back to article Video games blamed for England Euro flop

West Ham shot-stopper Robert Green has blamed England's pitiful failure in qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals on the increasing popularity of video games among English boys. Since England's 3-2 defeat at home to Croatia, all sorts of theories have been advanced to explain the national side's shortcomings, including lack of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    bollocks - we've been crap for decades.

    It probably has a fair bit to do wih the top teams in Britain just buying good foreign players instead of training British talent.

  2. Alien8n
    Paris Hilton


    So he's just admitted that he's a crap goal keeper then?

    Maybe we'd do better with Paris Hilton in goal?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Paris Hilton in Goal?

    Paris HIlton would likely let shots in between her legs.

  4. Philip Cheeseman

    Lewis Hamilton

    If thats the case how come LH is doing so well racing in F1?

  5. arran


    it its a good thing that not only the strong in body, weak in mind can prosper in our society, i think greens just P*ssed off because he sucks in Pro Evo...

  6. Fenwar

    To be fair

    When I first got into computer games (on the Commodore 64) most of us playing them were the geeky, unsporty kids anyway. The fit sporty kids still went out and played sports, and laughed at us for hiding inside with the curtains drawn to stop the summer sun from ruining our quest for that Elite combat rating.

    These days even the sporty kids play FIFA and Pro Evo. It's actually become socially acceptable to spend time practising so that you can pull off the special moves/tricks. In the meantime no-one kicks a ball around on the street (even in the 20mph safe zones the roads are consistently and thoroughly double-parked so there's no room). And whereas even the geeks were forced to endure the freezing mud of the school footy pitch once a week, now there is a block of flats there so they can't.

    On the other hand, it's true that England have been a crap team for a long time. And I don't think our failure to qualify for the 1974 World Cup was directly attributable to Pong.

  7. Ben Boyle

    Jumpers for goalposts

    I suspect the woeful state of play areas in this country may have something to do with the "lack" of kids playing too... it's hard to use jumpers for goalposts when the local authorities keep selling off playing fields to property developers.

    Well that and the fact that the little scrotes seem to prefer hanging around town centres smoking, drinking and intimidating OAPs :p

  8. steve

    Stop sign, cuz that's what he's supposed to do......

    Stop goals. But he can't. Cuz he's c*ap. We haven't had a decent goalie since Shilton, and that's just embarresing. What english football needs: Pay cuts, english player quotas, attitude rea-djustments. What english football will get: A foreign coach with no ideas, lazy overpaid players.

  9. Risky
    Thumb Down

    Why don't they

    ..make a special England version of the game.

    You first get to watch a 2-hour cut-scene where every slags off the opposition as being worse that the England reserves, then you get to paly the cam except you need three toaches to control the ball, the only pass is to lump it up to a lanky centre forward and the goalkeeper is in a clown suit.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Even more bollocks

    "It probably has a fair bit to do wih the top teams in Britain just buying good foreign players instead of training British talent."

    Well Mr Coward, I'm not sure about that. I think we were shit even before we started buying foreign players.

    I reckon the problem is the foreign countries who sneakily learnt how to play football just after we invented it, then proceeded to play it better than us.

    Cheers, that incisive analysis will be £2.3 million pounds please. I'm off to buy another villa in Barbados.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new

    David "Calamity" James got his nickname partly because he was staying up all night playing Tomb Raider, when he should have been resting for his day job.

  12. Steve Sutton

    Re: bollocks

    Ahh, thank you, you've made my day, by giving me a laugh.

    It's always nice to scroll down to the bottom of an article to see one comment with a one word title "bollocks" * Despite our fears and our government's attempts, freedom of speech is alive and well.

    * of course, I've ruined the "one comment only" part now, but there you go ....

  13. Simon Foxwell
    Dead Vulture

    I agree...

    ...with AC on this one. Its got fuck all to do with bloody video games and much more to do with piss poor investment in sports in this country as well as a irresponsibly huge investment in foreign players.

    Owners of our "Greatest" footbal teams couldnt give a monkeys about overseas fixtures, they just know that if they win games with whatever the best talent is and get more bums on seats through popularity (ManU) then they make an enormous fortune for the shareholders.

    Who do you support and how many of your team are born and bred english?

    I dont bother watching England footie matches anymore because its embarrasing!

    I'll stop now.

  14. Peter Clarke

    Paris in goal

    "Maybe we'd do better with Paris Hilton in goal?"

    A good goalkeeper should keep their legs together

    Maybe we will win the Virtual World Cup (unless there is a penalty shoot-out)

  15. Grant Kemp
    Thumb Up


    lucky the French made every family throw away there game consoles which led to them winning the world cup. A great policy....

  16. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    English Sminglish

    Scotland were defeated by one goal, by Italy the world cup holders, after breating France etc.

