Anthony D'Angelo of talkSPORT Radio has been blogging for us from the World Cup in South Africa - and he's not even close to getting over the disappointment of Sunday...
So England’s 2010 World Cup is over. In truth, it never really got going. It was a bad day from the start for us. An admin error meant the minibus taking us to Bloemfontein arrived almost two hours late. However, we decided the bad karma had corrected itself when we learned our driver was called Capello! At least he managed to deliver us to where he said he would, unlike his namesake.
The minibus passengers included our commentary team of Jim Proudfoot and Stan Collymore, presenters Mark Saggers and former England cricketer Darren Gough, producer Matt Smith and myself. Despite the early start, there was plenty of traffic on the motorway heading to the Free State Stadium. Along with the expected English and German flags fluttering in the breeze on the motorway, there were plenty of Australian flags too, evidently bought by Aussie fans who’d hoped their team would be playing in this game in the second round. I’m sure they were gutted to witness our capitulation first-hand. At least we beat them in the one-dayer again.
Once we arrived, Jim, Stan, Mark and Matt went off to get set up in the stadium while I accompanied Goughie (he is ‘Goughie’ to everyone including, probably, his kids) as he did some TV interviews amongst the fans. It proved difficult to manoeuvre through the crowd since everyone wanted a picture with the former England bowler. Everyone it seemed either had their country’s flag painted on their face, or was wearing fancy dress. Crusader and lion outfits were popular, while a couple of lads had decided to wear Morph suits in England’s colours. A few of the England fans had brought inflatable spitfires with them, much to the amusement of their German counterparts. Why do so many of our fans still feel the need to go on about the war? The sun was blazing, the lager was flowing and the atmosphere was convivial. What could go wrong…?
Well…everything it would seem: Sunday morning defending, poor tactics, wrong team selection, terrible officiating, the lot. A total disaster. We were sat right by a large group of German fans who took great pleasure in baiting the England fans as their team racked up the goals. Their repertoire included “England’s Going Home,” “Auf Widersehen” and “Na na na na, heeeey-eyyyyyy, goodbye.” I produced the two-hour phone-in with Stan afterwards as caller after caller rang in to rage about the performance. Former England striker Les Ferdinand, who was there doing TV punditry, did a quick interview where he complained at the lack of coaching education in our country, while Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara also called the show to have his say.
When the show had finished, we packed away our equipment before heading back to the minibus to begin the journey home. As Capello started the engine, we knew that the return journey would feel a lot longer than the one we began earlier that morning.
You can hear ever World Cup game live on talkSPORT Radio – 1053/1089 MW