England’s cricket team yesterday suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of associate nation Ireland in the most drawn out World Cup in sport.
The overwhelming favorites going into the match made almost 350 runs but they were no match for the luck o’ the oirish who swept home with an over or so to spare.
This got us thinking though – when else has an English side fucked up big style in front of the watching world when expected to easily win? Here are a couple of the best:
1. England not qualifying for Euro 2008
This one gets the nod as it deprived me, and much of the nation, of the chance to get drunk and watch soccer for the summer. We’re never going to win the World Cup in our lifetime but you’d give us the gift-of-the-gab in the Euros every once in a while. That was until we inherited a manager now best known for his antics with a brolly.
Decisions during the qualifying campaign included attempting to build the team around an untried Scott Parker; forcing David Beckham out of the team and then welcoming him back when all was amiss; giving a goalkeeper his debut at a wet Wembley in a must win game. We could go on.
2. USA beats England in 1950 World Cup
Back to soccer again (we don’t get far in much else) and a game that pitted the US part-timers against a team that was widely considered one of the best in the world. They’d lost their previous seven games by a combined score of 45-2 but prevailed in this game in the Brazilian heat thanks to a goal from Joe Gaetjens…who was Haitian. Should be voided then!
3. Tim Henman not winning Wimbledon in 2001
This was the one time that “Tiger Tim” had the chance – he didn’t have to meet Pete Sampras for one. Andre Agassi was also out and he took on the qualifier Goran Ivanisevic. This was the cue for the heavens to open and give Henman an excuse for a match he was never going to win anyways. If there’s a man with less bottle in world sport we’d certainly like to see him.
These pale in insignificance when you compare them to losing to Ireland at cricket but are still rather shocking in their own right. Just think of the riches if you’d rightly put money on all four. Just think!