Speaking as a foreigner as I sometimes do - as a kind of bemused observer if you like - I am tempted to say English sport deserves nothing because the people who claim to take an interest in it deserve nothing.
The case of Fabio Capello is a perfect illustration. The man took the team through a most successful qualifying campaign with a lot of goals and some nice football along the way. Now England have drawn rather than won a game, chiefly because of one irrational goalkeeping mistake, he is being set up as a fool. I don't mean just by the usual tabloid suspects, but by 'fans'.
But such fans are not only idiots of the first water, they are cringingly undeserving. Fortitude? No. Resilience? No. Patience? No. Consistency? No. Actual support? No. They claim to admire such qualities but show none of them.
Odd perhaps to use a term like moral fibre - it sounds so terribly old fashioned! - but I want to use it if only because I don't imagine you can do much without it. Is there any moral fibre in evidence? No.
Has anyone actually won anything lacking fortitude, resilience, patience, consistency and support?
The hacks and the 'fans' deserve each other. Nor are the 'fans' merely the mob - they include those generally credited with more intelligence.
My four liner of several years ago applies here:
Welcome to England, the land of the pound,
Where judges are wigged and monarchs are crowned,
Where whether you're Jack Flash or Roger the Dodger
The war cry is bound to be Wanker!! or Gotcha!!
There are long historical reasons for this, but knowing that doesn't help. You can see the results - a team that is scared to make mistakes, that therefore makes mistakes, that can take neither penalties nor responsibility because every individual member of it is fully aware that a perverse demon in the nation actually prefers to see him carry cans rather than trophies.
That demon works on people's gut instinct that other people's inadequacies excuse theirs.
Still, I expect they will get what they fully deserve which is pity and contempt. Should England get anywhere near that final, the best thing Capello could do is to resign and blow a raspberry.