Martin Smith: Whitewash on the way as ex-Ashes winner Michael Vaughan puts his finger on the problem

It's going to be 5-0, we all know that don't we? When Australia gets on top in a sporting battle they go for the jugular and don't let go. Especially if it's the Ashes. The series is won but 3-0 won't be enough. They'll want to rub it in and if they do this will be Australia's fourth 5-0 win in the 130-plus year history of the competition, all in Australia.

Tuesday, 19th December 2017, 4:03 am
It's 3-0 as Australia win the third Test at the WACA. Photo Jason O'Brien/PA Wire

England has never won an Ashes series 5-0. Though they did win a six-match series 5-1 in Australia in 1978-79. After Australia’s win yesterday the all-time score is Australia 33 series wins, England 32.

We just don’t seem to have the temperament to maintain the level of hostility, determination and desire to whitewash the Aussies even when England are clearly superior.

Though they say they love us like brothers that colonial chip many Aussies carry against the mother country continues to drive them relentlessly on. Even when a series is won it’s not enough.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Only humiliation will do.

Steve Smith has been the man with is foot on England’s throat since November and it’ll still be there in January.

Sheffielder and Ashes winning England skipper Michael Vaughan summed it up nicely following the third test defeat: ‘I think today showed we have no swing, no seam, no pace or no spin.”

It’s hard to win an Ashes series from there.

n As a casual and occasional observer of the Sports Personality Of The Year pageant I think I speak for thousands of similarly committed viewers when I say: ‘Surely Mo Farah’s won it at least twice before, hasn’t he?”

Apparently not.

A simple glance at past winners shows that the all-conquering distance runner and his light-up-a-room smile finished third in 2011 but hasn’t had a sniff since.

Perhaps past missed drugs tests and his association with coach Alberto Salazar - who was accused by the Sunday Times earlier this year of doping - have made it difficult for him to appear sufficiently squeaky clean to take top prize.

So what’s different this time? Farah has always denied any wrongdoing, as has Salazar, and it appears that the British public believe him.

No disrespect, but you can’t help but think it wasn’t a vintage year when most people have to Google the name of the runner-up -Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea.