World Cup 2010 has not seen the trend of snap judgements being bucked. There are many examples of this, but the one I will concentrate on is form.
Players have already endured a very long season of football. In the case of Premiership footballers, a long season of furiously paced football.
When they line out for their countries at a World Cup, it is expected the occasion should aid the players to achieve the peaks of their powers. This may be true for some players, not for all.
It is especially untrue (if such a phrase makes any sense) for players coming back from injury.
England have pinned their World Cup hopes on the fitness of Gareth Barry. It appears they have no hope without him, as the Gerrard Lampard central midfield pairing has been condemned.
Barry travelled to the World Cup carrying an injury (rucksack/suitcase/carry-on?), and despite this it was generally expected, that he’d stroll onto the pitch, and dominate the Algerian game.
The same case can be made for Fernando Torres. Despite being out for weeks after his knee surgery, people are wondering why he’s not firing on all cylinders.
Both of these players have a chance to improve their game in the second round. If their countries don’t progress, and their form doesn’t improve, I’m sure someone will blame them for the failure.