England, new manager, wash, rinse,

England 2 - 0 Malta - World Cup Qualifier - October 8th, 2016


The first game for England’s new manager, Gareth Southgate, saw a struggle to get a 2-0 victory over Malta, with a performance that was indistinguishable from his predecessor’s teams.

It was new boy Southgate, it could very well have been dull Roy or Dim Allardyce that was in charge of this bore-athon struggle to beat a team that the Jocks put five past.

God alone knows what possessed over 80,000 people to turn up to watch this rubbish.

Southgate immediately showed he wasn’t up to the job when he stuck with Rooney as captain and then picked Glen Johnson in his squad.

I mean that’s his audition failed right there even before this mess against Malta. Yeah Malta, stuffed by Scotland, languishing around Laos in the FIFA rankings.

Southgate talked about his players having to be brave, yet in the face of cowardice from the manager why would they when his actions speak louder.

The first thing Southgate should have done and the next manager needs to do is drop the England captain.

This is a two pronged assault. First he needs to drop the current captain Rooney, who yet again was crowbarred in at they expense of the team, secondly he has to bin the England captain, the concept, it’s out of date and a hindrance.

Southgate said he’s sticking with Rooney as captain, therefore he’s got to pick him, even though there’s no current justification to do so.

The manager should pick a squad, then pick his starting XI and from that pick a captain.

The whole “England captain” thing is more trouble than it’s worth. It kind of worked in the past but it’s an outdated concept, along the lines of a selection committee. It certainly hasn’t been anything special for some time.

All talk of devaluing the armband is ridiculous. It’s been worn by a jailbird in Adams, stripped from Terry and hung onto well past their sell by date by Beckham, Gerrard and now Rooney. While being responsible for numerous unfit players heading to tournaments they had no right to be anywhere near.

Is Southgate brave enough even after this inept showing from Rooney, well he’s on the bench, Gareth not brave enough to go the whole hog. The mock shock at the booing Rooney rightfully received from the crowd, showed that some get it and others, Southgate and the players, don’t.

What’s laughable after the game is those backing Henderson to take over the armband.

Well with a man-of-the-match performance against the might of Malta Henderson has shown he probably is the heir to Gerrard, I mean he left all his best work for England to games against the likes of Andorra.

So wow, Henderson played in a couple of decent balls. With all the time in the world, under no pressure whatsoever he actually manged to find a couple of England players with a couple of passes. This gets you an 8/10 star rating.

It’s not that Henderson was good it was he just didn’t stink as bad as a number of others. Rooney for example. One decent shot, early on and nothing else from Rooney, bar giving the ball away, looking very slow of thought and deed, deserved the boos, it didn’t make Henderson great.

Neither did Walnutt’s 68 minutes – yet another game he’s been subbed in. Hell, he was probably worse than Rooney in the first half, where he contributed somewhere in the region of bugger and sod all. Dear god, just imagine how poor that side of the park would have been with Johnson. It was bad enough with Walker.

Kyle gets ball, Kyle stops ball, Kyle steps back, Kyle lines up cross, Kyle kicks ball straight into ‘keeper’s hands. Well, when he’s not ballooning it over the box.

Lingard showed that width was the key to a flat back 10 but he still came in far too often, but not as much as Walnutt – who’s a striker don’t you know. While Sturridge minced about all over the place and and was never really where he should have been at any time. He’s about as much a striker as Walnutt. His greed at shooting from anywhere while not being able to see a front post run, makes you wonder what the hell he was doing there.

All the main suspects were doing their usual and in the process showing that it’s not bravery that’s required it’s a group of players that aren’t educationally subnormal.

A ponderous, guileless display, no pace, very little movement, no imagination, team and manager in perfect harmony and it could have been any of the last few managers at is was basically the same team…

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