Nothing to blame England were bad

Daily Echo: NO EXCUSES: Buck stops with Capello NO EXCUSES: Buck stops with Capello

As I’ve got older I’m not too bothered about celebrating birthdays and I think this week Fabio Capello joined the gang.

He certainly won’t be playing the Beatles song ‘When I’m 64’ because it will remind him surely of one of his worst nightmares.

Full marks to him and Steven Gerrard for facing up to the cameras immediately after last night’s 0-0 draw with Algeria, though I suppose it’s in the contract nowadays.

Gerrard didn’t try to make excuses, Fabio could on this occasion hide behind his broken English because as a manager I think he probably knew what he would like to say but it would be more for the dressing room than the general public.

No excuses – you can’t blame the ball, you can’t blame those ridiculous trumpet things, which incidentally I hope the FA do not allow on our grounds next season, you can’t blame the pitch or certainly a lack of support where we probably outnumbered the Algerian fans five or ten to one.

It was just a bad performance.

Apart from David James who did everything required of him, thank goodness, I can’t think of any other player who came out with more than five out of ten.

There were one or two who if the editor allowed would certainly get nearer one than five.

Let’s start with Wayne Rooney who is now, whether he likes it or not, up there with the Lionel Messis and Ronaldos of this world, not just because he gets a massive salary – but because he plays for Manchester United, scores goals regularly and is admired. But what on earth went wrong last night?

The frustration showed towards the end when he was back in his own half trying to get the ball.

Just before, his partner Emile Heskey, who is supposed to be up front putting pressure on the centre halves, laying the ball down to Wayne, found himself back on the edge of his own box helping out John Terry and Jamie Carragher.

To me, those two looked exhausted from about 30 minutes onwards.

It surely couldn’t have been a sun tan as it’s winter in South Africa. Jamie Carragher was red and puffing and panting – but at least he is whole hearted and is the sort who will put his body in the way of anything.

We have to remember this is England and we should have shown a lot more class.

The opposition, who are way down the list in the world rankings, were cool and calm, kept possession expertly, played what we would call keep ball, sometimes in dangerous positions in my opinion, but had so much confidence and pace where it mattered on the wings.

But of course like lots of these smaller countries they lacked the finishing which would have really embarrassed England.

I don’t know if it’s only me but Frank Lampard, outstanding at Cheslea, the champions of the Premiership and FA Cup winners, hardly gets a mention in the commentaries when he’s playing for England.

I remember when I was assistant to Graham Taylor my main job was the under-21 team but also in our three to four year period there were eight B team games.

I could select players who were too old for the under-21s and on the edge of the international squad.

This enabled us to see who could possibly make the first team squad.

I wonder if we could possibly bring those games back.

I know it’s difficult with the heavy fixture list but in a week when England play on a Wednesday night and the under-21s on the Tuesday, surely a B game could be played somewhere else in the country on the Tuesday night which the England manager could watch.

The questions such as which is the best goalkeeper, have we got someone to play on the left hand side, should we play with a holding player in midfield, do we stick to 4-4-2, which not many of the players do in their club teams, or have a diamond formation with two wide players, can be answered?

These experiments admittedly can be tried out in training but there’s nothing better than playing a game against foreign opposition.

Other things I remember from those days are that I would spend lots of time watching young players for their club teams and I remember selecting one or two who were outstanding at clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea and yet, when they joined up with players from other clubs, never seemed to be more than ordinary.

The point I realised was at their clubs they were surrounded by top class players, many of them seasoned internationals, but when on their own they did not have that extra element which could lift their game on the international stage.

Quite honestly, watching England this week made me wonder if the pressure was affecting the players.

Could it be that Mr Capello’s very serious minded approach to the business is putting a choker on the players’ natural instincts.

I think most people agreed when he barred the wives and girlfriends and he has also made sure that the press are kept at more than an arm’s length away from the training camp unless by invitation on selected days.

He cancelled out any players writing columns in newspapers, which I tend to agree with, but also he frowns on the use of Internet and telephones. Yet even so with his well known habit of only announcing the team two hours before we all knew three days before the Algeria game that Gareth Barry was playing.

And David James must have figured out he was playing, or Rob Green that he wasn’t, because the bookmakers, who often are the best judge of anyone, seemed to have worked it out. They stopped taking bets many hours before kick-off. They knew who was going to be in goal.

So there are lots of questions and, when you’re winning, the answers can be whatever the manager wants them to be but, as Fabio will find in the days leading up to the third game, everything he has done so far will be under the microscope.

Various media outlets will be placing blame wherever they can but Fabio will know, because he has said himself, the buck rests with him.

I just wonder what the situation would have been like had we had an English manager and the performances had been the same.

Comments (8)

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11:43am Sat 19 Jun 10

rednwhite1 says...

Over paid , Premier league players , and they were ****. No idea , no passion , no spirit and worse of all they did not even look like scoring. We were slow on the attack and when we were going forward we looked lost. Drew against the yanks and now cant even beat the Algerians. We dont deserve to go through with these so called big name players.
Over paid , Premier league players , and they were ****. No idea , no passion , no spirit and worse of all they did not even look like scoring. We were slow on the attack and when we were going forward we looked lost. Drew against the yanks and now cant even beat the Algerians. We dont deserve to go through with these so called big name players. rednwhite1
  • Score: 0

11:57am Sat 19 Jun 10

costa gaz says...

I can't believe we only managed a draw against a s*^t team we should easily have beaten.

