We have now not won an international tournament for fifty-years … in this country we accept that we didn’t win Wimbledon for 70-years and yet we let the tin-tack wearing LTA drift on, not succeeding … we are happy to wait 25-years between ashes successes, as the Australians laugh … in football we look at the same failures and instead of addressing them we hire Howard Wilkinson … we do not deserve success, we are too stupid to work out how we fail …
This is not just a call to replace England’s coach but an indictment of the whole shag-brained football nation. The team management are merely a transient farce the real problems are the matrons, half-gits and tools who organise, write about, play and watch football in this country – we are volts. Always happy to clutch at the latest straw unable to actually reason why we don’t succeed.
We watch another abject international failure and go home clutching the same straws, same hard luck stories. This time it was Pirlo being good for Italy and Luis Suarez being a goalscorer. Before it was anything from the climate to the hand of god, some times it is Peter Bonetti and other penalties…
In fact, to be fair, we spent two years telling ourselves that Pirlo was too good for us after Euro 2012. We did nothing to rectify the problems of that tournament and are somehow surprised when we failed this time as well.
Pirlo will be too good for us long into his 40s, even his dotage… it will take us until he is a pensioner for us to figure him out.
Andrea Pirlo is now 35.
When the FA forced out Fabio Capello – a limited manager in his own way with a narrow prejudice about the formations English players can understand – they could have appointed Harry Redknapp. In fact everyone expected the appointment. To, instead, appoint the mediocre manager of a mid-table Premiership side was smug stupidity.
Roy Hodgson had just flopped at Liverpool where the kop was happy to see the back for the turgid, unimaginative football he served up. His record in Sweden and at international level was little better than organising teams into a 4-4-2 and wandering off as the tactic waned.
Appointing mediocre managers isn’t something new to the FA. In my time England have been led by the former managers of Leeds United, West Ham, Ipswich Town (twice), Aston Villa (via Watford), an out of work former Spurs director, Chelsea, Howard Wilkinson as a caretaker, a Swede who thought we were only good for the long ball, Middlesbrough and an Italian who wanted to go all the way back to boot camps and the 4-4-2.
Harry Redknapp wouldn’t have had an ineffectual Jordan Henderson in his midfield in Brazil. Harry wouldn’t have watched Liverpool’s midfield of Henderson and Gerrard fail, all season, to protect their vulnerable back four and expect them to be able to do it in the summer.
He wouldn’t have watched the ball slow down at Henderson’s feet, waiting, perhaps, for the messages to get all the way from his brain, before selecting Jack Wilshire in his stead.
England spent no time trying new right-backs in the build up – the limited liability that is Glenn Johnson would get into few of the other squads but Hodgson quest for the average, incompetent or out of position didn’t stop there… not selecting either Ashley Cole or John Terry left his novice defence shorn of experience. Both Johnson and Baines left their centre-halves exposed for winning goals.
Harry wouldn’t have had a mediocre (no other word really works, average, mundane, pussing-fecking-shyte) player having a poor season in an average side start all his matches on the big stage. Danny Welbeck should be on holiday somewhere other than the England midfield. Adam Lallana is a much better performer than either Welbeck or Rooney wide for England but has not been allowed to.
Rooney is a special mess all of our own. Roy Hodgson identified the best player in his side against Italy and moved him wide to accommodate his least effective at number 10. Sterling plays a blinder and makes way for the waxwork?
Germany after their humiliation at Euro 2000 tore up their national system and started from scratch.
They addressed everything form youth development to how Bundesliga and the national side played.
It took them eight years to get to a final and in ten they’d whipped us in South Africa.
We came home from Euro 2000 pleased as punch to beat the Germans but unwilling to address the failing of our football side that finished behind Portugal and Romania.
Incidentally the model the Germany adopted for their rebuilding was not a Dutch, French or a Spanish one – they modelled their football on the power and thrust of English teams in the Premiership. We are so backward that we can’t even use what is in front of us to build success. The Germans are simply more intelligent than we are.
We are so clotted that we didn’t come home from the last World Cup asking how we could transform our nation’s football. Instead we whined about goalline technology.
If Frank Lampard’s shot had counted that afternoon, Germany would have beaten us 4-2 instead of 4-1.
Appointing Hodgson wasn’t nearly as ridiculous as not sacking him after the debacle in Poland and the Ukraine. Against France Hodgson actually had to teach his players how to play a rigid 4-4-1-1. Not one of them every played the formation at club level where 4-2-3-1 was starting to replace 4-3-3.
Hodgson had to teach his players how to be as narrow and unimaginative as their forbears.
When the FA mugs did acknowledge there was a problem, setting up the recent commission, they instantly appointed forward-looking figures like Danny Mills and Howard Wilkinson. Wilkinson brings with him all the sulphurous whiff of wing-command Reep and Charles Hughes. Discredited and absurd coaching that has not found success or favour anywhere in the football world.
When Roy Hodgson is asked why we fail, at both the last Euros and these worlds his answer is unfailingly the same – I don’t know. Any manager who doesn’t know why his side fails is not in a position to help.
The ghost of Brian Clough needs to shake up the game. “All those ineffectual embrocations at the FA need replacing. The jumped-up, self-serving spittle rags at the Premiership want shooting – the leagues should be reunited – the England team: always picked by the most astute tactician of his day – no bloody time-servers – no, bloody, Middlesbrough managers. – disband the county FA structure, the national amateur league made that redundant a generation ago…”
Most important is that there never has been anything wrong with English players, we now train them better than ever, they have just won the U17 European championship for a second time in a few years. We can play this game but not under the yoke of the structure and management of it…
Hire Jorgen Klinsmann to teach you what to do next.
One positive achievement by the England side in the last fifty years, we have now goalline technology but we are no longer in a tournament to use it. The chances are that Germany will win something with a goal confirmed by Lampard-cam.