Have The FA The Guts To Make The Necessary Changes?

So England’s dismal World Cup campaign came crashing to a halt with a crushing defeat to Gerrmany. The players and coaches may cling to the view that their cause was fatally wounded by the horrific decision of the officials to disallow Frank Lampard’s “goal” seconds after Upson had reduced the deficit. To do so though masks the flaws in the squad, the manager and the English game generally.

But we have been here before. And like before, much navel gazing will take place. And like before, good intentions will be submerged in the pursuit of profit. And like before, neither profit or progress will be made. This was England’s self-proclaimed “Golden Generation“. They turned out to be the footballing equivalent of Pyrite.

For decades, English players were known to be technically deficient compared to the rest of the world. That was hidden with spirit and energy, compensating with little achieved. When these ‘assets’ were missing, the cupboard was bare and Germany humiliated them accordingly.

The players such as Gerrard, Rooney and Lampard do not, and have not, become bad overnight. Capello’s managerial skills have not deserted him. Yet there was little sign of squad togetherness save for the aftermath of Rooney being rightly lambasted for his arrogance. To enter a competition of this magnitude with a squad not pulling together is a recipe for disaster; it was duly delivered.

The over-riding sense of this campaign is of disharmony, disorganisation and disinterest. Given that it is the last World Cup some will play in, such a shambolic affair is unbelievable. The John Terry Rebellion summed it all up: driven by ego, shabbily played out in front of the media, half-hearted and disinterestingly organised.

As well as the players, Capello must shoulder blame. He chose the squad, he set the rules and the tactics. It was a horrible mess. Instead of instilling awareness, ball retention, he chose to play as a mid-table Premier League team. The limitations of the Bolton style are exposed on a weekly basis; they were exposed by the equally limited Americans and the Algerians should have beaten England rather than drawing.

Failure to focus on technique, substituting ability with the ball for ability to run forever has not brought forward any international improvement since 1970. Two semi-final appearances in that time, both ending in defeat to Germany, are scant reward for one of the World’s ‘biggest’ footballing nations. England are ranked eighth in the World at the moment by Fifa; of the top ten, Croatia are the only other country not to have reached a final since 1966. At least they have a good reason in their youthfulness as a nation.

The Premier League is touted as the best in the world. In respect of competitiveness that may be true but it is subjective and masks the fact that the technique is not comparable with elsewhere, from English players at least. No doubt that arguments will be put forward that foreign players are suppressing natural talent. This is vacuous; it is impossible to suppress what is not there.

Arsenal are frequently held to be a key example of this yet Wenger is doing more than other managers to prepare English youngsters for international football. The technique they require at that level has to be drilled into them from a young age. This is part of education they get at Arsenal, to treat the ball as a friend and to move it accurately, quickly. As opposed to the lumpen advances of the current national squad.

Wenger is not on his own. If you look at the current squad, none of the younger players have been developed by the ‘big four’. The apparent cyclical nature of youth development hinders the national team. That Crewe Alexandra are the only club in the country to consistently provide young players in quantity over the past two decades indicates the problems which beset the English game.

Arsenal are the most advanced Premier League club in terms of replicating that success; others are following but even so, we are behind our continental counterparts. To emphasise the problem, a decade and a half has passed since Euro96 and the National Football Centre still does not exist.

There are some very good youngsters, not just at Arsenal. The ‘now’ mentality of clubs prevents all but the elite coming through and gaining experience. Successive England managers have made a complete pig’s ear of promoting youth, Theo Walcott being the prime example. That he was not deemed good enough this time reflects his club form, impeded by injuries which were in part as a result of being called on by the Under-21s and full squad last summer.

Will English football change? A change of manager is required. The squad which went to South Africa needs to be rebuilt with a core of experience supporting youth promoted from the Under-21s. The Germans proved that this is possible; the media will not allow the Football Association to do so yet they know as well as anyone that there is no magic wand to be waved. The next England manager needs to be prepared to take journalists on and present the case for rebuilding.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 28, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 128 Comments.

  1. The reasons for England’s unexpected exit from the World Cup are three: Sepp Blatter’s refusal to allow “technology” to be used in football; Fabio Capello’s omission of Theo Walcott and Sol Campbell from the England squad; and Jose Mourinho’s destruction of the careers of Scott Parker and Steve Sidwell. The first of these reasons hardly needs explanation. If the ball only goes two or three feet across the goal-line, the naked eye evidently cannot tell whether a goal has been scored or not. “Technology” is clearly needed. For the second reason, just imagine Theo being brought on against a German defence already run ragged by Rooney, Gerrard, and co. Imagine him leaving his full-back for dead and putting crosses into the box for the mighty Emile to slot home. That three goal deficit suddenly doesn’t seem so big, does it? Then there’s big Sol. You can’t imagine a defence that includes HIM conceding four goals, or letting the opposition score twice in four minutes. What is more, attempting to score goals on the break is a non-starter when the pacy Campbell is on the pitch. To understand the final reason, you only have to imagine how different England would have looked yesterday if they had been able to call on Scott Parker as he was when he played for Charlton, or Steve Sidwell as he was when he played for Reading.

