Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Monday 28 June 2010

England World Cup woe

There can be no excuses for poor ball control and lamentable passing. If the strategy of Capello is open to debate the England players are professionals who should have done better. The sight of David James, the goalkeeper, exhorting his players to move, give him a target, said it all. There was again no pass and move technique, a feature of earlier games. They were statues as the Germans ran around them with gay abandon. The defence was deplorable, only comfortable when they were passing amongst themeselves at the back. Players didn't run into spaces, choosing to make ridiculous passes, leading to nowhere. Where were the players with self belief? It was as if they were too scared of doing anything wrong to do anything positive. There were some good moments and there is no need to dwell on the 'goal' that wasn't given. It wouldn't have made any diffeence, Germany were the better side on the day.

The manager's tactics reminded me a little of those adapted by Mancini at Manchester City. Slow build up, presumably to draw the defence and then sharp attack up the middle, using Rooney's strength to forge an opening. Time and time again, the wings were no-go areas.For City it worked against Chelsea, where they had width on the wings, but failed miserably when it really mattered at home versus Spurs.
As a pointer to Capello's mind set, when England ceded a fourth goal due to defensive frailty, he changed one of the strikers, swapping Defoe for Heskey. Heskey, was Capello's worse selection proving to be totally ineffective
Before the game commentators had pointed out the German weakness at left and right back. It was a game that cried out for fast wingers and tall strikers. Where was Crouch? Rooney and Defoe are too short. Lennon and Wright-Phillips were ignored in a strategy that was flawed from the start.

After the game, Terry dismissed the idea that the players were too tired after a long season. Where were the so called Golden Generation of players? It wasn't so much that they lost to Germany although that hurts. They have underachieved in the whole competition. The three previous matches yielded only two goals in over four and a half miserable hours of football. Something is wrong and I believe that now is the time for the manager to take responsibility. For one player to have a bad tournament is not surprising, but for the whole team to be so poor suggests another reason. Could it be that they were all collectively frightened of the manager, a known strong character and bully.

One more thing. Rooney's unwillingness to sing the National Anthem and Gerrard's half-hearted attempt is besides being unpatriotic, totally disrespectful of the millions of fans who do want to connect with their home country.  If for no other reason, Rooney should be dropped from the National side until he understands that his selfish and treasonable posturing is a disgrace.

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