28 June 2010 – Day 18
It is quite difficult to know what to write this morning. The plain and painful truth of it all is that England are out of the World Cup. I’ve talked about reality and expectation before in these pieces, so will look at the reality of what has happened as I see it.
England were unconvincing in the three Group games against so-called weaker opposition and then taken apart by what was perceived as an average and inexperienced German team. This points directly to a set of players who failed to perform and a manager who seemed unable to lift the squad and provide tactical alternatives. There has been some tensions between the players and management, which surfaced in John Terry’s ill-advised (as I see it) conference after the Algeria game. England were supposed to have some World class players in their squad and a suitably experienced manager of international quality. Really? I didn’t see any evidence of this in the four games. Whether you look at defense, midfield or attack, where were the pluses to draw out of the campaign?
This morning there will be an outcry about the disallowed effort from Lampard that would have made the game all square at 2 all and how this changed the outcome. The fact is that we will never know. Some will argue that the momentum would have been with England and they would have gone onto win. My opinion is that, the way we defended suggests to me that we would still have lost. All that I hope is that FIFA relents and considers goal-line technology again.
I’m at a loss also as to the timing of Mr Capello signing a new contract. Surely a contract which runs from tournament to tournament would be better? And why if he intends to stay on in the post is he meeting so quickly with the FA? Taxi for Fabio?
Apologies if this seems as disjointed as England in this World Cup. I’m a disappointed and bemused England fan this morning. What also upsets me is the thought that in early August, SKY will be telling us all that everything is rosy in the garden and that the best League in the World is back. I don’t give a damn about that, I want an England team I can be proud of.
With my 100% tipping record gone – top work England, I’m ploughing on and going for the predictable choices of Netherlands and Brazil.