  2. It makes me laugh that anybody thinks any manager would not to prefer to play his own homegrown players.

    A local lad has several advantages over any foreign player so long as he’s good enough. If he’s not then he won’t make the team.

    The problem is English football is not producing players with the right quality.

  3. PZ – struggling to separate to irony from the reality in your comment. Quite agree with YW however.

  4. pz
    unexpected exit? ur kidding right.

  5. PZ that one was so laced with sarcasm that you are in danger of believing it yourself!

  6. Here we go again. Quite frankly, forget everything this superb article sums it all up for me….


  7. Judith Le'Strange

    No because it’s the media who choose the England team not the manager of England who should actually choose the team but together with the media it seems that the players especially Terry, Lampard and Rooney always seem to be in the team, I’m surprised they didn’t roll out Beckham in a wheelchair this time round to play instead of having him as a so called morale boosting twit.

  8. In some ways I’m glad the Theo won’t get tarred with the same brush that the current England squad will be. After being in the last squad as a youngster, would his confidence have been knocked by being associated with this useless shower. Why take Carragher, when you could have taken Jagielka or Campbell? A team with no clue, no passion, and misguided self-belief.

    On the plus side, how poor was Man City’s new left back for germany. Will be good to see Thea and Sagna run at him next year.

  9. oopsy-daisy-Martin_Hayesy

    Its a comedy fellas. Ive never seen anything like the blindness to a flawed squad pre-tournament… I predicted England would not get passed the group stages and was laughed at universally but was in fact only proved wrong by a single goal against a country with a population of 2 million.

    No goal keeper had made a solid case. Right back Glen Johnson is decent going forward but is limited defensively. Ferdinand and Terry both had poor seasons, the latter I fear is the cause of a lot of camp disharmony. The toppled former captain still feels he is top dog and Lampard and Cole and other probably see him as such, that must be difficult for Gerrard to swallow… but thats a side note.

    Ashley Cole has been injured for a long time, Barry is decent but no Hargreaves. Lampard needs to play with two holding players like he does at Chelsea or in a diamond. Gerrard had his worst season in his Liverpool career. Rooney had the weight of the nation on his shoulders and collapsed.

    Milner needs more playing time at this level and Heskey should have never been on the plane… Darren Bent must feel like a leaper.

    After the England scraped through the group phase sky we’re plotting a route to the final!!! Excuse me???

    I put a £10 on a German 4-0 victory before the game. It was a slap in the face that we all should have seen coming. Awful.

  10. Sacking Capello will do nothing for core of the problems. The following should have a good look at themselves after this World cup.

    First of all the FA; where is the vision, where is the youth system, where are the qualified coaches, where are the referees that don’t tolerate ‘kick them out of the game’ style play.

    Secondly the media, including the hypocrites on MOTD; time to stop promoting the English way, time to start appreciating talent and skill.

    Thirdly, the gutter press buying public; don’t buy this crap, just don’t be fooled by their foul and unintelligent ways of writing about footballers and football (and anything else for that matter).

  11. Changing English football? This world cup campaign has proven without a shadow of a doubt that Capello is not the man for the job. He talked a good talk and that was it. His flawed team selection was exposed for all to see. At the ultimate cross-road, the man was incapable of standing by his convictions and went for the safe, conservative selections that would placate the English football establishment. Carragher, Upson, Heskey, SWP? Give me a break. The future of English football belongs to the likes of Walcott, Wilshere, Adam Johnson, Rodwell, et al.
    For them to take their rightful place in a rejuvenated English set-up, I am convinced that Capello is not the man to lead.

  12. Yes blame Capello like ever manager since Ramsey has been blamed.The truth is The England players are not as good as they are made out
    In over 40 years of following football i have seen just one England player who can be called world class,Gasgoine and that was only for 12 months before he got injured.How anyone can call Rooney world class is having a laugh.To use his name in the same sentence as Messsi is criminal.
    England players cannot pass a ball,control a ball cant dictate a game.Even Algeria outpassed them!!!!
    Capello will be sacked and be replaced an Englishman beccause and here’s another joke England need a manager who gives them passion!!!The press will want that clown Rednapp another wide boy like Venables
    But nothing will be done about the players
    As for some gooners saying that Theo would have done any better you couldnt haev been watching him last season.He is like the rest of the England faliures all multi millionaires for not being any good at there job
    As for truly world class players since Ronaldo left Man Utd the only true world class player left is Cesc

  13. Shotta,
    I don’t think Theo would have made much of a difference, tbh. We’ve seen how he was used in the friendlies with Rooney/Gerard/Lampard refusing (or unable) to give him proper service. Its not so much the manager’s problem as it is the general lack of real football talent in England.

  14. Aside from Wilshere, even the English youth, on paper, don’t look as technically accomplished as youth from other countries like Germany and France.

    Add that to the media circus, expectation and pressure that will surround them once the start representing England, I really don’t see much hope for English football in the future either

  15. Poliziano.
    In response to your 10.21 post. Where exactly were Rooney, Gerrard and co running the German defence ragged? Did I miss something?

