Blue Air: Today’s England, Tomorrow’s Villains: All To Blame…?

Posted: June 28, 2010 by Ferg in Ferg's Blue Air

In light of England’s exit from the World Cup, I thought I’d take on the mantle of why. Bare in mind we’re a mixed bunch at Blue Air when it comes to who we support: I was rooting for South Africa and anyone playing against France. I’m about advancement and fairness really, in this blind attempt to seem impartial after watching the pub I work in go mental at yet another display of refereeing ineptitude, passionless English football and ruthless German efficiency.

So, England went out. It would be incredibly easy to blame the main turning point: Frank Lampard’s blatantly disallowed goal. Let’s be honest here: the linesman couldn’t be expected to keep up with a shot like Lampard’s, which can reach 70mph-odd. He could have tried, though, he wasn’t even in line with the last defender to judge a potential offside position (as he showed when he wrongly ruled Defoe to be offside). It could have turned the game, but Germany’s counter-attack play was far superior, they looked more of an attacking threat, and they weren’t reliant on one frontman. I’ll come to that in a minute, but the blame here should be with FIFA. Their point blank refusal to entertain the notion of ANY kind of technology when every other major sport bar baseball uses it is mind-boggling. When replays in HD now show how much players have their eyes closed when they head it, and seconds after it happens, it’s ignorant to believe that looking at a replay would ruin the ebb and flow of the game.

So, Sepp Blatter, you’re ruining the game, sort it out, or at least do us a favour and have a stroke or something and let me, Adam and Lee have a go.

What about England themselves? Their system has remained the same no matter who they play, even when it wasn’t working. I don’t mean formation: I mean strategy. Knock it about until the opposition get lazy and exploit it was about all I could figure out. Oh, and the good old tactic of “GIVE IT TO FUCKIN’ ROONEY!!!” The fact is tactically England were predictable and outclassed. The friendly with Mexico showed how vulnerable England were to the counter attack, and it never seemed to have been addressed.

As for Rooney…I know he’s played millions of games this year at top level, but he didn’t win anything. So you’d think a player praised for his passion would show some. But he didn’t care, there was no movement like we saw at Man United this year and he couldn’t even link up with world class midfielders like Gerrard and Lampard. In short, he was shit all tournament and should have been substituted.

Speaking of world class midfielders, Joe Cole looked anonymous whenever he came on, in spite of calls for him to play. Admittedly, Lennon, Wright-Phillips and Milner were equally useless. But the persistence with these players when Cole is a better player didn’t make sense.

As for Emile Bastard Heskey…I’m biased, because I don’t think he’s actually a footballer, I think he’s a diagram of a twat. Why was he played at all, he’s played over 60 games for England and scored 7 goals. Peter Crouch, on the other hand, has scored 21 goals in 40 games. 3 times as many goals in a third less games. Oh, but he doesn’t play as well off Rooney.

Who cares? He scores doesn’t he? I thought the idea was to score more goals than the opposition?

Maybe the blame should lie with Capello, playing Italian tactics with a team where only one player has played outside the Premier League (Crouch, by the way, on loan with a Swedish side in 2000). His reliance upon Rooney, like Eriksson before him, proved to be disastrous. There was no consistent defence, the midfield was confusing and the front line baffling. Turns out the goalkeeping was, eventually, the only consistent thing, and even then Joe Hart wasn’t playing and he was the best candidate. Not sure I agree Capello’s the problem though.

Because the simple fact is this: that team is immensely talented, but out for themselves. Terry fucked it up by fucking his best mate over, Ferdinand’s appointment as captain was laughable considering how injury prone he was but still sat at home criticising the team in the tabloids. None of them were willing to work together, or for their manager. They got over the embarrassment of the last tournament by actually qualifying and got complacent when they got to the tournament. They still would have played Ghana, who are playing for the pride of their continent: something the English players seem to have forgotten all about.

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