt aimed at keep­ing the ‘stars’ away from the pub­lic they let down so badly.

This lot de­serve an egging more than John Prescott and are so out of touch with the real world that it’s fright­en­ing.

If I de­liv­ered the same sort of di­a­bol­i­cal per­for­mance I would ex­pect to be hauled over the coals, not given a ride home in the com­pany Bent­ley.

And how about this for an idea . . . rather than be­ing al­lowed to slink off on lux­u­ri­ous, no-ex­pense spared, sun­shine hol­i­days af­ter their South African shocker, our na­tional dis­as­ters should be sent straight back into bat­tle.

Capello’s let-downs should face the French flops and the aw­ful Ital­ians in a lit­tle tri­an­gu­lar tour­na­ment. For the losers the tag of Europe’s biggest em­bar­rass­ment awaits.

In our favour we were the only nation to make it past the group stage, but I guess we wish we hadn’t both­ered now.

TWO foot­ball-free days are just what the doc­tor or­dered. The sec­ond round came to a close with a snooze­fest yes­ter­day.

Time to own up - who fell asleep dur­ing the dross served up by Paraguay and Ja­pan?

I did and I only caught the high­lights – a 20-minute pro­duc­tion which could eas­ily have been squeezed into two.

Yuichi Ko­mano ended the gloom when slam­ming his spot-kick against the bar.

It wasn’t quite a Wad­dle, but his more mi­nor mis­judge­ment proved just as costly with Os­car Car­dozo mak­ing no mis­take next up to en­sure Paraguay be­came the fourth South Amer­i­can team through to the last eight.

The bad news for them is that merely pos­sess­ing a mean de­fence won’t be enough when they go head- to-head with Spain on Satur­day.

The Euro­pean cham­pi­ons and World Cup favourites fi­nally came to life in the sec­ond half to see off Por­tu­gal.

The key moment was the with­drawal of Fer­nando Tor­res who ap­pears to be suf­fer­ing from Rooney syn­drome – a con­di­tion which turns sup­posed su­per­stars into stum­bling buf­foons.

It was no sur­prise when he was hauled off just be­fore the hour and re­place­ment Fer­nando Llorente – the beast of Bil­bao - had the usu­ally rock-solid Por­tuguese de­fence rock­ing.

And the bril­liant David Villa was the ben­e­fi­ciary to keep me dream­ing of a full wal­let at the end of next week­end when Spain lift the tro­phy and he grabs the golden boot.

BUT let’s not get ahead of our­selves. Be­fore then we will see Brazil boast too much at­tack­ing power for Hol­land, Uruguay over­whelm Ghana, Ar­gentina put those pesky Ger­mans in their place, and Villa and co. de­stroy Paraguay.

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