  16. What the heck did Ashley Cole find so funny as he was stepping off of the plane. I bet the fans who forked out thousands of pounds to watch this shambles were not laughing!!

  17. To the people who say England should put their faith in youth let me remind you.Under 21 final Germany 4 England 0.Not much difference between the senior team

  18. A change of mentality is desperately needed above anything. The England team is a parrallel to this Arsenal team which also needs a change of mentality, in a different way but a change nonetheless. All talk and no end product.

    If both teams dont change their DISTINCT but pig headed ideologies, neither will win anything, anywhere in the near future.

    Cheers all!

  19. Hark – yes but the U21 team had a passionate English coach….oh!

  20. This was a national embarrassment. These players massively under performed and were tactically inept. Defensively they played like schoolkids. In truth they also looked unfit and in poor physical and mental shape throughout the competition. All this does point to the coach and his team. It cant be down to him alone. There should be an independent enquiry into this debacle-something like the Taylor report.

  21. Naga

    You are a complete twat as you have proved once again. Change of mentality?? Arsenal is the only team in England who attempt to play football. Its fans like you who must change, prefferably change CLUB.

  22. We live in a media culture of denial…..everything is denied to support the existing ‘constructs’.

    The (motd?) journalist was still asking John Terry after the match:

    ” Do you think we were good enough to go all the way ?”

    (To which JT replied -yes)


  23. A team with one Gerrard/Lampard/Barry/Milner works – a team with four of them is too limited. In their premiership teams they are mixed in with different players (usually more skillful foreigners) to get a balance that has solidity and enough flair to beat quality teams (to varying degrees!). England needs more technical ability and flair – when some of our youth players graduate to the senior England team we might have a chance

  24. Since 1990 when academies were brought in to educate youth players, what has improved?

    They play on full size pitches from age 10, get told to learn their positions, get told to not try anything fancy, and get taught to be 1 dimensional – no creativity, no technique, no flair, no plan B, and to kick lumps out of the opposition – the English way. The FA have sent English football backwards 20 years. We are probably in a worse position now than we were then in fact.

    Maybe just maybe, Arsenal have taught a few lads how to play properly, by the next World Cup we could see 4 or 5 dominate the team sheet (IF the next England manager is not too stuck up in his old ways to be scared to pick them)

    Capello was obviously scared to take Theo, a player not afraid to have a go and take the opposition on. This is down to the British Mentality which infected Capello’s thinking, because Theo was always a starter for him prior to the World cup. Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard.. aboslute shite. It just proves roughing up the opposition can only take you so far. In the Premiership they get away with it, that is for sure.

  25. Have The FA The Guts To Make The Necessary Changes?

    YW – Your answer is likely to be NO. You didn’t need me to tell you that 😉

  26. Can’t say that British mentality had anything to do with Capello not taking Theo. If anything Theo’s a more of a typical british type player than a wengerball player, as opposed to the likes of Wilshere that came through our academy

    I do believe that Capello is overrated though. But the most important factor is the general lack of technical skill among the so called golden generation.

  27. QOS. With the greatest of respect, Pearce is a F.A. puppet and nothing more than a yes man to Capello. He failed at Man City and has no managerial experience. Passion yes, but just like the crap you hear about British bulldog spirit, it is a waste of time if you just don’t have the talent. As long as we have scum like Terry setting the example what hope is there for the future of English football? The Rooney’s and Gerrards of this world are only in it for the money and should be ashamed of themselves.

  28. CG

    I think Naga’s point is yes we play wonderful football but when it comes to the major games we lack the winning mentality.Which even the most die hard gooner cant deny.

  29. Henristic

    If he was typically British, he would be 6ft 5, able to kick lumps out of people, and knows how to get away with constant fouling.

    This is your typical British player, one which gets away with murder in the Premier League. Theo is far from one of them. He isn’t as technically gifted as some foreign players at our club, but he is lightning quick, and has excellent dribbling and finishing.

    Why many slag him off is beyond me, if it wasn’t for his injuries, and constant pressure from the British media he would have already developed into the finished article.

    There is a lot more to come from Theo. I am glad in a way he didn’t go and save our blushes at the World Cup, because now we can all clearly see where we are lacking. Arsenal is showing all the way forward.

  30. Hark

    England just displayed to you how far ‘mentality’ can take you. I’d rather Wenger sticks to his principles, stick to playing football, scoring goals, and not telling his players to kick lumps out of the opposition.

    This does not mean we are pussies, or not to be agressive. Look at Van Persie, Sagna, Song, Vermaelen.. we have some hard ass players in our team. So don’t even bother start slagging our team off ‘mentally’ or physically. Our team is mentally stronger than every other Premier League team. Hence, all the late comebacks.

    Sort your facts out.

  31. optaJoe 32 – Wayne Rooney has lost the ball by being tackled in possession more often than any other player at the 2010 #worldcup finals.

