Euro 2012: England’s Mental Stumbling Block

Once again England go out of a major tournament in a penalty shoot out after what seemed to be one of the most predictable matches of the tournament in some ways.

It is not often you could look at a match and be pretty confident it will finish 0-0 but most people could have seen that one coming and the starting price of 6-1 on 0-0 was pretty enticing.

Especially, so for me, when Bet365 were offering a free £50 bet in-play if you had a £50 bet pre-match!

So, I backed England with £50 on Bet365 and then layed England on Betfair to trigger my free in-play bet with the plan being to throw it on the 0-0 @ 6 in-play.

So I should now be sitting on a nice profit of around £300 from that however the Bet365 website cracked under the pressure and crashed as every man and his dog across Europe was trying to get their free £50 bet on.

I am not a fan of betting on matches to finish 0-0 and then sitting and watching them. I think you would have to be a little bit insane to be able to handle that so I decided not to risk any of my own money backing the 0-0 and kept trying frantically to log on to Bet365 to get my free bet on.

No luck and my well thought out plan torn to shreds!

England traded down to 1.40 to qualify after the Italians missed their first penalty but, this is England, seeing them win a penalty shoot out is always going to be a long shot and I thankfully made a bit of cash by taking them on in the shoot out.

Inferiority Complex?

My thoughts are that if England are ever going to actually win one of these tournaments then they need to somehow get the belief that they can beat some of the other big countries. Every tournament in recent memory seems to end as soon as England play anyone half decent and you have to feel there is a mental block when it comes to playing the better opposition.

In fact there is a huge amount of evidence which points to some sort of mental block once England face a big country.

England actually have a really terrible record when it comes to playing the “big” countries in the knock out stages of tournaments which goes all the way back to 1966. The last “big” country they beat was Spain in Euro 96 and that was in a penalty shoot-out after a 0-0 draw in which England were outplayed.

I am not sure quite how you would define “big” but the countries that England have beaten in knock out stages of tournaments since 1966 (apart from Spain in 96)  have been:

Ecuador (2006), Denmark (2002), Belgium & Cameroon (1990), Paraguay (1986).

The countries that England have been eliminated by in the knock out rounds read like this:

Germany (1970). Argentina (1986), Germany (1990), Germany (1996), Argentina (1998), Brazil (2002), Portugal (2004), Portugal (2006), Germany (2010) & Italy (2012).

When you look at the countries England have beaten and compare it to the teams they get eliminated by you can clearly see the problem. England seem to have no problem against inferior opposition but struggle to rise to the occasion against the bigger teams and this is something being passed on from generation to generation.

Solving this problem is another debate for another day but as things are currently going, there is always going to be plenty of money to be made by taking on England in these tournaments until they shake off this “hoodoo” .

Anyway, let me get back on Bet365 live chat to see what has happened to my free-bet!


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