ENGLAND ended 2010 by once again getting booed off the pitch by their fans and left with a feeling of disappointment, anger and very little hope in the national team. After that shambolic World Cup performance where England showed they couldn’t play any other formation then 442, they couldn’t find a team mate with a simple pass. Nor could they defend. We saw how they rely on Rooney and Gerrard too much and Capello seemed to base everything on Gareth Barry being fit? Barry, who hasn’t played a decent game for England in a year!
Four months down the line France came to Wembley stadium after an even worse World Cup, however they showed that they had a good look at themselves and made swift changes. They simply out-played England with ease. Yes it was not the strongest England team, but they played counter attacking football at home and it was a look at the future, and from what we saw it looked very bleak.
What England need to do first is get rid of Capello, it’s clear that his management of the team did not go down well when in South Africa. Also the players don’t really seem to be on the same wave length as him. His unwillingness to change and his body language on the touchline gives out the impression that he is just there for the money. He knows the F.A. won’t sack him because they can’t afford to, and he will not walk away from a £6 million a year contract. However the F.A needs to pull their finger out and get rid of the Italian.
The players are a different matter; England may have 3 top world class players in Terry, Gerrard and Rooney. When these 3 are on their game and at 100% they’re unstoppable, but this is simple not enough in an international team. All the England players when they get together for friendlies or qualifiers look like they play within themselves. There either played out of position or don’t look like they gel well together. At their clubs the likes of Lampard and Gerrard run the show in their chosen position but at international level they struggle. However the Lampard / Gerrard ship has sailed now England try look to the future. Lumping in Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll because they have had a decent start to the season doesn’t cover up the bigger problem. These two can’t really be blamed for the poor show against France they will get their chance again, but I feel England may have to sacrifice the Euro 2012 tournament and re think English football from the grass route levels. English players need to learn about technique and control of the ball, pass and move etc etc. To many times have we seen England pass the ball along the back for a few seconds then just smash it up top. They don’t do this at their clubs sides so why at England?
One way to start this radical change could start with under11s not playing on full size pitches in 11 a-side games, they have to play 5 or 7 a-side. This way they will get more touches of the ball and learn how to control it, pass it and play quicker, slicker football and will inevitable improve their overall games as they get older.
For the players around now, I could only hope the likes of Hart, Adam Johnson, Jack Rodwell, Kyle Walker, Marc Albrighton, Gary Cahill and James Milner carry on their progress and go on to full their potential in the game. These are the players who need to be looked at as the golden generation failed during their peak years. England hope to host the 2018 World Cup at the rate their going that’s the only way England will qualify for it.