  32. Spot on analysis. Plus an excellent dismissal of the argument that foreign players in the Premiership suppressing natural English talent: as you say, it is impossible to suppress what isn’t there.

  33. @ DFG re:QoS…. one thing we in England are always good at is irony, sarcasm and taking the piss. We’d definitely win the world cup of that.

  34. Chrisgoona

    you have completely missed the point. Hark has clarified it and I have stated above that both suffer from DIFFERENT forms of pig headedness.

    Its not a question of kicking lumps and there is no problem in sticking to principles. I simply said the attitude of both lack variety and the failure of both to address and correct their long running deficiencies.

    The attitude of both need consideration: Us, in terms of becoming more efficient, pragmatic and acquiring a winning edge when it really matters and england in terms of eschewing the attitude of delusions about being the best in the world and harping about the so called “English way”.

    Both need a rethink of their stubbornly held approach. Hope you got my point now.


  35. I read somewhere that Germany has 10 times the number of youth coaches as England. Germany’s population is only 1.5 times the size of England. Clearly, it is the coaching from a youth level on how to play football the right way that puts Germany way ahead of England.

  36. When I watch the premier league, I sometimes think that if I were fitter, I could actually play in one of the mid to lower table sides, as all they seem to rely on is power and size. On the other hand, when Germany, Netherlands, or Argentina work a neat move, I really feel like there is that gap between professionals and amateurs.

  37. What I mean is that the ‘foreign’ players actually look like skilled professionals while the most of the Englishmen just look like amateurs who have high fitness levels and nothing else.

  38. The kick them mentality is the one which destroys England. the english people (media, referees and coaches) do not like technically gifted players. Once a player is gifted they say kick them. At the world cup they could not kick them becoz the referees did not allow that and that made their life difficult. I think the refs, media and coaches should stop “kick them because they dont like it mentality” and promote promote proper football. If you also notice the english media is trying to drive out technically gifted players like Fabregas. Instead of promoting the english game by having players like Fab4 in their league they are busy promoting his depature from the league.

  39. There are more the ten times the number of UEFA qualified coaches in Germany then England. According to the writer Rafa Honigstein, it is a scheme that kicked off after a poor Euro 2000, and Ozil and friends, are the first graduates.

    Walcott does have a better ‘technique’ then many of the England players, who were selected in that squad. You can tell from the warm up games, if you disagree, watch them again, IMO. e.g. unlike SWP when attempting a step-over, he does not shank the ball into touch, twice…Just my opinion!

    Yet Stuart Pearce did not select TW14 that much in that tournament last year against Ozil and Ze German U-21’s, I think.

    So, the only England player to do something ‘magical’ in the senior qualifiers, wasn’t even selected for the full U-21 final, even though he’d been force to fly out to the tournament?
    Why could Stuart Pearce, so active for England yesterday, not fit a ‘senior’ player into his game plan?
    Was Rooney ever treated this way when he was still available for the U21’s? Bizarre.

    (I did not watch the U21 tournament, it’s a genuine question.)

  40. Can this debacle be used to rebuild a technically gifted, good footballing side from scratch, give it some time and lots of patience to see it to the end. It can be done, but I doubt it will be. Look at Germany how they went from tactically strong, physical & efficient team to a flamboyant, skilful & technical side. They haven’t won anything yet and might not, but atleast they have something to look forward to.
    English football is at a crossroads, whatever the decision makers conjure up will shape its future in a big way, can they pull their heads out of the sand and do the right thing. I hope so, because the alternative is very scary.

  41. TBF in the Under-21 tournament, Theo looked a player shorn of any confidence and did not impress especially other than one cameo.

    Pearce handled him badly. Unsuprising really.

    Not sure he was forced to play though, he was quoated at the time as saying that he was keen to be part of the tournament.

  42. Chris G, thats a pretty narrow view of typical british player. No one fits that description in the current english team. You’re exaggerating to make a poor point

    No one has slagged theo off. My point is that England’s football deficiencies are largely related to their comparative lack of technical skills. Theo couldn’t have done much to change that, particularly as his other english team mates won’t/can’t give him the type of service best suited to his pace

  43. Capello has just put the blame on the fact that the players were tired. What Bolloxs!!!! First off they don’t even work 8 hours a day. When they are working they play 2 or perhaps 3 games a week depending on which club they play for. After that they are handled like babies with masages ect. ect and between all of that they are playing golf or laying around at the pool or a fancy spa. Well I am happy now to know that we paid Capello 6M a year to let us know that the problem with English players is that they are tired, brilliant just brilliant.

  44. Its probably not the right forum for what I need to get off my chest, but stuff it here goes. The media are now trying to shift the complete blame for that shambles onto one persons shoulders. Fabio Capello. The reason? His lack of command of the English language. WTF! I get berated for saying the English media are xenephobic, then they prove my point. The REASON England failed is more about the TEAM and its lack of skill, ideas, passion, and their inability to listen and act on to what Capello was trying to tell them. To be honest the ONLY person who seemed to care about what was unfolding against Germany was Capello.

