English Football Team Eliminated; Goalkeeper Blames Videogames

Last week, the England national side failed to qualify for Euro 2008 after losing 3-2 to Croatia.

Numerous theories have been bandied about by sports pundits as to why this may have occurred. These range from poor team management to a failure to nurture home-grown talent, to the team, y’know, just not being very good…

But it seems that otherwise obscure West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green, who didn’t even play in the final match, has the answer:

Video games…

I think we would have the best team if we could go into every household and throw away every PlayStation, Xbox and video game. We have the players and the best league in the world. The way the game is played here is so different though.

Watching the Premier League is like Formula One – it’s that quick – and then you go to an international game and it’s like a game of chess.

Of course, it’s a quote of two halves, and his second half is even better than the first – if Green clutches opposing shots the way he clutches straws, he’s a shoe-in for the next England team…

Other countries seem to bring on world class players, countries like Brazil and Argentina where, often, it’s football or nothing – in contrast, we live in a country where we have choices, and perhaps the will to do it and the need to escape from situations you’re in are not so clear.

If we all dispose of our games consoles, then we can all play football just as well as the man himself.

GP UK correspondent Mark Kelly

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  1. 0
    Calling All Humans says:

    I find this story comical and sad at the same time. Somebody is obviously very bitter! Sure I guess kids or parent blame video games for crappy grades. But still, these are adults. If they are pros then they shoudl know their limitations. I think using games as an excuse is a joke. Maybe it was more what these guys were smoking?

    Battlefield Heroes

    Halo 4

  2. 0
    greg says:

    I think he has a point. i may be a bit bias cuz i am an english west ham fan, but there is something to say about it. English players often lack technique but its just what is wrong with the grass roots system in england. Video games dont help, but they certainly arnt the only problem.

    if there wasnt video games, some people would certainly go outside and play. Definately not all, but some. playing in the street/field is one of the best ways to get good technique with the ball b/c its usually a small game where you get alot of touches on the ball.

    Blaming the problem on video games is a bit rediculous b/c it probably does the opposite sometimes. I now live in the states and the combo of the WC 2006 and fifa 06 has got quite a few of my friends interested in soccer, and are actually playing it semi-regularly now.

  3. 0
    Andy says:


    Professional football isn’t manly, its about running around and diving as soon as an opponent gets a part of his body near you.

    And let’s not forget that very ‘manly’ Scottish sport GOLF. 😀

    Oh and as you might have noticed recently, the English also play Rugby and are not half bad (well gotta be competent at something).

    Scotland rocks and all, but England isn’t as bad as you think. Plus if you consider the English your ‘Auld Enemy’ then that makes you prefer the *French*.

    Oh dearz. 😛

    I’m half Scottish btw, I’m not having a go at Scotland and England isn’t perfect but I love em both.


    Er on topic the goalie is talking shite, the problem lies with the players not games.

  4. 0
    Scottland89 says:


    Ahem, the English are obsessed with that shite so called sport called cricket, but us Scots (who are also British) prefer manly games like Rugby and Football (the one the US call Soccer).

  5. 0
    Jun Malabanan says:

    @West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green

    Admit it, chummie. You suck balls. Not only you blamed videogames, you also refused to be human by not admitting your mistakes.

  6. 0
    Saladin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    …… I rubbed my eyes, then looked at the article one more time. I honestly think we’ve run out of excuses for losing. ‘Cuz there’s a total douchebag blaming console gaming for a loss. Wow.

  7. 0
    Muetank ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Man… Last night my team on Team Fortress 2 was so bad. If they would all stop playing that darn sports we could have won that match of 2fort.

    *shoe, meet other foot*

  8. 0
    Boffo97 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Instead, let’s throw away soccer ball in the world and make it so that when everyone in the world says “football”, they mean the sport with 11 pad and helmet wearing players on each side playing with an oval shaped ball.

  9. 0
    Diane ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hey, now, this is serious business. If playing games will distract children from playing games, whatever will happen to them when they’re playing games?

    A little from column A, a little from column B, I think–I kinda think including the video is tacky, too. Independent of Green’s ability or inability to play ball, he sure does come off as an ignorant little man…and just maybe a touch bitter.

    Have to say I’m a little amused that he couldn’t get his own stupid idea, but rather jumped onto the “omgeh vidya games!” bandwagon with the rest of the kids.

  10. 0
    Chris S says:

    Also, to defend ‘otherwise obscure West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green’, he should be England number one in my eyes. He’s played many blinders for West Ham over last two seasons.

    That Youtube clip was a bit of a low blow too. Every senior keeper has several horrible mistakes behind them. Like Scott Carson, eh?

  11. 0
    Chris S says:

    Name me a footballer who is more at home with a controller than falling out of nightclub at 3AM? Lionel Messi. A genius.

    If a footballer is held back by video games, he is not driven enough to be world class, there have always distractions.

    I also take it that they don’t have consoles in Italy? Or Croatia for that matter?

