The World Cup remains young. And yet, if any team has already damaged itself beyond repair, it's England. The English have had a truly sorry showing to date, and as shown clearly in the official pool standings, they now sit at fifth place in the viciously competitive Pool A. While English sports fans are unmatched in their ability to self-deprecate - often in an almost admirable fashion - it seems the media has thus far failed to capture the full scope or severity of the nation's World Cup meltdown.
Fortunately, we're here to do it for them! So without further ado, here are some honest and cynical translations of the media's coverage of the English team's performance so far.
We'll start with an early betting analysis that took an objective look at England's chances for success. Posted at Bet Fair by cricket writer Ralph Ellis just after England suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Australia, the article pointed to England's "captain crisis" as a reason for its struggles. The piece even suggested that former English captain Alastair Cook may have been better after all (despite being brutally and continuously criticized by the British media) than newcomer Eoin Morgan. Ellis writes, "Whatever his failings as one day captain, Cook never suffered a run as bad as the one that his replacement is on now."
Translation: Fine! We admit it! We were wrong! Alastair Cook isn't perfect, but damned if he's not the best man we've got for the job! He's like the Wayne Rooney of English cricket, and that's better than nothing! For the love of God, STRIP EOIN MORGAN OF HIS CAPTAINCY BEFORE WE EMBARRASS OURSELVES!
Next, we'll look at a somewhat sad article that was written by Mike Selvey of The Guardian about English cricket coach Peter Moores' having felt compelled to apologise for his side's play. Indeed, the two crushing defeats England suffered to start its World Cup run demanded an explanation, but it almost seems unfair for the coach to have to answer that demand when play between the lines was so disastrously lopsided. In analysing the losses, before he got to Moores' quotes, Selvey wrote, "England though were dismal, a collective failure to cope with conditions in which they, of all teams, ought to be able to cope."
Translation: You're damn right the head coach should apologise! How on Earth can a team with England's talent and experience show up to these conditions unprepared? Are they lazy? Unfocused? Is there any excuse whatsoever?
And finally, we'll come to a sort of match recap of the New Zealand dismantling of the English cricket squad, posted by former star Sir Ian Botham at Mirror. Evidently utterly disgusted by England's performance, Botham pulled no punches in expressing his discontent, beginning his column with: "In nearly 40 years of playing for and watching England in one day cricket, I have not seen a worse performance than the one I saw in Wellington on Friday."
Translation... You know what? Never mind. Botham pretty much said it all, about as harshly as it can be said.
Ladies and gentlemen, your British sports media and 2015 English World Cup squad!