England mugged… again

Last night’s England v Germany friendly highlighted pretty much everything that is wrong with English international football. We are incapable of building on a bright start. We are incapable of closing down opposition midfield runners. We are incapable (unbelievably) of consistently defending crosses from either flank. We miss chance after chance after chance. And the international manager said ‘we shouldn’t have lost.’

Well you did, Steve. 1-2, at home in that new fortress of Wembley. And most of us could barely recognise half the German side because they have a worse injury crisis than we do. Will this be his post match chat after another premature tournament exit? That we can take positives from another defeat? Someone needs to remind him that after qualifying comes knock-out football. There is no second chance.

There were only two positives in the game as far as I was concerned. First, Micah Richards was superb at right back. All the more odd then, that he was switched to centre back when Wes Brown came on, thereby nullifying a key threat. And Joe Cole is a class player. He commits defenders, makes space and scares the opposition. Why he was subbed is a total mystery. I know big Frank scored and that is nice but he spent the rest of the time trying to score another rather than passing.

I’m not going to join in the Robinson bashing. He made a bad mistake. End of. We don’t have a huge pool of great English keepers so let’s not destroy what remains of the confidence of one of our better ones. Owen looked short of match practice (which he is), Beckham was not 100% fit and had a poor game, Carrick was hopeless. It does not bode terribly well. No Hargreaves, Gerrard, Rooney etc and for the most part, we look really, really ordinary. And look, I know our star players make a big difference but there were no genuinely adequate replacements on show last night.

Oh, another question. When Barry came on, why did he play in the centre? He’s a left footed, left sided midfield player. That’s where hs is best. Play him there. Wright-Phillips is a speedy right winger. Play him there. Is this formula so difficult to understand?

Frustrating. Why must it always be so with England?

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• August 23rd, 2007 • Posted in Football • Comments: 0