I said before the World Cup commenced that I couldn’t get in to watching England like I do with Forest. If one ever needed justification for it, the group of individuals (note the lack of using the word ‘team’) provided it with another abject showing, and a deserved trouncing at the hands of Germany.
It’s true that the refereeing team made an utter howler in denying England an equaliser when Lampards shot clearly crossed the line, it’s also true that Lampard later when on to hit the bar from a freekick that could have made it oh-so-different, but well, these things didn’t happen – and ultimately Germany profited from two frankly awful performances in defence from Matthew Upson and John Terry.
And that’s what pissed me off most – not to take anything away from Germany, they weren’t that good – but we seemed to make it so easy for them to break and hit us on the counter-attack with some awful positional play from our defenders, and a complete absence of covering. I really hope that nobody turns up to see them return from South Africa, that they arrive to an abandoned terminal with a few photographers.
Watching Argentina vs Mexico as I type, I am reasonably sure that either of these sides would make mincemeat out of us in the next round anyway – indeed, I think the Germans might struggle against them too. They too looked ropey in defence when pressed (not that it happened much), and will meet a more solid defence against either of the South American countries (Argentina 2-0 up as I write).
Arguments about goal-line technology (which I think should exist, indeed, all events should be subject to video replays – possibly incorporating a tennis style appeal system) are rendered fairly pointless by what followed, and opens up the massive can of worms that is the state of English football and what needs to be put right if we want to be competitive – rather than just announcing we are contenders and hoping for the best.
That Rooney couldn’t understand why fans were booing after the Algeria game sums it all up for me – these players are so many million miles away from reality that they can’t comprehend what an honour playing for England should be to them. And I can’t really find myself supporting them in these circumstances, it’s going to be an over-used phrase I feel but really they are such primadonnas it’s untrue.
As for Capello, when the chips were down and we needed goals, he chucked on Heskey and Wright-Phillips – two of the most ineffective players we’re seen in previous games, two players who shouldn’t have been in South Africa – basically, what the fuck? Why not chuck on Crouch whose goals went some way to getting us in to the World Cup? Why persist with a clearly unfit Rooney? Why Upson and Carragher over Dawson? Just why?
Five million quid a year for that – awful decisions, no cohesion in his squad, bust-ups with the players and numerous bruises for poor Psycho who had to ensure a series of elbows from him when he was getting worked up. Five million pounds. And he’s signed a new contract. Why the fuck are we paying someone that much to manage the national team?
Our national game requires a dramatic overhaul, from top to bottom, if we are to ever ascend to the levels that our media like to tell us we might just reach one day. Starting at the fusty jobs-for-the-boys FA, and that, my friends, is why such things will never happen and we will continue to spiral into this malaise of perceived under-achievement in international tournaments.
For what it’s worth, I for one wish Germany well in the tournament – a young side who do play as a team – as I said above, not that good just yet despite our efforts to make them look so, but I feel more affinity for them than their likely next opponents. As for our self-styled Golden Generation, what to do with them? Well, there’s a plethora of ‘Cash for Gold’ retailers at the moment – let’s cash the useless bastards in and start again!
Sepp Blatter can piss off as well while we’re at it – whilst it might not have made any ultimate difference, you have to say we’d have had a better chance at 2-2 in that game!