Oh what a surprise a finger gets pulled out

when someone’s cosy little England career is in jeopardy.

All of a sudden a player who last night reached 70 caps for his country decided he might try and bother doing something to try and justify his presence.

Strange that, all the criticism flying about and people coming to the conclusion that you can judge a player’s international career when so many caps have been … well won is the word as they certainly haven’t been earned and the judgement is he hasn’t performed and doesn’t fit. And then what happens that player seeing his cushy number with England disappear decides to finally bother.

He even admitted himself that he hadn’t performed in an England shirt, funny how that didn’t quite square with his ghostwriter’s newspaper account of England games where the player was described “outstanding” and such like.

But of course I’m certainly not overwhelmed by this, after all if you count this as a good game from him for England then you’d still have at least a spare finger on the one hand you used to count up such games. And we’ve seen it all before – under it’s usual name “Steve Harmison Syndrome” – put in one decent performance and live off that for quite some time until the questions start being asked again.

Then you add in that Gerrard is still being placed ahead of the team, trying to fit this square peg into a round hole. The goal, not bad yeah, well taken but in reality just another glory ball by the glory hunter. How many wild shots have we seen from him over the years this time it went in, unlike the next time he tried it. Lampard gets slagged to hell for every shot missed whereas Gerrard’s Hollywood hits are always praised, that’s who he is and what he brings to the team.

Along with that his roving role results in others being exposed, while his cluttering up the right standing next to Walcott the ball is on the left and Bridge has no other option than to pass it back to James or Upson / Ferdinand, all three are accidents waiting to happen, because there’s no outlet in front of him, this of course to many is Bridge’s fault. Then there’s the Belarus equaliser, who was that mincing behind Stasevich not really bothering before the Belarus player put the ball right on Sitko’s head for a simple goal? I’ll give you three guesses.

His club manager tried the rover position, found the player was more chicken of the headless variety than dog, so stuck him further up front where losing the ball didn’t hurt the team as much when the manager’s tactics are all based on possession and a compact defensive unit. Less of the over hit glory balls or battered passes to a guy four yards away, giving the ball away, when playing a more forward role.

Gerrard pleaded with Capello not to be dropped and this is the worry, just like his predecessors the Italian has his favourites, players who will be picked no matter what. Star names or big club players – you don’t think Wes Brown would get a look in if he wasn’t at ManUre – who can stink for cap after cap but still get handed that shirt every game.

The main problem will come in actual tournaments if Capello follows what has gone before with previous England regimes the way he has done so far, every time time they pitch up at a World Cup one of the manager’s star favourites is lame but still gets picked for the squad. Greenwood did it with Keggy and Brooking, Robson with Robson and Svennis with Beckham and Rooney. When you’ve got a limited number in a squad you can’t go into the tournament with walking wounded never mind the bed ridden.

On the plus side at least it seems that Fabio doesn’t bore the players to death during his half time talk, either that or they’ve stopped adding Mogadon to the half time oranges.

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