fun day out in Andorra?
I mean during the last campaign McClown’s lot managed a 3-0 win, now that’s a whole goal better than the dire 2-0 performance of Capello’s mob on Saturday, hell in that previous game even Gerrard tried for a few minutes against the might of the Iberian pub side.
Capello and the players got a bit lucky with this one as they hadn’t just come from a useless performance in a qualifying game, just a friendly, and the weather was just a touch better or they may have heard the same barrage of deserved vitriol that rained down on McClown’s clowns last time.
Doesn’t mean they were fit to wear the shirt this time.
Yes yet again Andorra had everyone in their own half behind the ball, were time wasting from the first minute and put in some shocking fouls the officials somehow didn’t spot but they play like that against everyone and other teams manage to score more than a couple and with only one team automatically qualifying from the group goals scored/difference could prove to be vital this time round.
But then if they play like that against Croatia, or indeed like the last two times they played Bilic’s men, then they won’t have to worry about going to the next criteria after points accumulated to decide the group winner.
Any positives? Well it was a win and Capello did drag off Downing when he was having surprise surprise a dog of a game, though the problem with that was he brought on Heskey to knock down crosses for Rooney but Downing was the only person who was putting crosses in, though they were inept attempts. Cole isn’t going to cross the ball onto the big fella’s head, it would mean using his left leg for something other than standing on and Walcott’s delivery isn’t up to snuff yet.
Capello also got a bit narky with Rooney and Cole about the former’s dropping deep and the latter’s repeated drift inside creating congestion in the middle but what exactly did he expect, that’s what they do game in game out for England. He might as well have left Defoe on and replaced Rooney with Heskey. It’s not like the ManUre striker was having a much better game than the little Pompey man, Defoe wouldn’t have dropped so deep as Rooney likes to do, Heskey would really have someone around him to knock it down to.
Still a lot of talk about fear with the England players and as long as they’ve got that excuse to hold onto nothing will get better. It’s not fear that produces performances we’ve seen over the last three management regimes it’s complacency and players not really caring Jamie Carragher style about their country and the fans.
They know they don’t really have to perform because no matter what happens or how bad they are they’ll still get picked. When was the last time Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard, Beckham, Terry, Ferdinand, Cole A, Wes Brown any good in an England shirt? And did it last more than one game or did they figure well that’s done enough to keep me in for a while now, yeah we’ll get some abuse but we’ll just head back to our clubs get the love there oh and the few grand a week that we really play for.
Capello might as well have put Jimmy Bullard in that game on Saturday, he’s probably not international class but then neither were the opposition but chances are Bullard would have put some effort in, you would have at least known he was on the park unlike Lampard. At nearly 30 getting his first call up after missing so long with a bad injury he would have wanted to prove he had the right to be there, there wouldn’t be the complacency of “that’s me made it, guaranteed my shirt, hard works done don’t really have to bother now”.
You look at the under 21 side, who beat Portugal, who normally produce top class youth sides, 2-0 midweek and you think what’s the point, will any of them ever get called up if the don’t play for the likes of ARSEnal or ManUre. Why aren’t Milner, Agbonlahor etc given a go, why has the likes of Ashley Young been jettisoned without a fair chance?
But no that doesn’t happen what we’ll get no doubt come Wednesday in Zagreb and Capello will probably go along with the media experts and slot Beckham (wasn’t it great to see him picking up the ball behind the central defenders against the might of Andorra) out on the right with Wes Brown behind him the Coles will be up the left, Rooney won’t be scoring up front and they’ll probably have rings run round them by a team, not a group of “stars“, of well organised well managed players who want to play for their country and would run through brick walls to do so.