I was quite excited about the World Cup and expected England to do well. The build up during the qualifying stages gave me an optimism that was justifiable, after from a few hiccups and injury worries, all was well in the England camp.
The first game against the USA was a slow start but until the terrible blunder by Mr Green we gave a decent enough performance. It didn’t inspire me to dance around the streets, waving a flag or fill me with pride after a slick performance. Instead I felt that a 1-1 draw was not a disaster and would suffice, I was certain a far improved display was on the cards against Algeria.
The performance against Algeria was nothing but absolutely dire, it was cringe-worthy, my feelings towards Gerrard, Rooney and the rest was anger. How could these highly paid, supposedly cream of the English Premiership perform with such an insipid, gutless, inept display of football. I have seen far superior performances by players in leagues 3 divisions below this shower. Many of the teams in the World Cup had players from leagues that are inferior in quality than our own top league. Algeria included players from Portsmouth, Glasgow Rangers and Wolves. The England squad boasts several multi-millionaires, earning wages way beyond the average mans dreams, £150,000 per-week Mr Terry is reported to be on. How much is Mr Miserable (Rooney) on? It is way above £100,000 per week.
When I think about our troops in Afghanistan, earning the princely sum of average £20,000 per-annum to fight in a desert for the supposed defence of our nation. I think about the shirkers carrying the flag in the name of English football and wonder how such a bunch of livered specimens could be have gained such adoration amongst their fans. So the Algerian match was a disaster but not the end of the road yet. We still had the chance to make amends and pull out the stops with an inspiring display against Slovenia.
The Slovenia match was a breath of fresh air, a vast improvement on the last match. Although it wasn’t an overwhelming display of superiority, we could have scored 4 or 5 goals. We made chances and defended reasonably well, the defence looked shaky at times but Terry and Upson both played well. We ran out winners 1-0, finishing second in the Table behind the Americans, this result meant for the knock-out stages we would be playing the old enemy ‘The Germans’.
The stage is set ‘Bloemfontein’ 40,000 English voices singing the Anthem, I do think the English supporters are a magnificent bunch. Through thick and thin they suffer, continuing to endure the premature exits in international competitions, they weren’t to be let down.
What makes an England team play so badly, a team of class players for their own clubs. Why do they let themselves down when it comes to the big fixture? The defence were clueless and and were torn apart by a German side with the average age of 24. No-one in the England side played well, it was unfortunate that the disallowed goal happened but would it have changed anything? I can’t answer that, I can say that England didn’t have the will to win, the passion was missing, the tactics were wrong and the Germans left our defence out of position time and time again.
I was deflated watching the second half and mystified as to why a manager of such standing as Capello, could not organise this bunch of highly paid individuals into a winning team. It is 46 years since our National Team won anything and it will be another 46 years before we win anything again unless the set-up changes, the attitude of the players change and the structure of English football is changed. It could be a factor that the players them selves have no pride in their country, not many people in our country have much patriotism left.
The England shirt was something every footballer was proud to wear once upon a time. The team of 1966 are national heroes and will always be held in high esteem amongst the sports fans of this nation. The likes of Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard will be forgotten soon enough when they hang up their boots. Lets hope that they won’t be wearing the England shirt come the 2014 world cup, they let the people of this country down badly, not because they lost to a better team but because they played as if they didn’t give a toss for England, or the millions of English fans glued to their TV’s in homes throughout this Island and the World. The thousands that travelled to Africa to give them support, these fans got nothing back from the team to show them, that the team had winning on their mind and would fight for honour and the flag.
Next time we challenge for a competition , The Euro Championship in 2012, lets hope that we can field a team with belief, players that want to give their all for the country, a team with passion that inspire the fans. Sadly the overpaid prima-donnas that infest our game today appear only to be interested in promoting their image, fame and glamour, money and improved contracts.
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