The Mea Culpa first.
I’ve been very critical of the British football press on this site during the World Cup. This hasn’t stopped me from falling headlong into one of the same traps as they: I have been critical of Steven Gerrard’s midfield performances in Germany, but I haven’t taken into account the fact that he’s been playing at the top level for almost an entire year (starting with the first Champions League qualifying rounds on July 12th 2005). That schedule does more than enough to explain any lassitude on his part at the World Cup, and I unreservedly withdraw any criticism of Gerrard I’ve made here on that account. There are physical limits – and their related mental limits – to the amount one man can do, and I should have been aware of that and reflected it here. My fault, and my weakness. Not his fault.
With the World Cup Final on Sunday, the close season is nearly upon us. Although this is not a dedicated football site, you can expect something football-related most days. It’s been a privilege to be in receipt of so many intelligent comments and suggestions both on this site and by email; thank you for making this such a rewarding exercise. Next up, for what it’s worth, are my thoughts on the future of the English national side.