My Two Cents

Posted: June 30, 2010 in Football

Capello's anger is clear as England crash out

What a wonderful time to start up a sporting blog!

With the England Rugby team Down Under against the old foe of Australia, the cricketers hosting the Aussies in a series of one-day internationals and Wimbledon all happening at once, the sports writer is rather saturated with topics to get the mouth watering.

However, one event stands above them all: The World Cup. Held in South Africa this time around, this four-yearly event brings together the best players from around the world to do what they do best.
And yet we’re always left talking about the failures of the England national team.

I know this isn’t the most interesting of topics and everybody has had their say on the matter, but it just makes sense to start with the most talked about subject going in this country currently.

Yet again we were made to believe this could be the year in which England end “44 years of hurt”, but yet again England slipped out, this time in the second round, having only just slithered out of a group that looked easy on paper.

All the sporting media has had their say on matters and now it is my turn. Point number one is Fabio Capello’s excuse of fatigue, which is a flimsy excuse trotted out so much that it’s lost all meaning. Our friends in the media have already pulled up the stats claiming the Germans on average played more games last season, so that idea falls on its face.

The media has also made it clear they want Capello out on his ear for the failure of England.
Now the man has made a few glaring tactical errors.  My main fault with him is with the promises he brought at the beginning of his reign, promising to pick his players purely on form and ability as opposed to reputation. We were all hoping he would pick the best team as opposed to the best players.

However, he fell into the same pitfalls as his predecessors, trying to shoe-horn Lampard and Gerrard into the same four-man midfield. Leaving Rooney as a singular spearhead would’ve been far more effective and would allow a formation that could include both midfielders, if needs must.

For that is the issue with England that the egos of the players outweigh the importance of a team-ethic. The previous manager had to put up with it and the next will do exactly the same. Player-power is far too rife within the England squad.

The fact is, the players are far too often over-hyped and made to think they’re so much better than they are. And we’re made to believe this as well. The fact is, the best players in the world often prove that outside of their comfort zone on their home turf, with the likes of Ronaldo doing so in England and Spain and Messi ditching Argentina for Spain at a young age.

Gerrard and Lampard remain settled as big fishes in England, unwilling to risk their reputations on foreign soil. Such a move could allow them to embrace other footballing ideals and tactics. Whilst we all love to commend the ‘loyalty’ of a one-club-man, gone are the days where this possesses any international benefit.

As for the remainder of the squad that played any part in South Africa, David James, Robert Green, Ledley King, Matthew Upson, Gareth Barry, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch all played in sides that didn’t even compete in European competition last season, whilst neither James Milner or Emile Heskey played any part in Aston Villa’s short-lived Europa League campaign.

It would be an incredible stretch of the imagination to believe this group could really compete with the world’s best. Considering the German side that dismantled England contained 5 players that ply their trade at Bundesliga champions and Champions League runners-up, Bayern Munich, whilst others played at high-ranking clubs such as Werder Bremen, Hamburg and Stuttgart. Likewise with Spain, where only Joan Capdevila and Fernando Torres of the eleven that started their second round match played for clubs other than Barcelona and Real Madrid.

So Capello cannot be solely blamed for the failure of our nation in the quest for World Cup glory. Unfortunately, the whole English footballing system is rotten from the core and needs some serious work. A managerial change will bring nothing and will only heighten the myth that it is poor coaching that is the cause of these repeated disappointments.

In the dying husk of a tree that is the English National Team, Capello is just a mere woodlouse who has taken refuge inside.

  1. My Two Cents…

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