Sven's biggest mistake

If you thought England's World Cup campaign was a failure, think again. The players have done very nicely out of it without having to go to the trouble of performing in a manner consistent with their hyped-up reputations. In addition to the numerous products they've been hawking these last few months - crisps, fizzy drinks, razors and the like - some of them will soon be clogging the bookshelves with their thoughts. Or at least, those thoughts that their ghost-writers are able to turn into coherent sentences.

According to today's Observer, several of the players will also take this opportunity to explain how it was Sven Goran Eriksson's fault that they all looked so hopeless in Germany last month. I happen to agree that Sven did not get the best of the strange selection of players he opted to take with him.

Still, I can't help finding it a little unseemly that the men who spent so much of the build-up to this competition telling us how fantastic they were are so quick to point the finger in defeat. But it appears that integrity goes out of the window when a publisher dangles a fat cheque in front of you.

I can handle this behaviour when it comes from Rio Ferdinand, who was one of England's better players. I can just about tolerate it when it comes from Wayne Rooney, whose inability to control his petulance cost England so dearly.

But Frank Lampard? The man who squandered more chances than any other player in the tournament. The "world-class" midfielder who can't score a penalty. The player whose only achievement was to get out of Steven Gerrard's way long enough for him to grab a couple of goals.

Sure, Frank, Eriksson had plenty of failings. The biggest of which was not dropping you, you chance-wasting, penalty-bottling buffoon.