Betting Spy: Underdogs shame England stars

Grant Prior 8 years ago
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And then there were eight.

But some of the World Cup’s most entertaining sides have been knocked-out in heartbreaking circumstances after terrific performances.

Just watching Chile, Algeria and the USA this week made you realise what a great game football can be.

And it threw another unflattering spotlight on England’s performance in the tournament.

The England team and management have had a very easy ride considering the way they limped-out of the competition with one point to their name.

Players in those sides above manage to raise their game a level when they pull on the national shirt.

We seem to drop it down several gears as soon as the three lions hit the chest.

But why? I think a lot of it is to do with the way we pamper, praise and over-pay our players in the Premier League.

They spend all season in a £100,000-a-week bubble where they are told they are brilliant and every whim is catered for.

So why bother to improve? Most are fairly simple young men being paid a fortune to play football while always looking for the next club.

It takes real desire and drive to want to be the very best in sport rather than the very well paid norm.

Our lot don’t seem to have that. And it shows when they hit the world stage.

Players for Chile, Algeria and the USA ran themselves to a standstill after hammering out their national anthem.

England often mumble their way through the words before meekly surrendering to whoever is put in front of them.

Playing for your country should be the pinnacle of your career – a chance to show the whole world what you can achieve.

But our players seem content with just picking-up Premier League riches even if most of their achievements are down to foreign colleagues.

The manager is mediocre as well. I’d be on the phone now to Jurgen Klinsmann if I was in charge of the FA.

The organisation, energy and tactical nous of his USA team was in a different league to England.

America don’t have better players – they were just more motivated, organised and fitter than England.

They are basic things we can put right – if our players rediscover pride in their work and aim for silverware rather than just a healthy bank balance.

No-one will remember you for how much money you earned in years to come – but I can still name every one of our 1966 World Cup winning team.

Enough of England – let’s try and predict the winners of a cracking Quarter Final line-up:

France v Germany: The Germans look vulnerable if you go at them while the French look like a team on the up with a bit of pace and the best centre half in the tournament. France to win 2-1

Brazil v Colombia: Brazil have done enough each round and have a star in Neymar. But for me Colombia have been the best team I’ve seen and the odds of 7/2 to win must be snapped up in an even-money contest: Colombia to win 3-2

Argentina v Belgium: Both these two have been fairly average so far. But Argentina have Messi and that will be enough: Argentina to win 1-0

Holland v Costa Rica: It’s been a great journey for Costa Rica but the pace of the Dutch up front should just see them through – all be it after extra time: A 1-1 draw with Holland to win in extra time

 

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