  12. 0
    Baramos says:

    He’s apparently under the impression that if only the entire economy and every single activity of the U.K. that weren’t related to the play of soccer were shut down, he’d have one fantastic team. Because we all know soccer is the most important thing in the world.

  13. 0
    Demontestament ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Eddy Hrdlicka

    Actually I think it was posted to point out his short comings in the game. Honestly I laughed my ass off at the video. He complains about video games making his team lose when he can’t even kick the ball correctly and gives up a free goal because he got hurt.

  14. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think that guy missed the memo. Brits are supposed to blame anything and everything as an excuse for losing at international sports, but they’re not supposed to take it seriously.

    For the colonials out there, the manager making excuses after the match is as much part of the game as the penalties are.

  15. 0

    While I certainly think Green’s comments are that of a moron, the inclusion of the video of his injury game is tacky and unnecessary. There’s nothing funny about watching someone becoming injured like this, whether it was of his own doing or not. I expect better of this site.

  16. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hey, wasn’t Beavis & Butthead supposed to have destroyed society by now? That seemed to be the favored whipping boy back in the day. Could it be the moral eleitists were…wrong?

  17. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    It’s interesting to note that far more violcene, destruction and prejudice has been proven to be caused by the ‘football yob’ culture than has even been suggested to be caused by Video Games.

  18. 0
    Demontestament ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ok that is it, every time I have a bad day I am going to start blaming irrelevant things too. I wake up late it was Katamari’s fault. Stub my toe, the cement trained on Counter Strike. Soda goes flat, it obviously trained on a Murder Simulator. Wake up pal, it is not a game consoles fault your team failed to win. Maybe instead of making excuses why your team lost, you should be practicing so you can qualify next time. It is nobody else’s fault the team lost, the blame falls directly on the team. This is why I hate pro soccer, for some reason I am always thinking that most of the players and fans are douches. Note I said most, there has to still be some logical people who like the sport but are not driven to riot if their team wins/loses/ties/sucks.

    From what he says, it sounds like he wants to force everyone to just do nothing but watch and play soccer. No thanks, I’d rather do something where I am not surrounded mostly by douche bags who will kill you if you support the wrong team. Looking at it, it is kind of like gang on gang violence, wear the wrong colors to a match and you are f’ing dead.

  19. 0
    Benji says:

    He also just comes off as arrogant. There’s about 50 teams vying for 16 slots in the tournament. That means a whole lot of national teams – populated with players who are likely ten times better than I ever was minding the nets – aren’t going to qualify. To imply that your team is entitled to make it to Euro’08 but didn’t because of video games does great disrespect to the other teams that practiced hard so that they could outplay you and get the chance to go on themselves.

  20. 0
    Mort ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Did he whang his head on the goalpost going for a save? This makes absolutely no sense.

    Just sigh, shake my head, and walk away in utter confusion. I can’t argue with non-sense. He wins.

  21. 0
    GameDevMich ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The video posted at the end of the article was genius. Kudos Mark.

    You know the one thing I can’t stand about most pro-sports? The lack of professionalism, off field behavior, and the strong presence of sore losers.

    I gladly trumpet my love of baseball, especially the Red Sox. Manny Ramirez said it best during the 2008 post-season:

    “…It doesn’t happen, so who cares? There’s always next year. It’s not like it’s the end of the world.”

    He has seen his share of losses as a Red Sox player, yet his mentality demonstrates a love of the game and how to lose gracefully.

    Of course, it also helps that he was the cover player for MVP Baseball 2005 =)

  22. 0
    Mnementh2230 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think he’s complaining that “talent” is being “wasted” because kids are playing video games instead of going outside…

    Personally, given the weather in the majority of England, I wouldn’t go outside either!

  23. 0
    Rusty says:

    It sounds like he is complaining more that his teammates spend too much time playing video games and not enough time focused on football. To me this is no different that someone complaining about any other activity that could cause their teammates to lose focus or slack off. I don’t really see this as a bash on video games at all, but rather a bash on his team for being a bunch of slackers.

  24. 0
    odc04r says:

    Of course it would have nothing to do also with shocking defending and letting in two complete jokes of goals now would it?

    How can you blame the ‘playstation generation’ for the result of a match played at national level with players who earn more in one week than most do in a year? Crazyness.

    Ofc football is so important as well in the great scheme of things :rollseyes:

  25. 0
    DarkSaber2k says:

    As usual with England squad, when they lose it’s not because of the players. It’s the coach, it’s the fans, it’s the opponents cheating!

    The only element that is consistent in all of Englands failures at football are the players. They are a bunch of stuck-up over-paid prima donnas who suck as a team because each player is used to being the ‘greatest’ in their individual clubs, but they also have a butt load of non-english players that cover up their short-comings in club football.

  26. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And i thought Europe took soccer waaaaaay too seriously before… now THEY’RE playing the blame game?

    On video games? For SPORTS?

