Why England continue to fail
By Marvin Williams.
Overpaid pampered prima donnas. Not passionate enough. Overrated. Not world class. What’s wrong with our academies? …….. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! England yet again disappoint at a tournament, the conventional arguments are cited and the over analysis begins. Everyone has a theory on why England did so poorly and after listening to the radio, having debates and reading blogs it appears that no one reason appears conclusive.
What has arisen however is this notion that it either has to be the fault of the manager or that of the players and nothing in between. Why should that be the case? It was a collective failure. Everyone in every department who could have failed did and everything that could have gone wrong did.
When we lose we start to pick holes in every area we can instead of looking at it for what it really was, a major under-performance. By that I’m referring to these stupid analogies we make with the England squad and other walks of life. What the hell does the troops in Afghanistan have to do with the England national team? Nothing at all. Football is entertainment and War is individuals putting their lives on the line. How is Lennon’s reluctance to learn how to put his foot through a ball a reflection on grassroots football? How can foreigners in the premier league be affecting the national side when the likes of Terry, Lampard and Ashley Cole make up the heart of their squad?
Again England merely underperformed. It’s not me being arrogant or naive but England were better than what their performances suggested. I’m bemused at the claim that Rooney’s no longer World Class after four very very poor games. If his form dipped during the season you wouldn’t suggest that would you, so why do so during the WC? “In order to be labelled world class you have to do it on the world stage.” Really? If Brazil win the competition do all players become World Class? Of course not, we know what characteristics define the term. But for that same reason it makes it all the more difficult to stomach and understand why the entire team played so badly.
Some of you may believe that I’m in fact over analysing and they’re just not that good and others will attribute blame to the manager pointing predominately at the formation, team selection and relationship with the squad. Give or take one or two players I believe the majority of us would have taken the same team, so I don’t think there’s an issue there. We played 4-4-2 during the qualifiers and won all but one of our games, SO WHAT! The system was obviously no longer effective and should have been changed we could all see that, so why wasn’t it. Where was Capello’s Plan B? There obviously wasn’t one. At the same time these are guys who’ve played football since they were probably 8-9years old and made errors which they wouldn’t have then.
We buy into the idea that the English game needs a massive overhaul, stripped down to its bare bones and we must imitate other nations in order for success. All week I’ve heard that Argentina and Germany now have the right formula and it’s imperative that England follow suit. We either need to appoint someone close to home like Argentina have done in Maradona or copy the Germans with the youth. Have their methods yet been vindicated? NO! And will at least one of them fail? YES. Even if one of them goes on to win the tournament it doesn’t make it right for England.
What the English game really needs is to learn what the word “BALANCE” means. We have an imbalance in the number of English ex pros involved in the top end of the game and those in the studio or those writing the odd weekly column. We have an imbalance in the way in which we select our squads as we don’t construct effective teams, instead we place a group of the best individuals together who don’t complement each other. The majority of those in the media have an imbalance in the way in which they report throughout the course of the competition and are either pro or anti England throughout. The F.A doesn’t exercise any balance in their decision making going from one extreme to another, from the appointment of the super lenient Steve McClaren to a disciplinarian in Fabio Capello.
So before we jump on the inevitable Harry Redknapp bandwagon (something I initially did) let’s explore all our options. Are we being balanced in our own thinking? Do we need continuity and should we give Capello a chance to rectify his mistakes or is it too late? Would Redknapp be appointed because of his credentials or for the mere fact that he opposes what Fabio Capello is?
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