Last Saturday was not a joyous day for England. Conceding four goals to a blindingly fast and energetic German team put England out of their World Cup misery and sent them back to the country that hasn't seen a World Cup victory since 1966.
It was a sad game to watch as the Englishmen were picked apart by the far more organized German team. England played well in spots and were disallowed a badly needed goal that would have put them level with the Germans at half time. But it was not to be and the thrashing that ensued in the second half was the worst England had endured in many years.
The boys will go back to an island furious with their performance and will face a press notorious for hounding celebrities to the end of the earth (remember what happened to Princess Diana?). Just take a look at this Sun headline:
Having lived in America for the past 5 years, my attitude has somewhat changed towards defeat and bad performances. The US team went out on Saturday to Ghana, yet the press over here has been relentlessly positive about their performance at the World Cup praising the team for their energy and will to win. It is a case study in national psychology and one that defines why so many people fall in love with America. I love England and will remain an Englishman at heart until the day I die - but a sizable part of me is now American, and it isn't because I eat hot dogs and watch American Football (I still can't for the life of me understand the game). The reaction to England's performance at the World has been so dogmatically negative that I worry about the psychological health of my home country. The English are natural born pessimists and will be the first to tell you why you can't do something. It works great for comedy, but for every day life, I'll take the American 'can do' attitude anytime. The reaction in the UK press to England's loss would give foreigners the impression that the team had conspired to decapitate the Queen and hand her head over to Al Qaeda. Yes England played badly, and yes we should have done better. But it isn't the end of the world and instead of our laser like focus on what went wrong, perhaps we should look at the positive and try to work forward from there.
It would be a novel approach for English football, but given we've been doom and gloom for 44 years, it might be time to try a little American enthusiasm.