  45. One player who looked really good was our good friend Kieran Gibbs – and we know what happened to him. A shame that his position is one of the few where England have a true world class player (despite yesterday and the fact he is a f****** a*******…………)

    Wilshere for England next season….

  46. jaygooner. What exactly is Capello trying to tell them? It is a fact that his English is not good enough for the job and all I have heard him say is that the players are tired. Did it really take a non English coach to have to tell us that? I have not heard him say anywhere…..here are the facts….here is exactly what is wrong with English football! Or have I missed something?

  47. YW, quite possibly the finest piece of writing I have read from you on this entire blog. Succinct, spot on, realistic, honest, and forward looking. I truly hope this forces the changes that are so sorely needed in the FA, PL, and English attitude about what constitutes proper football.

    PZ, hope you’re having a piss as your first comment had me in stitches.

    One other team with a good, young core in Ghana and I am desperately hoping they will have a good showing against Uruguay, who look like they are in great form right now.

  48. Me too, Gris….when do they play each other?

  49. Thanks QOS,

    Yup, he wasn’t ‘forced’, what I meant to ask was, why wasn’t Rooney pressurised to ‘prove himself’ in the same way.

    Theo should not have been taken to that tournament, but if he was, he should have been the player the team was built around. That was not the case. It would have required Pearce to embrace the strange and alien concept of having a ‘playmaker’, like Ozil?

    Quote from the Grunt’s minute-by minute coverage of the U21 final last year bewteen England and Germany:

    HT: “Mark Noble, theoretically England’s main central creator, has been insignificant and Theo Walcott (playing as a striker I assume) too isolated. . And when England have sought to feed the Arsenal youngster it has usually been via crosses from out wide. Let’s face it, that’s not exactly playing to Walcott’s strengths, is it?”

    (19)66 mins: England have cranked up the tempo and starting to Germany a little. But they are undermining their attacks somewhat by resorting to long balls to (Micah) Richards…


    Pearce chose to play the gr*tty Cattermole ahead of another gifted prospect, Rodwell.

    Final score: 4-0 to Germany (U21).

    i.e. England, had no control over the ‘game’.
    I don’t blame players like Rodwell and Walcott for that.

    But that is just my own opinion.

  50. That “Arsenal dont have the mentality in big games” comment is the biggest joke ever.

  51. The main problem in the youth set-up is that it promotes physicality instead of technique. England is the only country that make youngster play so early on full-size pitch which makes the fitter youngster stand out. In Spain, Brasil, France, Italy, Netherands, etc. they look much more in technical ability than force by playing on small pitch were the player need to have great ball control and be technical to stand out.

  52. England were obviously crap for the whole Tournament but you can never minimize the effects on both teams from a goal.

    In the Mexico match, you could see that the offside Goal messed Mexico up real bad. I watch the match and I wouldnt say that Argentina were the superior team (Tevez goal was amazing though).

    Capello is a joker – how can you expect to have a competitive team with Crouch, Hesky, Carragher, Upson, SWP and Lennon? Not to mention Gerrard and lampard never play well together but there is an insistance on them playing.

    Walcott may not have made a difference but one thngs for sure is that he has a way of doing some brilliant things in big games. Its obvious he should have been chosen along with Bent.

    My boss just told me that England looked like crap. When you have someone who doesnt really watch football apart from the fact that the US is in the world cup you know you are in a very sad state.


  53. DFG Any team has to play to a shape, follow a formation, stick to a game plan. That England team were ripped to pieces by the Germans exactly because they did not follow his instructions. Thats my point. His command of English, however poor, isnt the issue. The TEAM failed him, he did not fail him. That is my point lol.

  54. Generally speaking, I just didn’t see a chemistry out on the pitch amongst the English side. The problem is that were Capello to have left one of Gerrard or Lampard on the bench, for example, and the team had lost then, he would’ve been blistered for not playing all of the stars all at once. When in reality, the team probably would’ve been better off with “role” players like Scholes or Parker or Adam Johnson mixed in with the “bigger” names. As the saying goes, there were too many cooks in the kitchen.

    That all being said, I firmly believe had it been 2-2, the English side wouldn’t have been caught all up the way it was immediately preceding the third German goal. Maybe the FA will take the first step with this video technology.

    Theo and Jack in ’14.

  55. jaygooner, Capello doesnt have a good command of the English Language. Thats funny to use as an excuse.

    Capello picked a team that didnt have any balance. He picked a team that didnt have players that could change the game from the bench. He got it terribly wrong.

  56. jaygooner, I fully understand the point you are making. My only point is that he is not “media friendly” and at no time has he ever stated in a factual statement, ‘this is what’s wrong with English football” to simply state the players are tired only underminds his credentials.

  57. jaygooner, also to follow up, has he actually achieved something for England to where we could say, no English manager could have done that? I may be old fashioned but it is a disgrace that the F.A. appointed a foreign coach, I did not agree with the selection of Sven nor did I agree with the selection of Capello.

  58. RvP’s movement was really smart there – totally made the space for Robben to shoot.

  59. wow. you absoloutley nailed it Yogi. A stellar post.