    XBoxes and Playsationas abound in Scotland, and the SCottishplayers dont get the £ incentives of the English players.

    Its not Xboxes its that you pay these saps £millions win/lose or raw where is the incentive.

    On Sky News you lot wanted the croatians investigated after a millionaire offered a merc to the best 4 players, well guess what Enlands lot can bu a bloody house in barbados with their 'Loosings'

    Its not to be blamed on anything apart from incentive, loose and you go work as a brickie, win and you et some money, you know like um... REAL LIFE.

    If England wishesto pay its 3rd rate footballers for loosing and then wonders why they dont try harder, then I would advise some restriction on the £millions those tossers are paid. And anyway we in England get most of our players from africa and abroad, should we stop thye export of electronics in case this spreads or should we give a free PS3 to every african/pakistani/croation to aoid loosing at football/cricket/economics/education.....

    Similarly russia is top of the reading/writing tables, as books are prized/treasured and children enjoy speaking well.

    With Englands new multiculturalism its all about TXT/Religion/Sport, books are uncool.

    Yeah bnow wot I mean, I is wantin to dis you as it aint wot I want an I wiulls complans to the board of <insert some political crap shoot here> and they will takje you don and give me £ for me voddy and fags, booyashaka!.

    No incentive, no need, no guts , no glory, England largest exporter of skiled migrants since 2002 :)

  17. Graham Jordan


    Either that or the generation of today would go out stabbing other kids and knicking their footballs.

    What a twat

  18. Mog

    Will you all

    learn to bloody spell and punctuate, please. I know this is a sports/video game story but that's no excuse.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    So - just how many 11 year olds is he expecting to play for Engerland?

    PS*'s and Xboxen have only been around in the last few years and tend to be aimed at younger candidates. If his statement is correct that the youth of today is being corrupted by these evil games consoles, then surely the pipeline of potential players should still be unsullied by the electronic overlords?

    Perhaps, if the major football teams ACTUALLY invested in British talent strategically rather than the tactical poaching of foreign invested players, it might be different.

    Sounds just like another case of a sportsman trying to use an area of his body that's been neglected for years. Perhaps he could go and get one of those Brain Training games that seem to be prevalent in the handheld games market....

  20. Michael Compton

    Simple fact of the matter is...

    England have never been as good as they think they are or were. They have only ever won one major tournament a World cup over 30 years ago and they think they are world beaters. Italy 4 wins Germany 3 wins.

    BBC sports recently had a list of top players of all time, there was one english player lying in 20th place or so, though its a rather subjective list i think it adequately illustrates my point that they just aren't that good.

    Bootnote: I think the english press should accept a little responsiblity for making it even more difficult, they basically got Sven sacked and he hadn't done that bad they progressed as far as they deserved to. The stats below are all matchs under Sven hardly terrible.

    P W D L F A

    67 40 17 10 128 61

  21. Michael


    I love listening to the excuses. Scotland has been shite for years, and finally we have started to win games and everyone celebrated the fact we came third in our group.

    England have been shite for a while, it helps if you actually encourage you players through the ranks of the big clubs as opposed to buying in foreigners. Perhaps if the English commentators stopped assuring everyone that they will definitely win and the England are the greatest for a a change people's expectations would be a bit more realistic.

  22. Chad H.

    We'd have better law and order if...

    we threw all proffessional football players into the north sea.... No more Hooliganism!

    Works both ways.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Bwa ha ha...

    Guess they must have a poor supply on video games in Croatia then eh?

    Plenty consoles here in Scotland too. As well as a much lower population, yet we managed to beat France twice and suffered defeat only at the hands of the world champions.

    Anyhoo, childish gloating aside, the main problem seems to be that home grown talent is pushed aside by the circus that is the Premiership. Too much foreign talent. Still, good training ground for McFadden. Thanks for that :o)

  24. Mike Crawshaw
    Thumb Down

    Re: English Sminglish

    Hear hear AC!

    It's absolute tosh that our players are crap because of video games, and that our kids are inside playing X-Box rather than playing out. Every kid I know (I have nephews & nieces so I know plenty) wants to be a footballer. Why? So they can get paid £x,000 per WEEK to piss about for a few hours a day with a football, rather than getting a real job where they actually have to work. Oh yeah, and have an automatic entitlement to a model girlfriend. Very few of them give a toss about the game. And that's why they're crap.

    If we take away the stupid amounts of money that players are paid, we would see:

    * less foreign players (because foreign players won't be as tempted to come here if they're not getting paid as much)

    * the English players will be the ones who want to PLAY THE GAME - not the ones who want the new ferrari.

    <pipe dream>

    * Players acting less like total tosspots when out and about, because they will be there for the love of the game and need the job, rather than being able to retire in comfort after a year of playing.