I'm ashamed to call myself Algerian.
I can't believe we only managed a draw against a s*^t team we should easily have beaten. I'm ashamed to call myself Algerian. costa gaz
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Sat 19 Jun 10

The Mad Dog says...

costa gaz wrote:
I can't believe we only managed a draw against a s*^t team we should easily have beaten. I'm ashamed to call myself Algerian.
:-)
[quote][p][bold]costa gaz[/bold] wrote: I can't believe we only managed a draw against a s*^t team we should easily have beaten. I'm ashamed to call myself Algerian.[/p][/quote]:-) The Mad Dog
  • Score: 0

2:38pm Sat 19 Jun 10

TakingLeTiss says...

Let's face it, England's over paid and over rated players are made to look good week in week out in the Premier League by the foreign players who accompany them.

When 'Lamps' scores a hat full against the likes of Wigan and Hull (no disrespect to these teams but...) our media and commentators ramp up the hype and says he is world class. The same goes for the others.

Technically our recent players have been far weaker than the South Americans and have possessed the mental strength of the Italians or Germans. Why is this? Personally I balame a 'taking part that counts' culture and the fact that most of the current England squad are celebrities first and footballers second.

After this WC is done the entire squad bar James and Barry should be dropped and a new crop brought in, starting with Adam Johnson. I actually think there are better (or at least more determined) English players in the lower leagues. For a start, Lambert is far better than Heskey and would have buried that opportunity against the US the other night.
Let's face it, England's over paid and over rated players are made to look good week in week out in the Premier League by the foreign players who accompany them. When 'Lamps' scores a hat full against the likes of Wigan and Hull (no disrespect to these teams but...) our media and commentators ramp up the hype and says he is world class. The same goes for the others. Technically our recent players have been far weaker than the South Americans and have possessed the mental strength of the Italians or Germans. Why is this? Personally I balame a 'taking part that counts' culture and the fact that most of the current England squad are celebrities first and footballers second. After this WC is done the entire squad bar James and Barry should be dropped and a new crop brought in, starting with Adam Johnson. I actually think there are better (or at least more determined) English players in the lower leagues. For a start, Lambert is far better than Heskey and would have buried that opportunity against the US the other night. TakingLeTiss
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Sat 19 Jun 10

Costa Baz says...

I'd like to know what Joe Cole has done to upset Capello.

That game was crying out for someone with a football brain, vision for a through ball and the ability to beat a man and draw defenders out of position, yet he was overlooked for SWP, Defoe and Crouch.
;0(
I'd like to know what Joe Cole has done to upset Capello. That game was crying out for someone with a football brain, vision for a through ball and the ability to beat a man and draw defenders out of position, yet he was overlooked for SWP, Defoe and Crouch. ;0( Costa Baz
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Sat 19 Jun 10

TakingLeTiss says...

That should have been "have NOT possessed the mental strength of the South Americans and Germans"!!!
That should have been "have NOT possessed the mental strength of the South Americans and Germans"!!! TakingLeTiss
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Sat 19 Jun 10

Condor Man says...

TakingLeTiss wrote:
Let's face it, England's over paid and over rated players are made to look good week in week out in the Premier League by the foreign players who accompany them. When 'Lamps' scores a hat full against the likes of Wigan and Hull (no disrespect to these teams but...) our media and commentators ramp up the hype and says he is world class. The same goes for the others. Technically our recent players have been far weaker than the South Americans and have possessed the mental strength of the Italians or Germans. Why is this? Personally I balame a 'taking part that counts' culture and the fact that most of the current England squad are celebrities first and footballers second. After this WC is done the entire squad bar James and Barry should be dropped and a new crop brought in, starting with Adam Johnson. I actually think there are better (or at least more determined) English players in the lower leagues. For a start, Lambert is far better than Heskey and would have buried that opportunity against the US the other night.
The problem at the moment is that there are managers who won't give English players a go- Wenger, Allardyce and Bruce seem to be looking at cheap foreigners all the time. Are they any better? we'll never know. I do know that there seems to be a massive problem in the England squad.
[quote][p][bold]TakingLeTiss[/bold] wrote: Let's face it, England's over paid and over rated players are made to look good week in week out in the Premier League by the foreign players who accompany them. When 'Lamps' scores a hat full against the likes of Wigan and Hull (no disrespect to these teams but...) our media and commentators ramp up the hype and says he is world class. The same goes for the others. Technically our recent players have been far weaker than the South Americans and have possessed the mental strength of the Italians or Germans. Why is this? Personally I balame a 'taking part that counts' culture and the fact that most of the current England squad are celebrities first and footballers second. After this WC is done the entire squad bar James and Barry should be dropped and a new crop brought in, starting with Adam Johnson. I actually think there are better (or at least more determined) English players in the lower leagues. For a start, Lambert is far better than Heskey and would have buried that opportunity against the US the other night.[/p][/quote]The problem at the moment is that there are managers who won't give English players a go- Wenger, Allardyce and Bruce seem to be looking at cheap foreigners all the time. Are they any better? we'll never know. I do know that there seems to be a massive problem in the England squad. Condor Man
  • Score: 0

5:02am Sun 20 Jun 10

saintozzie says...

Well I have seen traffic cones on the training pitch with more ball control. The ball just seemed to bounce of the players, especially Rooney and Heskey.
Well I have seen traffic cones on the training pitch with more ball control. The ball just seemed to bounce of the players, especially Rooney and Heskey. saintozzie
  • Score: 0

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