    I know it’s a big deal for guys in the UK, but it’s STILL just a game… and besides, didn’t they lose that game by, like, one point?

  27. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’s amazing that our team, that still continues to try to ride the wave of a win that was over 50 years ago still haven’t realised that since that point, they’ve pretty much sucked.

  28. 0
    beemoh ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think the real problem here is that Mr. Green, like an annoyingly large amount of the British populace, hasn’t realised that there are other sports than Football.

    The last time we won a major football event, as far too many people are far too happy to tell you, was 1966- a good twenty years or so before the NES and about fifteen prior to affordable home computers like the Spectrum, and we’ve won other competitions since then which haven’t seen the same level of attention- if any at all- that one world cup we won, once did.

    Chances are, the people who have turned their back on Football have probably merely moved onto other sports, only to go un-noticed when it doesn’t see the same support- in terms of facilities as well as fans- as bloody Football does.


  29. 0
    Ken ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Don’t blame the games just because your team sucked. Maybe if you guys got off your arses and actually did some decent playing, you might have actually won. You don’t see the Dolphins blaming EA’s NFL games for their terrible record.

  30. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “We have the players and the best league in the world. The way the game is played here is so different though.

    Watching the Premier League is like Formula One – it’s that quick – and then you go to an international game and it’s like a game of chess.”

    Watching a Premier League match is practically like watching an international game, the majority of the star players and big signings for clubs are foreign players.

    “Other countries seem to bring on world class players, countries like Brazil and Argentina where, often, it’s football or nothing – in contrast, we live in a country where we have choices, and perhaps the will to do it and the need to escape from situations you’re in are not so clear.”

    Maybe I’m not getting his message correctly, but this seems to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. I am taking it that he is referring to poverty and other problems when he talks about “the need to escape from situations”. What he is saying is that it is preferable to live in poverty or in a dangerous neighbourhood and to have football as your only avenue of distraction, than it is to live in a country where you have choices and do not have these same problems…

    Call me crazy, but if I had a choice between being the greatest footballer in the world but living in an poor and crime ridden area, or being terrible at football but living in a nice area, not being in poverty, and playing video games, then pass me the controller.

    It’s funny how for some people, all of their problems or the ills of the world are so easily pinned on one thing, with no proof whatsoever except for an opinion.

  31. 0
    Raum says:

    I think we would have the best gamers if we could go into every household and throw away every football, tennis racquet and piece of sporting equipment. We have the players and the best league in the world. The way that games are played here is so different though.

  32. 0
    Robb ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I thought the “it’s not my fault” attitude was particularly American. Gee, I wonder if ciggies also have an effect on athletics? Sounds a lot like the Chewbacca Defense.

  33. 0
    TheBampot ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah and maybe if we took all the youths out of school and put forced them into football death camps, where you need to score goals in order to be eat, then we’d have the best team ever… or a massive increase of deaths caused by starvation.
    After all the only reason the team ain’t great is because we have something stupid like “choice”

  34. 0
    The Discombobulator says:

    OMG. What? I live in the UK. Football ( or soccer, i don’t care ) is everything to most people over here, ” we invented the game” and all that crap. We just are no good at it. Same with Cricket. The England team can NEVER live up to the expectations placed on it. And to blame games? I blame the extravagent wages footballers earn now. some are paid in excess of £100,000 a week. Now convert that in to the ever falling dollar. See, its just madness.

  35. 0
    Scottland89 says:

    I wonder why Scotland arn’t using this exuse when cheated against Italy?

    Maybe cause we did better with better games consoles about, despite many of us choosing to play games instead. We beat World Number 3 (at the time) twice this campaign, and we’ve got the same “problem” as our southeern neighbours, the Auld Enemy.

    Trust me, British coverage of Euro 2008 will be about Englands sorrow and will bring up 19 fing 66. And gaming ruining the game is a load of non sense, look at Japan for crying out loud. They were in the last World Cup and Japan is gaming capital.

  36. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I repeat what I said last time this was bought up by UK footballers.

    Maybe if we didn’t live in a society where our media tells us that letting our kids out on our own will 95% result in them getting shot, stabbed, raped, mugged, kidnapped and sold into slavery in Romania, then more kids would be allowed to go over the park to play football…

  37. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    We haven’t been obsessed with that Sport for nearly 20 years, maybe back in the Botham days, but it’s pretty much on a par with Tennis now, only interesting at big tournaments. The BBC certainly make a big deal out of Cricket but that’s more around the fact that it is losing viewers fast than out of a national obsession with the game.

  38. 0
    AB says:

    i think we all should make a quote to everything that people blame games for anybody have any thoughts….

    a good example is when homer simpson save the nuclear plant, and everybody was saying “i pulled a homer”

  39. 0
    Loudspeaker ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    The other teams are haxxors!

    Oh… Oh… This is a good one!

    …Now if only in 2008 we can get, “I lost the Presidential election because of video games!” Then the circle of video game blame will be complete.

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