    * prices will be able to come down, so terraces will have more "real fans" and less corporate boxes - because the "real fans" will once again be able to afford to buy the bloody tickets. And the shareholders and boards of directors will give up their bonuses for a "job well done", as they realise they have no impact on a club's performance.

    </pipe dream>

    (OK, so I know the last two won't happen, but hey. Leave my imagination alone.)

  25. Andy Kay

    Re: Lewis Hamilton

    "If thats the case how come LH is doing so well racing in F1?"

    because F1 is actually like a video game - didnt he even say he'd never been on a particular track in real life, just learnt from a video game - then proceeded to win 1st place.

    Football actually requires physical movement of those things under the desk called "Legs":


  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    so is that why the us army uses console games ?

    This is a load of old rubbish

    Playing computer games enhances reaction time and co-ordination

  27. Chris Burns

    That explains it then...

    It wasn't a lack of skill that thwarted my ambitions to be a professional footballer. It was the fact that I was sat on my spectrum as a kid. Can I still sue Sinclair Industries for loss of earnings?

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Will Leamon

    Look at the bright side

    At least when vid games do become a multi-billion pound sport (let's face facts - it's inevitable) England will be ripe to kick a little ass.

    I don't think that'll stop the Koreans though. Those cats can game!

    This story's got me thinking that maybe Ron Dennis should leave off the Xbox/PS. There has to be some reason for that shite season. So much potential... so much disgrace.

  30. Ian Ferguson


    Maybe it's because kids nowadays are discovering that there's more interesting things to do in the world than pissing around on the street with an inflated pig's bladder?

    I don't have anything against Sport in general, but our national (/international) obsession with football is way out of proportion. Everyone needs to accept it's just another game, no more worth your time or investment than rugby, cricket, snail racing, etc.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Utter bollocks

    I hate football but it is easy to see from the outside why we suck.

    A lack of english players as they are all foreign.

    The press have too much pressure on them. Brought on by Chav girlfriends and add campaigns.

    They get far too much money so where is the love of the game. Playing for the love of it instead of the stupid pay checks. They should do it for free, without WAGS in tow and consider themselves lucky to have been selected in the first place.

    Club before country, should be country before paycheck.

    Too many matches is bollocks as they are meant to be premier athletes, they only play for 90 minutes. Bin men, coal miners, fishermen etc work hard for 10 hours a day+ and don't whinge.

    And they are all premadonna's anyway, claiming fouls and penalties. They should be on stage.

    And when they all play bad because of the above, the poor sap in charge of them gets the sack.

    Waste of time the lot of 'em.

  32. Andy

    The main problem

    as already stated by a number of posters, is the bleedin money that goes into this "game".

    Watching the Rugby World Cup recently, 95% plus of players there were there for their country - they even sang the national anthems - some even cried! When was the last time you saw those ignorant fucks in the Engerland Football Squad show that amount of pride?

    The Rugby boys weren't there for the money, but by god they put on a good show... World Champions going in (when was the last time the football jerks could claim that - 66?), and regretably losing iin the final due to a very dodgy decision.

    Cut the money, get more pride into the game and then we shall see results.

  33. Jan Buys
    Paris Hilton

    re: paris hilton

    "Maybe we'd do better with Paris Hilton in goal?"

    Indeed, they'll try to hit her.

  34. hans


    If it were not for video games Samuel L jackson and all the passengers of the Ocean Pacific would be dead. So there!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Andy - Top Rugby performance

    "The Rugby boys weren't there for the money, but by god they put on a good show... World Champions going in (when was the last time the football jerks could claim that - 66?), and regretably losing iin the final due to a very dodgy decision."

    You must have watched the entire RWC through the bottom of a pint glass.

    Yes, they knew the national anthem but that was about the only thing you got right. All their pride and passion wasn't much use when South Africa thrashed them 36-0 in the opener, was it?

    And the old "dodgy decision in the final" excuse? I'm afraid that is bollocks too. Even if it had been given, South Africa were a better team than England on the day and throughout the whole tournament and you know it. And no, I'm not South African, I'm just a realist.

    The whole footballers & money argument is irrelevant. Brazilian footballers get paid a fucking fortune as well (ever seen pictures of Ronaldinho's house?) but they still manage to win more World Cups than anyone else.

    You should wake up and smell the reality, England has *never* been a football or rugby superpower and the money hasn't changed it either way.

  36. Marco

    Re: Re: English Sminglish

    "It's absolute tosh that our players are crap because of video games, and that our kids are inside playing X-Box rather than playing out. Every kid I know (I have nephews & nieces so I know plenty) wants to be a footballer. Why? So they can get paid £x,000 per WEEK to piss about for a few hours a day with a football, rather than getting a real job where they actually have to work. Oh yeah, and have an automatic entitlement to a model girlfriend."

    Although that's also the exact description of every Brazilian boy's motivation to play football.

