You won't often find me posting anything written in the Daily Mail, but on this occasion there is a question that needs to be put to this particular forum:
Is the US Women's football team arrogant..?
Is The American Women's Team Guilty Of Arrogance..?
There is no disguising the fact that they are a very good team and are in the final on merit, but apart from Megan Rapinoe's using of the tournament to promote diversity issues, the Americans have won few friends in the last three weeks, as if they care. As long as they win it seems, nothing else matters.
And win tonight they had better do, because if they lose they will depart on their journey home with a level of derisive taunting ringing in their ears that nobody has heard since John Cleese told King Arthur that his mother was a hamster and his father smelled of elderberries.
Every non-American at the match today will be a Holland fan and the US would do well not to underestimate the Dutch. The current European Champions are not in the final by accident.
I'm sure the American's English head coach is aware of that. She was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire (where I went to university) and is still very heavily English accented in her manner of speech. You might have beaten England, but you needed an English coach to mastermind the victory. Still, it makes a change from winning with a Swedish coach.
Megan Rapinhoe has got the balance right in her press interviews but the rest of the team have given the impression of being smug, superior, self satisfied and looking down their noses at every opponent. From the excessive celebrating of their first match - or should that be mis-match - against Thailand, to the tea-sipping insult by Morgan after scoring her goal against England and Fox News's snidey, mocking parody of the card holding scene in Love Actually
the inference has been clear throughout. "We are superior to you. You are inferior and we are going to make sure you know it."
Checking out the hotel the England players were staying in before the Semi Final with a view to them (the US team) using it as their base for the final may have been good "Mind Games" but it was viewed here as insulting, dismissive and smug. They were saying "We'll have your rooms because you won't be needing them."
This does the US team, the competition and women's football no credit.
The women's game has a fine reputation for inclusiveness, respect and humility on and off the field. We admire the team that wins and they in return expected to show their appreciation for the efforts of their opponents. Players leave the field as friends. In the last few games though, the handshakes and hugs being given to American players are beginning to look perfunctory and forced. That's not a good sign.
The French players weren't happy with some of the American gloating at them after the Quarter Final and this achieved something that being allies in two world wars, the Entente Cordiale, Concorde and the Channel Tunnel have failed to ever achieve:
It made French fans support England. In the semi final every French man and woman was an England supporter. it didn't do us any good, but the fact that it happened at all should be an indicator of how the reputation of America is being compromised by their players behaviour.
Over here we get the impression that Americans don't give a s*** about what anybody thinks of them as long as they win.
Certainly it's a good thing to have a winning mentality and there is no doubt that the US team is fit, well coached, highly motivated and very skillful. We admire those qualities and aspire to raising ourselves to that standard so we can challenge better in the future.
But the sneering smug superiority this team is starting to show ill behoves what is, in footballing terms, a very good team.
USA may very well leave Europe with a trophy and winners medals, but they won't be leaving many friends behind if they continue to behave in the manner that they do right now.
This is the picture that we over here have gained over the last three weeks. How do you guys over there see it...?