Then we can fail to qualify for Euro 2012 and not have to watch this dreck! If that’s really what we want? Whilst I might blather away here from time to time, I’m no great football analyst and I’m sure there were things Capello could have done differently and better, but before the knee jerk train train gathers too much momentum we should remember that McLaren used James, Cole(x2), Terry, Gerrard, Rooney, Lampard, Barry and possibly Defoe and Johnson of the starters today and came away with squat. Yet Capello made them into a team which qualified with ease. Could he, or us, have expected them to turn into the embarrassing shower that has worn the Three Lions at this tournament?
So let’s clear a few things up; we do not have a stand out goalkeeper, James may still be the best but he looked slow in the group games and might have been a bit quicker to close down the first goal, Ashley Cole is not now, nor ever has been, the ‘best left back in the World’, certainly he is good when he is good but makes too many egregious errors, Terry is a committed defender, he can organise the back line, good aerial presence and tackler but needs someone with pace alongside him and he doesn’t distribute, Upson is so far out of his depth that I find it hard to believe he will earn another cap. Johnson may have an international future but not before he learns his defensive duties and improves his positional play. The first descent team that we have encountered in the tournament put four past us, and it could have been more. If the other six players on the park would tell me that they found it difficult to focus on their own game whilst witnessing these defensive shortcomings, I might have just a little sympathy for them. But whilst that’s a reason, it’s not an excuse. I don’t know if it’s an arrogance bred of trousering high five figure, and in some cases six figure, weekly Premiership pay packets that makes them think that they can wait for the game to come to them?
And so to the goal that wasn’t. Could there possibly have been a better motivator for a team to come together and get after the game? A whole half to right a glaring wrong and all we got was more of the same ineptitude. I can’t tell what level of technical expertise Capello has as a coach but it sure looked good in the qualifiers and I want him to be in charge up to Euro 2012, and if that goes well, beyond. And if any of the players are unhappy with that, then hold up your hand and say that you no longer wish to be considered and have the balls to show the whole country where your real loyalties lie.