Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
England play Croatia on Wednesday and you know what? It won’t be a surprise, or a disgrace, if they lose.
Why? Because Croatia are a technically gifted, cleverly organised, highly motivated international team, who beat England twice to reach Euro 2008 and outplayed Germany when they got there.
I also half expect it to happen simply because England are so terrified of losing.
This fear of failure pervades the national team. It comes across in the insistence on tactical discipline and conservative team selection even against the weakest of opponents (think Joe Cole against Andorra) and the consistent failure of the team’s senior players to be their confident, inventive selves while on England duty.