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Monday, August 09, 2010

What the hell is going on with the England squad??

What he blazes is gong on with our national football team's set up? We have a friendly on Wednesday days before the official kick-off of the Premier League, we have players taking turns to announce their decision to retire from international football, others reporting to be too ill to play and then end up playing later on, while one decides to snub the coach, for what reason I just cannot think of.

A friendly to follow on from a debacle of a WC2010, probably the worst I've seen England play since I've been watching them, and most definitely their worst most recent performance, their worst under Fabio Capello, and their worst World Cup campaign EVER. The expectations from the players was so contrasting to their actual general output in South Africa. Capello shares some blame for perhaps not having a Plan B or C when Plan A just faltered, collapsed, and just ended up on the ground disjointed and erratically malfunctioning to a complete stop.

The players ended the campaign with a finish from the Germans that appeared to have made up for previous defeats, and a drubbing that was equal to the defending we offered. The England players came off that pitch to drown their sorrows, according to the account by David James in one tabloid. Yes, drown it all in a pool of vodka and cigars. Personally, if I was one of those players, I would have returned to my hotel room and laid on my bed, going over and over what happened, what should have happened, and what could happen when I return home. Wouldn't be up in the mood for drinks and cigars, especially since I don't drink or smoke.

The image and attraction of the national team had gone down in the estimation of many natives here in England, and what we have is an uncompromising friendly days before the 'best league in the world' starts. I would personally use many fringe players on Wednesday and leave the seniors alone.

England squad to face Hungary:

Goalkeepers: Ben Foster (Birmingham), Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defenders: Gary Cahill (Bolton), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), John Terry (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Aston Villa), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Forwards: Carlton Cole (West Ham United), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Bobby Zamora (Fulham)

Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, Terry, Barry, Lampard, and Rooney should not feature. Darren Bent is out with a back problem. I find it something else that Gibbs and Wilshere are involved, having not played in the league per the Capello requirements, but it's a friendly and why not to give them a chance to shine. Michael Carrick would have been a good addition but between him and Alex Ferguson, Capello was deceived into believing Carrick was not fit. Ferguson said he was of the opinion Carrick wasn't fit Friday, and then heard sometime after he was fit, in time for the Community Shield match too! Isn't that magic??

It's 'unusual' for a player to be declared unfit, only to be fit enough almost 48hrs later. For the record, I don't believe it. Another incredible display was Ashley Cole's. Cole should definitely not feature on Wednesday after he blatantly snubbed Capello's hand at the Community Shield yesterday. Either Capello said something to him previously or he was put up to do it by another, because I can't think of any reason Cole would have to do it. And Ashley Cole to dare snub anyone, with his reputation off the field?!

One of the best left-backs, arguably the best, in the EPL; in Europe; sought after by his previous boss Jose Mourinho to come to Real Madrid; and he thinks he has the right, the gall, to snub our national football coach?? There are a few managers in the EPL right now who wouldn't have that happening without sanction, a few others who it wouldn't dare happen to. Players upset and snubbing their manager as they come off? Should damn well grow up. You may not like the man but you show your respect nonetheless, because it's business.

Paul Robinson decides to step down, not that his goalkeeping last season was worthy of a special mention, then again neither was Robert Green's in comparison but James and Hart were worthy and there was only one other place - which one out of Robinson and Green would you have chosen? Sam Allardyce was livid with Robinson's WC exclusion, and his words reflected so:

"Perhaps Joe Hart can run [Robinson] close but he hasn't got 41 international caps of experience and hasn't played in major championships before." Joe Hart for me was in good form last season for Birmingham, was partly the reason why they did so well in general for the season too.

".....ever mind the David James scenario, who is spasmodically in and out because it seems he has a bit of an injury problem." Sorry, Sam, James was in good form himself leading into the World Cup and I would have made him my keeper to start off against the USA. Comparing Robinson to James and Hart was wrong; comparing him to Green would have given his words more depth.

Wes Brown has stepped down too. He has another World Cup in him, much less the forthcoming 2012 European Championships, and I don't feel players step down to make way for others - they want that international place for themselves as long as possible. I think Brown has had his head twisted in regard to the England squad by another.

So the friendly on Wednesday is now more than a friendly - it's crunch time for Capello. The side must perform, must win, must deliver. And if the 'fringe' players do not impress, it will put more pressure on Capello. At £6m per year, the man has signed up for an expensive rollercoaster ride that seems to be spearheading down at the moment. All the talk of sacking him was ludicrous - when you have players and pressure like he is having now, it's more of a case for encouraging him to remain. And don't give me that rubbish about needing an English manager. We have done that to no avail, already!



Blogger T said...

Redsman, a pleasure to read!

England have major problems with ego and character let alone skill and quality.

This should be the England team in 2012:


Ferdinand (c)


A Johnson

If only Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale were eligible for England!!

8/28/2010 8:31 am


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