Sports Letter: Over the top

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The Independent Online
Sir: Casting a fleeting glance at this week's newspapers, people may have been confused into thinking that England had just won the football World Cup, not completed a 3-1 win over Poland, a team 16 places below them in the world rankings. A better team than Poland would have exposed England's weak full-backs.

In October, after a goalless draw against Bulgaria, a team just three places below Poland in the Fifa rankings, the press called for Glenn Hoddle's head and supporters were left questioning if England would qualify. We should still question. Both Sweden and, it can be argued, Poland, are in better positions to qualify than England.

Are the press so naive that a victory ensures we are world beaters, and a loss relegates us to the sidelines?

For Keegan, if this is the pandemonium that surrounds a victory in the first of his four internationals, what will happen if he wins all four? Perhaps he is employing a similar fortune teller to Hoddle. The headlines following Hoddle's first match in charge, a 3-0 victory away in Moldova, were similar to those Keegan is experiencing now.

GARY JACOB

St Catherine's College,

Oxford

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