In the end, it was the forces of sheer inevitability that sent England crashing out of the World Cup. This supposed ‘Golden Generation’, our greatest hope since (yawn, yawn, yawn) 1966, defeated once more by the script for our national team in major tournaments. You all know how it goes: a key player is sent off, 10 men then fight a ragged battle to the bitter end, but are ultimately dispatched by a terminal inability to win penalty shoot-outs. That’s five times now we’ve had to sit and watch an England side lose in this way, and it never really gets any easier.
So that’s the last we’ll see of Sven-Goran Eriksson heading up our national team (there will be no ‘Swede Victory’ now, etc, boom boom! © Every British Tabloid), which would be a good thing if it weren’t for the fact that his replacement is Steve McClaren. Sweet Jesus. David Beckham has also stood down as England captain, so another era draws to a close.
Still, life goes on.