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  Friday, 21 June, 2002, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Men against boys
BBC Sport Online columnist Derek "Robbo" Robson on England's World Cup quarter-final defeat by Brazil.

Hello Robbo.

Hello son.

Oh dear, you sound as bad as I feel.

Do you know, I blame meself. If I'd have been a bit sharper about the pitch a few years back and brought me son on properly, maybe he'd have been filling in on the left hand side.

I should have put more effort into bringing him up properly.

Actually, no, I tell you who I blame. I don't normally look at it, but on Thursday I was watching Richard and Judy.

And that prat Madeley said 'We've gone and put some money on - England to win the World Cup and Henman to win Wimbledon'.

Judy Finnegan (left) with Richard Madeley
It's all your fault, Madeley!

I thought, well, that's it - when have they ever done anything that's been of any use? Or got anything right?

Well yes, I suppose the writing was on the wall after that.

I mean, you'd rather lose than have them two supporting you wouldn't you?

But it all looked all so good, didn't it, when Owen scored?

It did. You thought, well, that's all right, we'll thread balls into their back players and they'll give them back to us - and we'll win 4-0. But it didn't happen.

No, giving away that goal just before half-time was crucial.

Well, it's very easy to say that Scholes missed the tackle, but the goal was bloody brilliant.

You've got to hold your hands up and say you can't imagine any of our lads putting that together.

Er, no. Ronaldinho's had quite a quiet World Cup really and it's typical that he decides to start playing against England.

Ronaldinho and referee
You just goofed, referee

The other thing is that our players wondered why the hell he'd been sent off. They all looked bewildered and it all got a bit surreal for a while.

He definitely didn't deserve to go did he?

No. I don't know what the ref was doing. I doubt that lad's ever breathed in somebody's face before, looking at him.

I think you're right. There was a bit of a still that came over our office at the injustice of it, even though he was playing for the other side.

It was ridiculous, wasn't it?!

I think the game just went flat after that point and it probably would have been better if he'd stayed on.

I think we would have been better. The good thing about Brazil is that they always keep pushing forward - but they didn't after that. They just kept the ball.

At one point it was like our players were on one side of a fence and Brazil were playing in next door's garden.

And you had our players peering over and asking if they could have the ball back please. It was men against boys for the last half an hour.

David Seaman is consoled by David Beckham
Seaman announced his retirement at half-time

And we've got to mention Seaman haven't we?

We have! I think he might retire from international football - I just wish he hadn't done it 45 minutes early.

But did Ronaldinho mean to score? I think he did.

Did you? It was very delicate wasn't it? It just sort of floated in.

Well I think he knew Seaman was a bit knacked and went for it. Give him the benefit of the doubt.

Let's try and remember it as a good goal instead of Seaman signing off his career with a crazy error.

It was Nayim all over again.

It was! Maybe not quite that bad. I'm surprised he didn't top himself after that one.

Anyway, poor lad.

Yeah, he's played well throughout the rest of the tournament.

The good thing is he'll get home now and think to himself 'I don't really want to walk around the streets of England and be recognised'.

David Seaman
Still, at least he might cut his hair now

So he'll get rid of the hair and the tache and he'll start to look like a normal person again. That's the upside.

Every cloud has a silver lining, Robbo.

It does, doesn't it? And I hope Brazil go on and win it. Nice Brazil-Spain final would be smashing. I hope the tournament lives up to the standards that have been set so far.

It's been good fun, now I'll just go and get wrecked - particularly if the Germans beat the Yanks, or one of those teams get to the final. Still, as long as Brazil kick their backsides if they do.

Football's got to be the winner somewhere along the line.

And finally, do you think we can expect a heroes' welcome for England?

No, a kind of quiet word in your ear welcome.

There should be a lot of us, but we shouldn't be going "hoo-ray, hoo-ray!", it should be more like "all right son, well done" - in a kind of low mutter.

A hundred thousand people muttering "all right, son, well done - unlucky". I think that would be fair.

I think that's fair enough. If they'd played a bit in the second half and gone down fighting it would have been a different story.

Yep, there was no glory. It was igmin, igminin, was that.

Tearful England fan
We'll be back

I think I know what you're trying to say, Robbo. But at least you've put a bit of a smile on my face.

Well that's just about as much as I can manage meself. A wry smile. Now let's look forward to 2004 and 2006.

There's not a better European side than us at the moment and I think we'll have that trophy in Portugal. Come on, lads.

Come on, lads!

Pick your chins up off the floor.

All right, Robbo. Well I won't say it's been great speaking to you, because obviously we're both feeling down, but it is good to know there's someone who's as low as I am at the moment.

I'm lower than a Kieron Dyer cross, that's how low I am.

Well try and enjoy the rest of the World Cup.

All right Robbo.

All right, son.

Take care. Bye.

Ta-ta, son. HAVE YOUR SAY

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Derek 'Robbo' Robson
"Our players were on one side of a fence and Brazil were playing in next door's garden"
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