James Moore: Losing streak

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The Independent Online

Today's bets

First England flop to be photographed on the beach: John Terry at 4-1 and Wayne Rooney at 8-1 (Paddy Power).

Japan to beat Paraguay in 90 minutes at 3-1 (William Hill)



i've just finished writing out "I will not place another bet on the England team" 100 times. I'm usually a thorough pessimist when it comes to the national side, but even I got suckered into thinking we could beat Germany. I mean, England usually put in one halfway decent performance during big tournaments before the inevitable exit. So, surely, they'd put in a halfway decent effort against one of our oldest rivals? Apparently not.

Still, after England get knocked out it usually takes about a week for the pain to subside sufficiently that I can watch another match. This time it took a day. There was just a sort of weary inevitability about what happened. So I feel I can now enjoy watching the rest of the tournament. Because, you know, it will feature proper players playing football. As for England, well, if the spineless nature of their capitulation wasn't enough to make you feel thoroughly resentful, this ought to: bookmakers have netted a cool £50m as a result of the players' hapless efforts.

But our turf accountants are a thoroughly rapacious bunch so here's a figure that will really get you spluttering over the cornflakes: they still have England rated as fourth favourites for the 2012 European Championship. Stan James are a best priced 10-1, which to me is nonsensical. This is a group of players whose attitude appears to be, "Thank God that's all out of the way. Now we can get home, order the new Bentley and hit the beach with the WAGs."

Based on this, Paddy Power's launched a market on who will be the first of Capello's clots to be pictured sunning themselves on the beach. Frank Lampard is the 3-1 favourite but, given that he's dating ITV's new golden girl Christine Bleakley, that looks like a bad bet. Her people will surely tell her that cavorting in the Caribbean with an England flop does not make good PR sense. John Terry (above) at 4-1 is more interesting – given his reputation, how are a few pics in swimming trunks going to make it worse? I'd also be willing to take a chance on Wayne Rooney (8-1).

In the meantime Japan look overpriced to beat Paraguay over 90 minutes, at 3-1 on offer with William Hill.

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