Hate It When I’m Right
Seriously, I hate it when I’m right sometimes. Look two posts down and you’ll see what I mean when I posted about England Cricket’s World Cup win I wondered whether that’ll be the only one we’ll win and I was right. While I didn’t really say why I thought this I just had a feeling that the England football team wouldn’t emulate their Cricketing counterparts.
Watching the games England played in was, for the most part, rather painful. Our first match against the USA was marked by an unfortunate keeping error. Our second against Algeria was, well, forgetful. However things did pick up for our final group game when we looked a little sharper and sealed passage into the next round. However it was there we were systematically picked apart by a ruthless Germany team. It showed up many problems that the England team have: lack of pace, lack of desire, lack of talent and a refusal from the manager to change.
When England picked Capello I applauded his stance of not picking those who were injured or not playing regularly. Instead he would pick those who were fit and on form for their clubs. I applauded this because it meant that those picked for England were players who deserved to be there and were likely to perform. However he renegade on these principles by picking Gareth Barry and Heskey amongst others. I just couldn’t understand why. Many have pointed out the lack of choice but I say why only look at top clubs? Why not look at the top Championship clubs where the quota of English players is greater or those clubs who prop up the Premiership? Darren Bent for example was on form all season yet he wasn’t selected to go to South Africa.
Capello’s other problem was his reluctance to abandon or adapt the 4-4-2 formation. You only need to look at the USA and their comeback in their final group game to see what happens when you adapt to a situation. Capello’s refusal also lead to the farcical “revolt” led by ex-captain John Terry. What was made out to be a united front lead to Terry being hung out to dry by his fellow team-mates. Whether this was pay-back for the old Wayne Bridge affair is pure speculation but either way it was shameful. Thankfully we weren’t as bad as France who just went from bad to crazy rather quickly.
In the end I’m glad England went out because we didn’t deserve to go further and were shown up by better team. I also hope that in the wake of our poor performance we dump our supposed “Golden Generation” and start looking to the future and see Capello stick to his principles and only pick those who deserve selection. The FA could learn a thing or two from the ECB and the way they re-grouped and regenerated the National side. While the England cricket team aren’t winning everything they’re at least genuine contenders as opposed to over-hyped under-achievers that the England football team has become.