‘Maybe it’s the pressure?’ suggested England manager Fabio Cappello after England’s dismal draw with Algeria, so on this World Cup podcast we take a look at the pressure of playing in the most important sporting event in the world. We also have our regular items on the show including:

Transcript

Damon: Well, obviously bad for England, terrible in fact but worse for Rooney. He was out of the game completely and at the end of the match ranted at the England fans sarcastically saying ‘it’s nice to hear your fans booing’. It was a miracle that the booing hadn’t started earlier, England’s performance definitely deserved it and up until the end the England fans could be heard supporting their team above the din of the vuvuzela – at least they did their bit. Poor play and an even worse attitude from Wayne Rooney.

Damian: Well, that was Damon’s take on the Algeria – England scoreless draw, which left fans here in the UK scratching their heads and wondering why players such as Rooney, Gerrard and Lampard have not performed for the country like they do for their clubs. Manager Fabio Capello puts it all down to pressure – the inability to cope with it is causing the team to malfunction.

Surely, these well-paid players are used to it – they play in the Champions League and are under close scrutiny from the media throughout their regular domestic season and therein lies the crux of the matter. The World Cup is simply not a regular tournament. Fans who may not have watched any games during the year – or even know what football is – become experts over night fuelled by the media’s agenda. Suddenly everyone has an opinion and, thanks to the wall-to-wall coverage here, is also a master tactician. Rooney has since apologised for his outburst, something which French striker Nicolas Anelka refused to do to his manager, Raymond Domenech after a half-time tirade in the defeat against Mexico. The French Sports minister, Roselyne Bachelot reckoned that, “The very high pressure weighing on Les Bleus does not authorise any form of slip-up.’ A bit late for that then as the rest of the French team will be following Anelka home very shortly. Another team going home early is Cameroon, many people’s tips as the dark horses of the tournament but with reports of in-fighting among players and huge pressure on manager Paul Le Guen the Indomitable Lions have been well beaten and are out of the competition.

Other teams that will have to face up to huge pressure over the next few days are Spain who lost their first game to Switzerland, Germany who unthinkably face elimination after losing and missing a penalty against Serbia and Brazil manager Dunga who is not only expected to win the World Cup but to do so in style. Now, that’s pressure.

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1 comment
  • It is still early in the competition and anything can happen. Teams cannot win the World Cup in the first week – though I suppose they can lose it!

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

PodcastEpisode 55