Monday, June 28, 2010

28 June 2010: Autopsy

What I said before.

And the strange thing is the reaction of many in the media. The end of the Golden Generation is one common theme (along with the seeming dearth of English footballers coming through) and the other is that the Premier League is to blame: no winter break, no requirement for a certain percentage of home-grown players etc etc. Among the more ridiculous suggestions is the notion that Germany beat England because the German game is more measured and collected, compared to the England game of 100 miles per hour action. So that'll be why English clubs struggle so much in European club competitions then, is it? The problem isn't the way the game is played - the problem seems to be somehow smaller and localized in this squad and this coach.

I say that because prior to this World Cup, England were actually doing pretty well. One of the best qualifying campaigns in a long time - never any question of failing to make it. Beat Croatia home and away, and frankly they're probably better than Germany right now. What happened to that qualifying team? Not sure, but while some of the blame can be put down to player fatigue, it seems there's some bad feeling in the camp, factioning of players and an underlying mistrust between the coach and the squad. It's not the end of the world, and these players didn't become dreadful overnight. It's just Euro 2000 again, that's all. The investigations that should take place need to be ones into the preparation, the handling of the squad in South Africa and the fairly obvious feelings of resentment and frustration within the squad. Specifically, they need to talk to the players one by one, anonymously if necessary, and get their side of the story.

If the problems that were hinted at by James, Terry et al during the competition are even halfway true, then Capello also has to go, and go soon.

As for the end of the Golden Generation, well - I see no reason why Gerrard shouldn't be central to Euro 2012, and looking beyond that there's no reason to assume Rooney will not pick his form back up, especially as he's still only 24. Lampard did little enough that he won't be missed, Joe Cole's time is probably past - shame for him, as he was possibly the most talented of his generation, yet he was overlooked too often - and at the back, Rio and Terry may or may not still be around next time. Someone with a little more pace might be handy though. Crouch also may have his days numbered now, leaving him with the best scoring record of any England player ever in terms of matches started: 17 goals in 18 starts.

But then I think back to the qualifying campaign and the away win over Croatia, probably Capello's high-point as England manager. But that day it was Theo Walcott with the hat-trick, and he hasn't been quite back to par since his injury this year. However, all talk is of whether he or Lennon is to be the Pointless Winger in the future England line-up. To me, the response to that has to be 'derrrrrrrr' since Walcott's best position, by a country mile, is as a striker. Remember that Thierry Henry used to play on the wing until they discovered he could score. Ian Wright as another example. Garry Nelson, if you want an Argyle perspective. I'm looking for Wenger to start being a little more creative with Theo and then we'll see what he's capable of. We know he can score goals.

One more thing. When the fourth goal went in, Capello responded immediately by hauling off Defoe and bringing on Heskey. Anyone who does that should be told he has to resign immediately. What did he expect Heskey to do? Lard them to death or something? When David Cameron gets back from swimming in Canada or whatever it was he was doing, he should immediately introduce legislation to ban Heskey from ever playing for England again. Or maybe just ban Heskey from ever playing again. Or maybe just ban Heskey.

"Emile Heskey's somewhat dubious England career of two goals in seven hundred games came to a rapid conclusion when the British government made it a criminal offence to be Emile Heskey. As a result, Heskey was forced to grow a large beard and he lived out the rest of his life as a recluse hermit in Basingstoke."

Sounds like a plan to me.


Rob said...

I heard a football joke the other day...

Q. How do you hide from Emile Heskey?

A. Dress like goal posts - he'll never find you!

Allie said...

You can buy England nappies. Seems rather appropraite, doesn't it?