By The Pugilist
June 27, 2010
The World Cup Autopsy can now begin as it is official and conclusive, English football is dead! Once again the hopes of millions were dashed as our multi-millionaire so-called football stars failed miserably to deliver even the faintest of hopes at another major tournament.
The most sickening part of England’s World Cup car wreak apart from losing to the Germans again is Fabio Capello’s £6million pound wages. To do what exactly? What has he changed that those before him hadn’t already achieved? To start with perhaps £1,000 of that £6million should have been spent on English lessons. Capello can barely string two sentences together in the pre and post match interviews so how on earth can he motivate or instruct his players before and during games, through sign language? Maybe he uses salt and pepper pots and points madly like he often displays on the touch line! And what was even more amazing after the Germany defeat was how quickly his little understanding of the English language deteriorated even further when questioned about whether or not he would resign.
The if’s, but’s, what if’s and but only’s will unravel over the next few weeks but quite simply we were not and never were good enough to do anything at this World Cup let alone win it. England’s performances or lack of in the group stages confirmed that and the win over Slovenia just pained over the enormous cracks.
Capello should do the honourable thing once he has had time to reflect and resign as soon as England land on home soil. His impressive reputation lies in ruins after this debacle and after such a remarkable career at club level. Capello was supposed to be the talisman, the next Alf Ramsey who would drive England forward and deliver what so many had failed to do before him since 1966, in actual fact he has taken them in the other direction. From day one against USA some thing wasn’t right, team decisions didn’t make sense and reasoning didn’t add up. Did Capello know something we didn’t? You can bet your mortgage on it.
The facts are blatantly obvious and will make horrific reading. England’s tournament started awfully and ended tragically. Too many players out of form and too many players out of their depth. Everyone talks about Wayne Rooney being a World class player I beg to differ. To be a World class player you have to do it on a World class platform. He had his stage but froze like a rabbit in the head lights. Three group games into the biggest tournament of them all and all Rooney had contributed was a snide jibe at the England fans who rightfully booed the team off the pitch after a dismal performance against Algeria. Then he gets the nod once more for the crucial game against Germany and you think this is going to be his moment, his time and he ends up being even more useless then in any of the previous three matches. Unfit, unhappy and burnt out the three ingredients that made up Wayne Rooney at this World Cup.
Unfortunately the facts don’t get any better. Glen Johnson, Matthew Upson, Emile Heskey, Robert Green, James Milner, Gareth Barry good decent Premier League players, completely and utterly out of their depth on the International stage (and bar Green, all played a significant part in all of England’s games).
Adam Johnson, Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlaher, Gary Neville, Sol Campbell, Leighton Baines and Theo Walcott must be dying to buy Capello a drink and thanking him for leaving them behind.
The biggest question of the tournament however is this, what on earth happened to Peter Crouch? England’s main goal threat going into the tournament and England’s main goal threat for the last two years and yet he featured for 11 minutes against the USA, 6 minutes against Algeria and didn’t feature against Slovenia. Then 3-1 down to the Germans needing two goals what does Capello do? He brings off Defoe and brings on that prolific goal machine Emile Heskey. The only conclusion that can be made is that Crouch obviously upset the manager by speaking out of turn after the Algeria game.
The bitter truth I’m afraid to say is English football is not as good as the money paid to it’s players suggests. The English Premier League is littered with foreign superstars making a fortune leaving clubs with little or no room to breed our future stars and that has to eventually have an impact on our National side. Just look at the evidence Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool and even Chelsea, of the shirts that run from 1 to 11 how many who wear those shirts are English? Do the maths and you will find it’s the minority.
So, what now? Where does English football and more importantly England’s International future go from here?
Firstly, the players need to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror. Whilst the manager without doubt must pick up much of the blame the players are by no means innocent. So-called World class footballers acting like petulant children, showing little desire, little heart and more importantly little respect to the thousands of paying English fans that spent fortunes going to support them. Spoilt and over paid pre-madonna's who based on pure fact are actually not as good as they think they are.
Secondly, the FA without question must find a new manager and an English one. One candidate stands out a mile and the FA shouldn’t waste any more time in waiting to approach Roy Hodgson. He is English, has an unbelievable understanding of the game, is well respected, is an exceptional coach and has all the credentials to build a strong, solid and together team. He has an unrivalled European pedigree and gets the best out of even the most mediocre footballers.
The list no doubt can go on and on. Every man and his dog will have an opinion of where it went wrong, what should be done, what will be done etc.
Ultimately no matter what happens in the end serious lessons need to learnt and fast from this utter shambolic experience. The answers are hard to find but you can guarantee the FA will find them and all the excuses in the book to back Capello, but I don’t care what the FA say not even Jesus Christ himself can save Capello from this mess and the eventualities facing him, resignation or the sack.