Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Great Scapegoats of the Past

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Great Scapegoats of the Past

Article excerpt

England have never been beaten by a better team.

Only by bad luck. By cheating. And by acts of treasonable stupidity that have earned the perpetrators infamy and bile.

When England lose someone must be to blame! It is part of our football culture.

Jeff Astle and Peter Bonetti personally lost the World Cup that was a cert in 1970. If it hadn't been for them, Pele's pub side Brazil would have had no chance.

England were denied a chance to put things right in 1974 only because Norman Hunter and Peter Shilton combined to give clown-assisted Poland a winner in the final qualifier.

In 1982 it was clearly Kevin Keegan's fault for missing an open goal with a header.

In 1986 it was dirty Diego in a guest scapegoat role and in 1990 it was Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce for missing penalties - although no one dared blame Psycho so the mulleted maestro carried the can.

In 1994 England didn't qualify - obviously Graham Taylor's fault, then in 1998 it was the volatile David Beckham who saw red against Argentina to be transformed into a man so hated, the good burghers of London town took to burning effigies in the street. …

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