The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

How Low Expectations Screw Our Ability To Judge Reality …
June 19, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So in a few hours, England play their next game in the World Cup and it’s a ‘must win’.

If you looked at the papers after their defeat to Italy, you’d think England were like Brazil and were incredibly unfortunate to come out the losing side.

Oh dear.

The reality is the Italians never seemed to really get out of first gear and yet they managed to keep the England team at bay for most of the match.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t moments of quality from the three lions.

Without doubt, it was exciting to see a young England team go out and attack.

You felt they knew they were the underdogs and so they were just going to go out and enjoy the occasion.

And so they should.

But they were definitely the 2nd best team despite the papers heaping praise on them like they were the 2nd coming.

Which leads to the picture on this post.

The fact is, the people of England have been let down by the England team for decades.

They have flattered to deceive over and over again and yet – at the end of the day – the result is always the same.


And because of this, the country had finally come to their collective senses and realised this team was not going to achieve anything other than gain valuable experience for a future tournament.

However, because they played with the sort of energy we haven’t seen for years, we forgot reality and starting labelling them as heroes.

As I said, they were good, but they were far from good enough.

I’m not blaming the players – well, except Rooney – but the fact is, like Susan Boyle, our pre-match prejudice had already written them off before a ball had been kicked so when they ended up performing better than we anticipated, we ended up giving them a disproportionate level of praise.

Like we did for Susan Boyle.

In other words, rating them good by comparison, not context.

They are the national team of the country that invented the game of football.

It is a team packed with players who earn a fortune playing week in, week out against opposition that features some of the best players in the World.

If that doesn’t mean we should be expecting more from them, I don’t know what does.

I love that we have put out a young squad.

I love that they have a passion and energy that we’ve not seen in years.

I love that you can tell they love the fact they’re playing in the World Cup.

None of this overpraise is their fault … but I also know that where the England team is concerned, the nations support can turn to anger in an instant … so I hope they do us proud today, not by exceeding our [low] expectations, but by genuinely playing well, because when the press stop getting drunk on their delusion, they won’t hesitate to stick their knives into the backs of players who they decided should be World Champions, even when a few weeks prior, they knew they couldn’t be.

29 Comments so far
Leave a comment

It’s symptomatic of UK media insularity – though I’m sure that’s repeated in every other country. If I were Pete, I’d make some point about it showing the importance of expanding horizons being essential to gaining truly informed insights.

But sadly I’m not, so I’ll just say that domestic pundits know nothing about the international scene – that’s why they were banging on about Spain’s failure tonight rather than recalling that, even before the tournament started, the Brazilian manager said that Chile was the team he least wanted to meet in the next round.

Comment by John

You’ve just been owned Pete.

Comment by DH

I hope you don’t think that’s what I’d say because I’m unsure what it is you are actually saying with that “impersonation”.

Comment by Pete

Now you know how we feel.

Comment by John

Fortunately I don’t.

Comment by Pete

you sound more like pete when youre not trying to sound like him. but you have overtones of a patronising jeremy fucking paxman in there too. that might be a compliment, i havent fucking decided yet.

Comment by andy@cynic

It was an homage to his final show tonight.

Comment by John

But I apologise if I got over-excited.

Comment by John

Are you saying you’ve just shot your load?

Comment by Billy Whizz

Over Pete?

Comment by Billy Whizz

By a few hours you mean 24.

How come you always get that wrong but when you were handing out payrises, “a few dollars more” was always a few dollars more?

Comment by DH

because you never did anything to deserve a fucking cent more than that.

Comment by andy@cynic

OK … by 24 hours.


Comment by Rob

To Rob’s future son or daughter. This is not what loyalty means. Thank you.

Comment by DH

Hahahaha … you bastard.

Comment by Rob

I’m a bastard for telling the truth? What sort of lesson is that to teach your kid.

Comment by DH

Overpraise due to pre-performance prejudice affliction. That’s the most plannery i think I have ever heard you. I agree with what you’re saying and Susan Boyle was a great comparison, it’s just how you said it that surprised me.

As for England. At least they’re not Spain.

Comment by Pete

Or Australia.

Comment by Rob

Be fair, no-one went into this expecting Australia to win, but they’ve played very well and thrown a scare into a couple of the more fancied teams. Plus we’ve had a couple of great goals …

While England – as you say – continue to disappoint.

Comment by Ian Gee

Personally, I think its more fun watching Charlie Saatchi strangling his latest bird at Scot’s. Doesn’t he ever eat anywhere else… Oh right, they let him smoke fags with his egg and chips.
Cheers/George “AdScam” Parker

Comment by adscamgeorge

Worse still, when England beat a pretty woeful-looking Uruguay, the optimism will soar to ridiculous levels until they lose against a half-decent team in quarter finals. Same as ever.

Comment by John

Yep. Groundhog day wasn’t a movie, it was a documentary.

Comment by Rob

id rather support my ex fucking wives than those england failures. how fucking lucky thats exactly what i do.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s nice to know you do it in such good grace.

Comment by Rob

im a fucking saint. patron saint of supporting parasites.

Comment by andy@cynic

Except Susan Boyle has gone on to be internationally successful.

Comment by George

Better looking too.

Comment by DH

have you ever seen rooney and boyle in the same fucking room together? the prosecution rests its fucking case.

Comment by andy@cynic

Massively under promise, then under deliver just a little.
It’s got me through my below par career so far

Comment by Northern

Leave a Reply