Saturday, 3 July 2010

WC COMMENT: A 'Social' Take on the England Debacle

So like many of you, last Sunday evening saw me glued to my TV with a glass of Tropicana (no bits) to watch the highly fueled Germany, England game.

You may stand on one side of the spectrum that detests football with a passion and will throw a fit at the mere sound of a Vuvuzela or you may embrace what is commonly regarded as the 'beautiful game', living it, watching it, debating about it, passionately.

Regardless of where you fall, you couldn't have missed the hype and hysteria that led up to the game, and the political aftermath that ensued after it.

With the World War firmly in the mind of the patriotic English, and the Germans too, the England Germany fixture saw Germany have the last bragging laugh as they 'Mullered' England 4-1.

The goals? Well put plainly, the first was a basic defensive error, taught at school boy level. Letting the ball bounce from a goal kick, bad positioning, a lack of will, a lack of hunger.

The second? Bad positioning, with a cool finish from Podolski, the German attacker who manages to score more than Russel Brand.
England did claw one back after Gerrard managed to put in a cross that showed a glimpse of the player he is for Liverpool with Upson meeting it with his head to make it 2-1.

But after a Frank Lampard effort which hit the underside of the cross bar and went in which 40,00 people and millions watching at home could see, but not the linesman or his fourth official.

The rest of the goals were swift, composed counter attacks. As England poured forward to salvage something from what has been a disappointing World Cup campaign, Germany hit them on the break, the type of football swift counter attacking football we saw back when Arsenal were a team that won trophies.

Fact is, we could talk for ages about the disallowed goal, about how bad England played but the problem is bigger than that.

Now the hard part....

England need to deal with the fact that that they are a second rate nation when it comes to major football tournaments. A last sixteen team, at best.

Now many of you may think, hold on, don't we have some of the best players in the world?

And yes its true, Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard (slightly debatable), would practically walk into any club in the world and find themselves in the starting line up week in week out.

However when it comes to England, everything falls flat, there is no life to their game, no creativity, no flair and the end result is a disappointing World Cup.

Of course this opinion is merely that, an opinion and during the World Cup all of a sudden every man and his dog is now a fully pledged football pundit but the general fact that England have been underachieving for a long time now are views that are shared by many, respected pundit or not.

Furthermore there is a clear sign hierarchy in the England dressing room that doesn't do any good for team spirit.

Before an important England match you can put your last pound down on the fact that if fit, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard will always play regardless of whether their form has been bad.

Make no mistake, for their respective clubs they perform but no manager dare not drop any of the 'golden generation' or be prepared to get hounded by the media and probably receive death threats too.

We could go on for ever, was Beckham really needed on the touchline? Did the media really have to go to town and hail the XI that beat Slovenia the best thing since sliced bread? Did we really have to play Gareth Barry who looked like a kid treading water in an attempt to run and stop a German counter attack which lead to a goal?

Whatever the weather..... but it isn't all doom and gloom, as surprisingly the FA have done something right.

The only good thing England can take from the loss is that Fabio Capello will not be sacked as the England Coach.

The FA have tried it all, the Englishman in Steve Mclaren wasnt up to it and now tainted with the term 'the wolly with the brolly' for that iconic image him watching on in the rain underneath the comfort of an Umbrella as his man performed badly... terribly badly

Sven Goran Eriksson, who has a good managerial CV in Europe, turned the England camp into a circus after he let those airhead WAGS swan around like they were more important than the players in Baden Baden at the last World Cup in Germeny.

Capello had to stay, if the FA let him go it would have cost them figures in the region of twelve million to release him from his contract and the result would be back to square one.

We watched as Ghana crashed out of the World Cup and if you look at the Ghana camp and try and highlight the bigtime charlie of the group you couldn't.

No prima donnas, no ego's, just a united XI that wanted to do well for their country Perhaps, England need to take a look at the Ghana camp and take notes.

Regardless, England and Capello have four years to rub of the drawing board and start again... If they qualify that is!

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