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Rock the Crossbar

Monday, November 26

England Football team - Not these Chaps

If the civilised world had to depend on the England football team to save Britain we would all be speaking German right now. I am so sick of them talking a good game, bottling it and / or complaining of gammy legs / whatever only to recover and play out of their minds on Saturday for club.
For lack of better way to describe it - Gerrard, Owen and company do not really care about playing for England. They say they do but they have no grit or determination. They are really soft as shite and living in some delusional fantasy world.
Owen yesterday spouted the following: "I don't think any of the Croatian team would get into ours," wrote Owen. "Doesn't that tell you it is not about ability or technique but in the mind?"
Okay, so what that tells us is that England players don't give a toss. They will say they need to see a sports psychiatrist. They are a disgrace to the badge and to England.
This great generation of footballers has been proved wanting. Fortunately for England, there are good players that could make their mark such as Walcott and Abgonlahor.
The FA should do what it takes to qualify for the WC but jettison as many of the big time Charlies as possible whilst doing so. For one, Owen should go focus on his horses. He is crocked and in many ways resembles a child actor or one hit wonder he peaked early and then fell away.
Gerrard. I would like to smash his teeth in his smile after his goal on Saturday. Do that for England you tosser. He is another delicate one.
Lampard - Don't really know about him. The problem has been with playing him and Gerrard but if you ditch Gerrard Lampard might be alright alongside Hargreaves. It may be good to jettison him as well though. Take a player like Barry who will graft more.
Terry - I dislike him but can't see who could replace him now. I think he epitomises all that is wrong with the England squad but can't see him being shown the door.
Rooney - is a lot more disposable than people think. Another young lad who peaked early. If he does not control his temper he is a liability. All players should take a page from the Latin playbook and provoke him because he will respond. Wonder how long he will continue to think he's hard. Maybe from a boxing family but basically is the King of Chaves.
Crouch - Please get rid of him. I would rather have Dafoe or Bent play up front.


  • Crouchy's alright - not his fault that England spent 30 minutes hoofing balls at him against Croatia. The goal he did get was froma cultured pass from Beckham. I agree with most of the rest of this however - these players certainly dont gel and England doesnt have an effective playing style. They need to go back to what they know 4-4-2. Even if the 2 happens to include Bent. grim times.
    Gerrard I like at club level but at international level he lacks the ability to hold the football -he has to hoof it too often when England are better served making team chase the ball.

    I would throw Walcott in now and Bently and Agbonlahor and stick with them and let them grow, we have 9 months of testing but sod the tests , get a crop of players together and let them gel.
    Robert Green in goal.
    HArgreaves/Rio/AShley would be people i'd keep and ROoney... probably.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 1:19 PM  

  • Chris, you make some good points here, especially about how the England boss and the set up has not brought along the younger players that should be given the chance to make the step up to the full side. Given Theo's sparkling displays this year, Bentley's confidence, and Aglonbahor's continuing promise, it's criminal that when the chips are down, it's the old guard that are asked to step again in the fray. But what really is the point of offering third chances to Heskey? Or sixth chances to Pip Neville? And Defoe? Really? A guy that's pressed to be considered even a Premiership player? Remind me of why he's a better player in the Prem than say, Kevin Beattie who now that he's dropped a division has found his level. I agree with you that it's shocking that in as weak a group as Croatia, Russia, Israel, Macedonia, and Andorra, no new player other than perhaps Gareth Barry has been brought in to any good effect.

    And Barry's been around the fringe of the squad already. I know he was called up by Sven a few times. It's not as if he's unknown.

    Where I take issue with your argument here is that you've laid this too squarely at the door of the players. I agree that there have been games where it just didn't look like their hearts were in it. I take your point that Gerrard has underperformed. Maybe Crouch should have had a few more goals for England. I certainly share your opinion that John Terry is a horribly flawed defender. And as for chavs, there are few worse than Lamps, Joe Cole, and Cashley.

    But don't you think that a Rafa or Mourinho led squad of these same players could have topped this group? I do. And I had real hope for McLaren. When as a first move, he axed Becks, I thought, alright, someone with balls enough to say that I'm going to bring in a new England era.

    Instead we got squads with Heskey, Pip Neville, Defoe, and David James--past it guys, -- and Andy Johnson, Jermaine Jenas, and Michael Dawson--guys as out of their element in an England shirt as Carlton Palmer and Geoff Thompson were in their era.

    And given all the evidence that Lampard and Gerrard canceled each others good qualities out, he still forced them to play together, even when during a forced absence of one or the other, even Ledley King looked a better partnership.

    Let's also not forget that this past two years has seen some of the most defensive lineups against some of the most dire and limp opposition. You know why Mick Channon and Supermac used to get 4 goals against inferior opposition in the 70's? Because they weren't dependent on 3 defensive midfielders all focused on keeping things tight and worried about the "pace of the Macedonians", that's why. In the old days, when we played those teams, yes, there was a foreign player in those teams that might have been worth watching closely, but we didn't set out not to ship goals either.

    McLaren never sorted out the keeper situation. Just like Sven hung a not-up-to-it David James to swivel in the wind, SCS took Robbo and heaped ruin on him. Here's the thing. If you cannot occupy Macedonia, or Israel, or yes, Russia up front, you end up playing those teams in your end and eventually bad things happen. Robbo lost confidence and playing behind Kaboul, Dawson, and Lii at Spurs wasn't going to rebuild it. But Robbo was the man. There was no-one else. Not the glass vase that is Kirkland. Not Norwich's Robert Green who was shelled like some Tommy at Ypres. And not the whipped Dog that is the Premiership-yes, International-NO, David James. McLaren should have had Robbo under his protective wing and given him the chance to build himself back, by putting out a forward looking team when we played really poor opposition so that he could play himself back into form.

    Finally, the FA has to go. They have shown that they are poor and incompetent stewards of the English game. When some major eejit like Gordon Brown sounds sensible like when he called for a thorough purge of the FA, you know something's wrong.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 11:19 PM  

  • I would have laid more of this at the feet of SCS, as well, but I think looking to the FA and, more broadly, at the state of the game in England is worthwhile. That said, the players didn't seem to gripe much in public, and at a certain point they have to take public responsibility for what's happened. It's the prevailing sense of a laissez faire attitude that rubs most people, neutrals included, the wrong way. I had tried posting in Johnny Foreigner to this effect earlier but must have timed out. The partisan in me is, of course, bound to suggest that Lone Star won't pick up another World Cup before the U.S. wins its first, but that's too easy. There's certainly nothing happening in the United States that says the game is improving rapidly enough here for this claim to be taken seriously, but I do genuinely believe that England are in worse shape than they realize.

    By Anonymous glazer shmazer, at 9:22 AM  

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