  60. Its like watching the spuds i tell ya……… ARE U TOTNUM IN DISGUISE….

  61. Nicholas Maingot on why he refused to discuss referees, etc.

    I am not competent

    The first time ever that a Fifa suit has told the truth. A pity he spoiled it be adding “to do so“…


  62. I think English football is due a fundamental overhaul.

    We need to look around other players in the world game.

    We were beaten yesterday by the best example of a wonderful thriving national side yesterday. Great quality, technique and desire.

    A long term plan is required. Emphasis on technique is needed from grass roots. The head of the FA should give Arsene a bell on how to begin revoloutionising English football from the ground up.

  63. A complete revamp of the technical direction of coaching in England will only suffice.

    The inventors of football needing an Italian to lead the way says nothing but our system has failed.

    The culture of the coaching as well as the technical ability of coaching needs to change.

    Its not working. It has never worked.

  64. This dutch team is the deal.

  65. as for the goal line technology…..if there were ever any doubt….surely it is now gone forever.

    Every other sport in the world was presented an opportunity to laugh at football yesterday.

  66. Ha Delano! We think alike!!!

  67. No puns with the name ‘Nicholas Maingot’, Yogi?

  68. You know its so funny, the English media and all that. Out of one side of their mouth they say Arsenal dont like it when a team gets stuck in. They say that Arsene and Arsenal complain and cry too much about fouls. They feel sorry for poor ol’ Taylor and Ryan Shincrush (was he in the team?) and now England are crap, they say England players are not skillfull enough, you know techinically inferior.

    Make your blasted minds up!

  69. I agree deano, Goal line techonolgy is a must or in the very least more refs on the pitch. The pitch is too big to expect these 3 people to see the whole field.

  70. england is full of boozy short sighted scum bags who talk in out dated riddles (end of day mate….) and are constantly looking to impress some slapper or take the piss out of someone ugly with there mates “4 a laff”.

    we live in a disposable society which is largely anti religion and our best bash at spirituality is taking LSD at glastonbury whilst pretending to enjoy watching some manufactured band signing about tescos because we think it looks cool.

    in short a bunch of twats who dont deserve shit and I cant wait to immigrate at let them all stew in their own pie juices.

  71. I bet BP would love to have Blatter as CEO for all of his ability to simply sit quietly, twiddle his thumbs and say fuck all in the face of global condemnation of his organisation.

  72. Where’s Frank these days?

  73. I hope holland win the world cup.

  74. If spain do, later that night when cesc gets drunk they;ll make him sign a contract whilst he’s delirious.

    Ooh and what a skill from rvp, bergkamp-like right there….

  75. RVP trying to do a bit too much. Relax

  76. I love this Holland team

  77. Robben’s a great talent but he must be really annoying to play with. He’s out there for himself really, and offers teammates nothing in terms of service or movement. It’s like he only makes a run if it’ll help him get a shot on.

  78. Word, tell us how you really feel!

  79. The “goal” that wasnt was bad but it had nothing to do with the Germans cheating unlike the Henry handball which Fifa did jack shit about.That was a disgrace

  80. The Dutch team appears to have a scoring problem. It’s like one nil to the Netherlands! The draw has favoured them thus far. Appears they may have problems against stronger opposition.

  81. Word 3.43

    wonderfully cynical and scarily accurate.

    Holland, Ghana, Germany or Argentina to win the world cup I hope.

    Paul N

    Our media realy does destroy everything.

    Have England ever been this poor? I don’t think so. Expectations are distorted because we once had very good teams. The last of those was 1990. Exceptional players have come and gone, 2 or 3 exceptional talents still exist on their day. Rooney, Cashley Cole Gerrard and Lampard do have the capacity to be great players, up their with the best, but they are propelled to god like individual status by our vile tacky media. Individual talent counts for nothing when the fundamentals are missing. France anyone?

    Look at Cameroon, they have one of the most successful strikers ever to play the game leading their line in Eto’o and went out of this world cup without a point. And I’m willing to bet that no-one on here ever gave them a shout because we all know.

    People forget the old cliche that individuals don’t make a team.

    Look what the Americans achieved with a painfully average squad, no real great individual talent but a great team spirit and attitude.

    We really do have it all backwards.

  82. The Dutch better pray that Chile upsets Brazil. I don’t see them beating the Samba boys. They appear to lack the killer instinct.

  83. Well, from this angle it seems that the ball didn’t cross the line:


  84. Yeh Deano, its a shame that it has taken such an embarrasing situation for the truth to be realised, well atleast we hope the british media see the truth. We as Arsenal supporters saw this long ago and have been scoffed at constantly.

  85. Holland can beat Brazil, Brazil were not anything special against Ivory Coast.

  86. Sure paul n just 3-1. Any team can beat the other in football.

  87. What is vPersie doing? will he be responsible for Holland to not go through?

  88. A national football academie would be a good start. England’s probably a decade behind the other football powers, but better late than never. As it stands right now, England has a new and exciting generation of players.

    These players are:

    Cairney (If he decides to play for England)

    All they need now is a coach who is willing to start introducing these players into the England set up little by little.

