‘We just weren’t good enough. Plain and simple’

No guesses what dominates this week’s sporting quotes. Plus Wimbledon tennis’s John Isner, Tour de France cycling, Rick Ponting on cricket’s bragging rights, and back-handed praise for an England rugby team from Stuart Barnes

“I don’t have the answer to why we never do it against the big countries. You have 11 players giving it 100 per cent. At the end of the day we weren’t good enough to get the result. It is as simple as that” Matthew Upson, England’s goal-scorer and a defending scapegoat, in the 4-1 World Cup exit against Germany.

“I am devastated. We just weren’t good enough. Plain and simple. We will have to address the problems that are there. It is not for me to talk to you guys about it, but we need to step up. There are a lot of issues” Joe Cole, who has an autobiography out in August, masters the art of trailing a book launch.

“If I had asked you to go and watch some player called Wayne Rooney last week, because he was available and I could get him for £1.5 million, you would have come back to me and said, ‘You can’t take him, he’s not good enough’. If you didn’t know it was the Wayne Rooney, you would have thought he was a poor player” Harry Redknapp assesses a major problem for England.

“If Lamps’ goal had stood it would have been 2-2 and then the game would’ve turned on its head. We’d have been at full throttle. I’m sure we’d have gone on to win it” Rio Ferdinand, forced by injury to watch the game from home.

“I spoke with Sir David Richards and in the next two weeks we will decide. I said I can be the manager of England next season but we have to decide. I absolutely want to stay” Fabio Capello, the England manager speaking today, apparently without the immediate endorsement of his FA bosses.

“As if the pressure on England’ s finest footballer is not enough in World Cup year, in his mind Rooney is being measured against them all – Ronaldo, Messi, Franck Ribery, Didier Drogba. It is too much. And in a team that is not performing, the intensity can only build. According to many around the England camp, Rooney has not been himself in this tournament” Martin Samuel writing in the Daily Mail.

“Watching England sometimes is a cure for constipation” Mark Lawrenson in BBC commentary.

“I hope the players slink away in misery. I hope the English public remind them by not going to this useless fixture against Hungary in August. I won’t be there. Those that do go should boo them on to the pitch. That’s how bad this English shambles was. I won’t be wasting my holiday to go and watch an England friendly” Alan Green, the BBC football commentator, reacts to England’s 4-1 World Cup defeat to Germany.

“A brutal pattern reasserted itself in the Free State as German youth flourished and English maturity tipped over into obsolescence. Mesut Ozil and Thomas Müller ” flag-bearers for a more thrilling German style of play ” pushed a whole crop of English household names into permanent shadow” Paul Hayward in The Guardian.

“Regardless of the quality of a set of players who represent the weakest squad ever to leave England, his standing as a manager has been shredded by a series of blunders. The latest ” his decision to play Matthew Upson after the West Ham defender’s error-strewn display against Slovenia ” defied all known logic” Steven Howard provides the argument to back up The Sun‘s headlines for Capello to go following the Germany game.

“Matthew Upson equipped himself very well in a high-pressured environment so he deserves to keep his place” Terry Venables, The Sun‘s highly paid singing pundit, in his column ahead of the Germany game.

“The bottom line here was that Germany seemed to have thought about it more. This was an intellectual triumph as much as a sporting one, keen minds carrying out a plan with competence that has eluded England at this competition” Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail.

“There is no one in the world who can convince me that the German players are better than ours, but after seeing our team line-up I knew we were going to lose. I don’t think it is down to our players so much; I just feel their formation has basically beaten ours” Michael Owen, famously discarded by Capello for England, saw it coming.

“Yesterday evening the players drank beer before the game. You can ask them. I just decided to change something. Use my imagination” Capello tried a fresh approach before the do-or-die World Cup group game against the might of Slovenia, a nation with more brown bears than professional footballers.

“That was typical. They do not seem to appreciate this is the World Cup, with the emphasis on the word ‘World’. The idea that the English set-up is not the friendliest among the top teams is reinforced by this sort of arrogance” Giancarlo Galavotti, of Gazzetta dello Sport, after the FA’s head of communications, Adrian Bevington, allowed just eight questions for the 250+ journalists at England’s pre-match press conference on Saturday.

“With great respect to Notts County…60mins into a crunch England game is not the time for emails announcing signing of ex-Brentford keepers” @henrywinter, of the Telegraph, Tweeting late in the match against Slovenia.

“They wanted to swap Bentley for Honda but the chairman wasn’t having it” Harry Redknapp, right, sounding like a second-hand car salesman, in admiration for Japan’s striker.

“Tonight he’s not had a kick, apart from two headers” Robbie Savage in commentary for Radio 5Live.

“His first touch was perfect, his second was even better” Andy Townsend, clearly a perfectionist about his ITV commentaries.

“We are really sorry for the population, for the fans. We underperformed from the first game. We are in the right position, we are out. We deserve it” Florent Malouda is first to apologise as France, beaten by South Africa, head home from the World Cup in disarray.

“I take full responsibility. There are no excuses because when a team comes to something as important as tonight’s game with terror in their legs, their heads and their hearts, and they don’t manage to express themselves, it means that the coach hasn’t prepared them in the right way from a psychological, technical and physical perspective. I’m sorry for everyone in Italy but obviously I haven’t prepared this team well enough” Marcello Lippi, the coach of Italy.

“It was like waking up and hearing that Everest had just been climbed by Hillary” John Adshead, New Zealand’s former coach, after the All Whites drew 1-1 at the World Cup with Italy, helping the world champions towards the tournament exit.

“You can be happily married for 30 years then find your wife in bed with the milkman” Dave Brailsford, the British cycling supremo, not ruling out the possibility of a doping scandal at the Tour de France.

“Tiger, are you my daddy?” Banner towed by a small plane above the Pebble Beach course during the US Open final round.

“Who is this team in white?” Stuart Barnes, in commentary on England’s rugby tour to Australia and New Zealand, playing with flair and enterprise, after winning the second Test in Sydney, England’s first international rugby victory in the southern hemisphere since the 2003 World Cup final.

“Basically, I’m okay but my pinkie toes are sore. In fact there doesn’t seem to be any skin left on my pinky toes” John Isner, above, whose Wimbledon first-round victory over France’s Nicolas Mahut comfortably broke all records for the longest-ever tennis match, Isner triumphing 70-68 in the final set after an 11hr 5min epic spanning three days.

“Nothing like this, it won’t happen again. Not even come close. I guess it was just meant to be. In a way I’m kind of glad it happened, although I’m pretty tired. I didn’t know what I was thinking out there, especially once the match got past 25-all. I wasn’t really thinking. I was just hitting a serve and trying to hit a forehand winner” Isner.

“We’re aiming for 5-0 and we’re in a good position to do that now” Andrew Strauss, the England cricket captain, after his side beat Australia in the first three one-day internationals.

“If that is what you think, that is fine. Have a look at our head-to-heads and see who has got the bragging rights. Test cricket, one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket. Tell me who has the bragging rights” Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, reacts testily to questions after another defeat to England, who hold the Ashes and the Twenty20 World Cup.

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