Via the Rubbish Man I came upon this. Despite the inherent wrongness of psychoanalysis, it’s rather a good read:

“England’s repeated failure in penalty shoot-outs is not down to bad fortune, as the English media, with its empiricist presuppositions, insists. To lose once might be an accident, but to lose five times demands a psychoanalytic explanation. Some clues as to the nature of the libidinal disorder which afflicts the England side were provided when Rooney was sent off yesterday. From being disjointed and tentative, England suddenly looked purposive and effective. That was because Rooney’s dismissal gave England the opportunity to achieve what it is most comfortable and familiar with, a heroic defeat. England players are so accustomed to failure that they would find success traumatic and unimaginable, so it is as if, time after time, the team contrives to lose one of its key players – Rooney yesterday, Beckham in 1998 – in order to set up the conditions for the desired ‘heroic defeat’.”