  89. I think the English Media hacks – who are tearing the English players apart now – are the first ones to blame. Weren’t these media hacks the ones that raised the same players to the 7th sky? Now, they’ll have a feast bringing them down. They have the cake and eat it too.

    I have not heard about this Thomas Mueller until this world cup? I don’t know if German media was raising him to 7th sky or not but I sure didn’t hear anything about him. If they were, I bet the English media would have linked him with at least 6 different clubs, I’m sure they will do now, but that’s another story.

    Alexi Lalas yesterday said something that hit the spot for me: “In football England has delusions of grandeur” They have to stop playing on the poor English fans emotions and desires to win something big, they have to admit first that they’re not good enough, at least they’re pretty much the last on the list of the top 16 nations. Only when you come to grips with the reality first, you will be able to think clearly and move ahead.

    It will not come easy, and it will not come quick. I think the best example for England would be Arsenal and Arsene. Build, Build, Build, there will be draw backs, and there will be tough times, but stick to a good plan.

    Having said that, I think England will only win the World Cup when it’s hosted by England. It seems to me that English players are like fish (no chips) if you take them out of water, they suffocate. One other reason to send English players abroad, meet other people, understand other cultures, learn something different. It’s the same problem for American players, they need to do the same.

    The good side to England’s exist:
    Two days off for “Cesc to Barca” story.

  90. Poliziano:

    “and Jose Mourinho’s destruction of the careers of Scott Parker and Steve Sidwell.”

    You’re cheeky. I never said that Mourinho ruined Parker’s and Sidwell’s careers. I was talking about managers like Mourinho not giving English youth the chance to break in to the first team because of their transfer policies.

    You argued that Terry, Lampard, A. Cole and J. Cole were examples of English players that were starting for Chelsea because they were good enough. What you’re overlooking, however, is that these players were already given their chances by the likes of Rainieri, Redknapp and Wenger. All of these players were fixtures in the premier league before Abrahamovic came to town.

  91. KenGun, so you think 3 goals means you were impressive? Unless you forgot the blatant two handballs for the second goal?

    You are obviously a Brazil supporter.

  92. Holland is going to get their butts handed to them by Brazil if they don’t replace Van Bommel with Van der Vaart. The link up play today was a nightmare.

  93. What I mean is that a team can score 3 goals and it doesnt necessarily mean they played great. While a team cannot score and have played some good stuff. Arsenal comes to mind.

  94. *are gone

  95. GB, except for Walcott, Wilshere, and maybe Rodwell, the names on your list aren’t particularly exciting.

    Young? Richards? Eagles!?

  96. Actually all these names are fine, the most important thing though is what will you teach them? Or what did you teach them this far?

    Bunt the ball, run aimlessly, get in their faces, let them know you’re there….etc. etc.

  97. And don’t forget the all too important ingredient “Grit”

  98. Paul N brazil did play well against IC holland have hardly dominated their play but hopefully for them will find some form..

    G4E thomas was one of the germans hottest prospects last season but not even brazil hype up their players like england does..

  99. I’m probably alone in thinking that there’s a huge overreaction to this defeat, and it’s not just because I care far less about England losing to Germany than any one of about 6 Arsenal defeats last season.

    It was actually a close game until England made a massive tactical error by throwing too many players forward for a Lampard free-kick at 1-2 when there was still plenty of time left to equalize.

    The lack of discipline there was criminal, and turned what was a tense game into a rout.

  100. Henristic:

    “GB, except for Walcott, Wilshere, and maybe Rodwell, the names on your list aren’t particularly exciting.

    Young? Richards? Eagles!?”

    Eagles was good everytime I seen him for Burnley. He has a good shot, he knows how to get around players and is good at dictating the pace of the game. Richards is a good player any way you cut it. He needs a bit of refinement but he’s young and the raw material is there. Ashley Young could be a good squad player. He has speed, he can cross the ball and he can shoot.

  101. G4E:

    “Actually all these names are fine, the most important thing though is what will you teach them? Or what did you teach them this far?

    Bunt the ball, run aimlessly, get in their faces, let them know you’re there….etc. etc.”

    Except for Cahill, Cairney and perhaps the Villa boys, all of these youngsters play for teams with a proper football philosophy. All these players need is a national team coach that doesn’t call up the likes of Crocuh and Heskey in order to profit from endless crosses and long balls.

  102. GB69,

    that’s fine I agree about certain clubs, but it’s not only about club philosophy, it’s about a nation’s football philosophy.

    You can have Wenger training Wilshere to play football, then his English manager in the national team telling him to bunt the 60 – 70 yard ball forward…and to keep his place in the national team he will have to oblige.

  103. Brazil were ok, they were not great. The second goal flattered them big time. Watching the match, I would say that Ivory Coast were a match. I would love to see that game played with a more fit Drogba.

  104. I can not remember where I read it but comments were made when several young guns played at under 17/18 a couple of seasons ago and said they spent most of the time looking skywards for the ball.

    Might of been Brady talking about the youth set up.

