Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Like a pub team

Apologies for the temporary obsession with England, but in many ways it seems they are to International Football what Fulham are to the League. Tonight was shocking. I wasn't really surprised but when Peter Crouch scored that equaliser I did allow myself to believe that against all expectations we were going to manage to qualify. However, just like Fulham, England always revert to type and having got ourselves back in the game by attacking we tried to sit back and defend, against a team that was technically, organisationally and passionately better than us, and paid the price.

I've criticised England for their lack of passion before tonight and there wasn't much in evidence again tonight, but I actually think the biggest problem we had to overcome was (as former Fulham manager Mickey Adams would have said) the fear of failure. You could sense it as soon as Carson made that mistake on 8 minutes and again when having levelled the scores we tried to stop Croatia from attacking. Where were our leaders on the pitch? Gerrard, Lampard, Campbell? Nowhere. The root cause of our problems come from poor management though, and if McClaren hasn't been shown his P45 by lunchtime tomorrow I'll be very disappointed. Frankly the entire F.A. management board needs to be given the boot and replaced with a more efficient organisation but we all know that won't happen.

I really don't know who we get to take us on from here. I was keen on Martin O'Neil before McClaren got the job but would be happy with Hiddink or Scholari. There are few genuine English candidates but, despite really disliking him, I'd even accept Sam Allardyce as a move in the right direction. Whoever gets the job needs to build a new team around our younger players and move away from the reliance on supposedly star players. We need 26 players who we know can do the job they are asked to do, something that seems to have found difficult to achieve with 11 players.

A day of sulking then I'll be back to talk about Fulham ahead of the weekend fixtures.


Anonymous said...

Whilst, your self and others includng myself have no faith in McClaron.

Dont lets forget the eleven millionares on that pitch tonight who were totally useless, I beleive a 'hungry' Championship side could have offered much more of a contest.

There was no urgency, skill or commitment whatsoever and we have to accept that as a nation we are third world class.

The premiership clubs do well in europe thanks only to the foreign players who tend to make our english players look much better than they are and when they have to perform on their own regretfully it really shows them as what they are, Very Average.

Until we accept our failings it does not matter a damn who the manager is, he can only call on the sub standard players avaliable to him.

My one exception to this is Beckham who always gives 110% and I would rather have him playing on crutches than the rest of the overpaid clogers on show tonight.


Anonymous said...

I think the attitude in the players is a reflection of the poor management of the team. The management need to instill the importance of desire and passion in the players. I actually think our biggest problem is the fear of failure and again that comes from the top.


Rob said...

In my opinion the problem is that we're simply not as good as we think we wonder other nations think we're arrogant. There are only a handful of world class players in our squad - Terry, Rooney, Gerrard (sometimes), J.Cole (on his day) - but even they would struggle to get into most other top sides...

Anonymous said...

But even Rooney's not what we'd hoped he would be. Good player, sure, but not special.

I think it's a sociological thing. There must be a reason why no English coach is remotely in the frame, remotely capable of this sort of job. As Luca Vialli said, in Italy all the players like to talk tactics, compare ideas, etc.

Here? Steven Gerrard said "our plan was to get at them early and let them know they're in a game".

Well yeah. Good one. That'll upset them. This isn't the 1950s, you can't rely on the old "these foreigners, they don't like it up 'em" any more. Not that it worked then, either.


Anonymous said...

Great points Rob & Rich. The point about players thinking they are better than they really are is exactly what I was trying to get at. We need someone who can get the best out of the players. Barry has shown there are players who can do the job we don't have to rely on the likes of Gerrard and Lumpard if they don't perform.

As to the lack of English candidates for the job. It is very sad but I really don't know the answer. I think we have to go through a period of self analysis similar to the French and really look at the root cause of the problem, but depressingly, I doubt we'd ever be able to do that properly.