The Freakonomics guys take another stab at soccer:
Excuses for England losing:
The English Premiere League doesnâ€™t employ enough English players, thereby allowing too many foreigners to gain high-level experience at the expense of native lads.
The English players in the EPL are too exhausted after the long season (although foreign EPL players are apparently exempt from such exhaustion).
English technique is simply inferior to other squadsâ€™, whether the Germansâ€™ hyper-organization or the South Americansâ€™ run-and-gun; but, having invented the game, England still thinks its technique is supreme.
English fans and media expect too much and thereby create too much pressure. (That might explain why Wayne Rooney and all the rest seemed scared to even take a shot in the Algeria draw.)
Because â€œour best players are just not as good as everyone says, and the rest of the team are just average.â€