Monday, June 28, 2010

Mental straitjackets and missed opportunity

I have no spy in the England camp, so I don’t know whether the John Terry mutiny was real or not. But I hope it was, and I hope the other senior players are now asking themselves why they didn’t have the balls to join him.

I’ve been depressing friends with my reservations about Fabio Capello for months and months. I am not saying I was right and that it was all his fault. Maybe this group of players are not as good as I thought, but they are better than this.

I saw Thomas Muller play in the Champions League on half-a-dozen occasions last season and rated him no more than promising. I refuse to believe that if you take the shackles off Steven Gerrard he cannot do anything that Muller did in Bloemfontein.

We played in mental straitjackets tighter than those stupid waistcoats. Tactically, we played football from the same era as those waistcoats. Look back and see how many times England really played well in qualification with that system.

The most depressing thing is that I have been here before - exactly here – somehow relieved that it’s all over and I can concentrate on Brazil v Chile tonight. A football match. Remember them?

All those rainforests flattened to preview the event that was England versus Germany. And hardly a word written or said about how fresh and fearless Jogi Loew’s team were looking.

It was all about penalties and spirit and shutting Beckenbauer up. Well, the Kaiser was right. Burnt out straight line football.

The missed opportunity is huge. This morning my 15-year old son would rather be Stuart Broad than Wayne Rooney. If the players weren’t good enough, English football is in a bigger mess than I thought.

If they are, and they simply didn’t get the chance to give it a go, they’ve only got themselves to blame.


  1. English players lack imagination! They still play dull football - cross it in and get a flick on it to score.

    Players like Rooney, Gerrard and Terry proved they simply aren't deserving the wage level week-in week-out; the Premier League has been very kind to these sub-standard players; this World Cup has exposed them for the fakes they really are.

    And where were these 'ageing' Germans? All were young and hungry for success. Maybe they actually picked their best players for this tournament? England need to look at the best players around, not just who they play for.

  2. ok so the key is a lower profile.Of course all the players want to be national heroes, let them prepare without the hype and pressure. Stop creating stupid insulting headlines such as EASY on the front of tabloids, the result is ridiculous pressure on players and the rest of the world cheering as we lose!! please I'm 50 now and fed up of this horrible sad low feeling. Support the national team with dignity and from the back pages not the front!!