    The point about Pearce picking physically opposed to technically gifted players goes back to the whole point that why do think ex World cup players are better coaches ( or pundits ). The best Caoches (Wenger, Red nose etc) were no great shakes as players, likewise I read better punditry on this web site………..

  105. G4E,

    “that’s fine I agree about certain clubs, but it’s not only about club philosophy, it’s about a nation’s football philosophy.

    You can have Wenger training Wilshere to play football, then his English manager in the national team telling him to bunt the 60 – 70 yard ball forward…and to keep his place in the national team he will have to oblige.”

    I completely agree. Hopefully England has a new generatioin of managers when these players come through.

  106. I really hope so too GB69.

  107. G69, what is needed then is the training for managers, it would seem? it is going to be difficult.

    The whole football institution is sick. You have a bunch of ex footballers talking crap during the PL season and they dont expound on how you play decent football. How can the youth really know good football?

  108. You know its funny, how you like a spain with mostly smaller players and they run rings around most teams.

    England has a lack of vision due to the success of the PL. If a League is making billions, its obviously that they are doing things right, isnt it?

  109. Gunner4Ever

    I agree that the media in this country is ridiculous.

    In fact the media in every country leaves a lot to be desired as I’m sure you know hailing from the place that brought the world Fox news.

    I agree that some teams don’t play football in this country but most do and most English clubs do.

    Tell me that the counter attacking 3rd goal scored at the Emirates by Man U in the champions league wouldn’t be beautiful if it was scored by Arsenal.

    Tell me an 8 goal haul at the end of a season can be scored by a team that dosent play football.

    Tell me that Stokes 2nd goal against us in the FA Cup last season was a long ball up field.

    Man U and Chelsea DO play expansive attacking football. I don’t like them for many reasons, mainly tribal, but one has to be objective. Everton play football, Fulham play football, Sunderland play football etc. Wigan try bless em’ and they dicked us last season.

    I agree with la gooner in saying that England were more than a match for Germany for long periods. Lampard’s goal would have been a beauty. It was Sunday league goals that we conceded. And that is a mental factor, a belief factor.

    England do have very good players. England do play football. The 8th national side in the world is about right and we wont progress before we find an identity. England have not played anywhere near their potential. Its a mental thing, and unfortunatley it is deep rooted.

    There are bright young stars coming through, and if they are handled correctly England have a bright future.

  110. No disrespect Deano, but after this WC 8th is too high and could be a reason why people dont have a good look at the football in England.

  111. Brazil, falling around already?

  112. Good stuff

  113. That’s what the Dutch are lacking that killer instinct. With their striking force you’d expect them to run over their opponents.

  114. Paul N

    Ok agreed. I just don’t buy they whole “lets burn the house down” reactionary writing.

    Its contrary to everything I have seen writen and televised but I actually though, apart from in defence (which was unbelievably shocking), England played well yesterday. The difference was they didn’t keep their head. If a boxer goes out swinging willy nilly they get knocked clean out and thats what happened. I know that as an Arsenal fan sometimes.

    Emphasis on the importance of technique is fundamental at grass roots. Belief in technique takes confidence.

    Confidence and certainty is what is lacking.That does come from the manager. He has looked at the squad and said fuck this…long ball up to Heskey. When he changed it up to actually TRY to play things improved, but it was too little too late.

    Anyway enough about England, for another 2 years at least.

    Poor Chile!

  115. Chile are not out of this yet you know. They’re a great little team.

  116. Got you Deano.

    Chile are a fiesty team but they are outclassed. I have a feeling that Brazil better not make them get a goal though. They look like they would thrive with a little confidence.

  117. Deano….you miss a very important fact that those teams are not purely English….and very much their success is built on foreign talent.

    I’m not saying England has nothing, I’m saying the overall mentality is wrong.

    And don’t forget that Stoke is also the club that broke a 19 year old leg by a brutal ignorant challenge by an English youngster (Poor baby).

  118. That diving and flailing about is why I despise Brazil.

  119. I have not enjoyed Brazil at all this WC

  120. If Chile had a little more quality. Good team

  121. Howard Webb and the British Linesman the best at the WC?

  122. 1 loose cannon

    I did not bother to watch the games today as I knew it it will be business as usual for Holland and Brasil. It is a little bit annoying that we don ‘t have hard fought games last minute equalisers or winners, edge of your seat stuff just like Turkey in the euros. it has been dull so far. the only team that gave me some ecxitment is Ghana the under dogs and I’m hoping they reach the final it will be fantastic, I’m just tired of the same teams in the final. glad italy and france are out, its almost certain we will have Germany, Argies or Spain in the final, sadly my favoirite 2 teams ghana and holland will possibly meet in the semis. otherwise that would’ve been my final.

  123. that england game was just like watching Arsenal………………………….. against any top team last season!!!!!

  124. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Fat chance of the coach’s son in law getting replaced, G69.

  125. Snejder has been ruined by Mourinho, every time the dutch were starting a quick move, he slowed it down by trying to change direction and then hold the ball for seconds.

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