  37. John A Blackley

    Can anybody tell me

    How much money has been spent/generated by the "Why English football is in crisis" industry since 1966?

    Seems to me that football is not a national sport in England now. Examining the entrails of each English 'failure' seems to be the game of choice.

  38. Mark McGuire

    The PR solution

    Video games, what can't be blamed on them?

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Re: English Sminglish

    "Although that's also the exact description of every Brazilian boy's motivation to play football."

    That, and it's also a way to escape the police death squads.

  40. Andy Bright

    Yep total bollox

    As a bunch of people have said, it's all down to the players themselves, their over-inflated egos and their pay checks. If you continually tell someone with the brain of your average koppite he's "world class", eventually he'll start to believe it.

    Ashley Cole is a classic example of everything that's wrong with these guys. Apparently he left Arsenal because he was upset the fans didn't give him standing ovations at the end of every game, but would rather do so for their genuine world class players like Henry. That tells me everything I need to know about this generation of idiots. If you don't feed their egos every week they don't see why they should remain loyal to their own club, let alone a national team.

    The funny thing is I don't even understand why they bothered to sack Steven McClaren. What's the point? You're telling me that someone like Wenger, Mourinho or Benitez would get any more out of this bunch of over-hyped, spoiled idiots. Shit most of them can't even kick a ball with both feet, string a single pass together or even hit the target with their "good" foot - and yet we still keep thinking they're world class and deserve to win a major international competition.

    No England haven't always been shite. They had a couple of decent teams - Bobby Robson and Terry Venebles had teams that lost semi's on penalties to a German side that walked over the opposition in the final.

    I'll agree tho, that these teams have been very much the exception. I just wanted to point out we did have a couple of decent ones.

  41. Anonymous Coward


    He must be a nintendo fanboy, he only wants to take down the Xbox and the PS!

  42. Ismael

    Re: bollocks

    well, I'm Brazilian, and I always hated the way our best players are exported to Europe, leaving us with very, very crap teams.

    so, I'm glad to see that the same things that make brazilian local teams crap make England football crap too...

  43. J


    Yeah, very bad excuse, this "video games" one. Italy and Germany don't have them, then?

    Too many foreigners? Doesn't cut it either. Do you think that the German and Italian national tournaments, to keep citing those two countries, do not have a lot of foreigners? I don't know how it compares to England exactly, but sure they have a lot too. As Ismael said, our players are all there, dammit. :-)

    It's always intrigued me, this "superiority in a sport" thing. Why are some countries so good at one thing and crappy at others? It's cultural, of course, but how it gets to be the way it is to begin with? For example, the US is crazy about cars, and their "races" (NASCAR? Ugh). Lots of money and tradition. But they are so crappy in other, international stages. Brazil, much poorer country then the US, has produced great F1 world champions, plus lots of other less stellar but competent enough drivers. The US? Two: one who was crap (only won because his team mate died anyway), and their best; who is, actually, Italian.

    Then, England, creators of modern football -- or so I've heard. Sport is quite popular there too. Crappy record, one world cup at home more than 40 years ago and that's pretty much it. Why, oh why?

    (hey, I just noticed a penguin down there!)

  44. Mr Larrington
    Dead Vulture

    @Anonymous Coward

    "so is that why the us army uses console games ? "

    Which seems to teach them how to blow up civilians and soldiers on their own side. Ah, what the hell, they can always press "Reset" and start again, er, hang on...

    Anyway, foopball is a game for overpaid ponces and the worse England does at it, the less likely we, the populace, are to be confronted at every turn of our newspaper (remember them?) page by the doings of a pack of vacuous oaves with bad haircuts and their moronic squealing wives and girlfriends. This, boys and girls, can only be a Good Thing.

  45. Iain

    Re: F1

    Strangely enough, when Codemasters were launching the first Colin McRae Rally, they had demopods that went round all the major racing events that year.

    The game has a nice big laptime leaderboard in there, and a certain "M. Schumacher" had the fastest on just about every single one of them...

    So not every sport is hurt by videogame versions...

  46. gareth duerdin


    if a kid is good at footy theres no stopping them from playing.if not bad they will do both and if shit they wont venture out of the house.

  47. gareth duerdin
    Thumb Down


    if a kid is good at footy theres no stopping them from playing.if not bad they will do both and if shit they wont venture out of the house.

  48. Steve B

    When I wer't lad

    you could get a ball and play anywhere.

    We didn't have league football down here but we often had games of over 20 a side, all ages and abilities, but as I grew older we started getting chased off the areas and pretty soon the only place to play football involved "real" teams, whatever the FA was called then and shelling out money. All "local kiddy" football stopped except for mummys boys whose parents were rich enough to support them.

  49. Matthew

    Evil children..

    What evil little children.. making England loose with there video games... and all this time i thought it was the crap players!

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