World Cup 2006 - Penalties decide the tournament?

Why are England so bad at Penalty Shoot outs? This will probably be a headline in much of the press tomorrow. But it's true and yet again England has been dissappointed at the crucial stage of a tournament. Yesterday I watched the Germans, who were not at their best, grind out a result against Argentina, before knocking them out on penalties. They are as consistently good at winning penalty shoot outs as England are consistently bad.

I thought that in the England v Portugal game, the team played very well but there can be no excuse for what Rooney did (sent off for stamping on Carvalho), and I hope he got his ears singed by the other players in the dressing room. Even at 10 men England looked a decent force and had the chances to knock Portugal out.

Yet Englands tournament has been based around a rock solid defence, and a combative midfield which no team was able to break down. Looking back, Sven must wonder about his strikers, the bad luck with Owen departing early, Crouch not doing enough and Rooney just not up to the pace after his attempted come back. They just didn't have enough fire power in the team to make a dent in the opposition. I thought that his decision to bring on Carragher was a good one, presumably in the light of the impending penalty shoot-out. Yet he missed his penalty and Sven will go down in history as another manager who couldn't quite get the best out of his team.

I thought England had played well and made Portugal look a very average team, but when players like Lampard, Gerrard and Carragher miss penalties what can a manager do?

Where is the 2010 tournament?

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