Sunday 27 May 2018

Let us go to Denmark with feelings of deepest despondency

Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

When we were drawn against Denmark in the World Cup play-offs, for a few moments a sense of euphoria came over us. It was probably not quite the sort of win that requires the spraying of Champagne, but it was certainly enough to be breaking out the exclamation marks on Twitter.

"We've got Denmark!!!!!!" they exulted. We had won the Draw, as it were, and while we hadn't 'achieved' anything in the conventional sense, we felt that we had found favour with the baleful gods. Which is a feeling rare enough, and good enough, to be regarded as an actual accomplishment.

We had dodged a bullet. In fact we had dodged two bullets. We had feared certain death against Italy or Croatia, due to our ancient feelings of inferiority when we are playing teams that seem to us to be more 'technically gifted' - a reasonable fear, as it happens, because they are actually more technically gifted - and death would indeed have been certain against either of these.

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