England’s Young Cubs, Koscielny On The 1st, Joe Wants Faith

The World Cup continues despite England’s exit, a shocking state of affairs I know, since this country is the centre of the football universe. Brazil set up a mouthwatering quarter-final with the Netherlands this weekend, thumping Chile 3-0, an inevitable result once the deadlock was broken. Both countries have found the right mix of flair and hard work and it is no surprise that they remain unbeaten, conceding few goals along the way. It may not be the goalfest that the media hope for but it promises to be no less absorbing.

Today sees the clash we have all been waiting for as Paraguay take on Japan, the winners take on Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal or Spain in the quarter finals. I kid you not when I observe that I hope the victorious team from today’s first match create a massive upset by getting to the semi-finals at the very least. It would perhaps stop the patronising claptrap about smaller nations from the various commentators and pundits for a short while at least, sending them into even bigger apoplexy about England.

The whole of the problem with England and the FA encapsulated in their snazzy title for anything to do with the national team? “Club England”. The name sums up the problems: a holiday club, great locations, hotels are fantastic but the organisers are absolutely useless.

Capello’s observation that Bobby Zamora is one for the future brought his own into question so The Sun decided to help him. Sir Trevor Brooking, long a lone voice of sanity at the FA, rightly questioned where the opportunities at Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United lay for the young Englishmen ahead of Brazil 2014.

He then scuppered his own argument by including Arsenal in the equation. I would suggest he looks at the list produced and counts: two of them will be Arsenal regulars by then – Wilshere, Gibbs – whilst the third is already a first team choice – Walcott. This is before Arsene obeys the fantasy transfer window wishes and signs Richards, Hart and Rodwell.

Wilshere has a big season ahead of him. The loan spell at Bolton was preparation work for the 2010/11 campaign with Arsenal and I would expect Wenger to use Wilshere frequently this season, either from the bench or when rotation requires. There is an expectation that he would be the prime beneficiary if Fabregas left. I am not convinced that Wenger would put that weight on Wilshere’s shoulders, a new signing the preferred option if the captain leaving scenario comes to fruition.

It leaves Wenger with a season to prepare the youngster for the time of eventual departure be it in 12 months or two years time or whenever. At Bolton, Wilshere played mainly on the flanks and the left side would be the most obvious starting point for him. Wenger has options for the right in Walcott and Bendtner but no doubt there will be cries of ‘stifling youth’ if regular appearances are not made. Attacking options from midfield and attack at Arsenal are not in short supply and if – which is a very big if – fitness can be maintained the competition for places is certainly healthy.

Which is more than can be said of the defence. With Koscielny signing this week, there are still gaps to be plugged. Full back positions have cover on both sides with able deputies replacing the first choices. Centrally though, Vermaelen, Koscielny and Djourou are not sufficient for a season. Campbell is certainly an option but not for long spells, surely? Mention of other youngsters who have been on loan is all well and good but one more experienced centre back is required as well as the trio should Campbell not re-sign.

As for goalkeepers, I am unconvinced that anyone is incoming. Schwarzer does not inspire confidence, Green less so. Both are average at best and there are doubts that they would do anything other than put pressure on the current squad, starting places no certainty.

Were Wenger to invest, I would want someone who has proven themselves although there seems to be a drop in the number of world class goalkeepers over recent seasons, consistency eluding even the top players in this position. Whether ball design is influencing this – it is at the World Cup but that is an Adidas abomination and the Premier League us Nike balls – is unclear but mistakes seem to be plaguing all custodians. I guess the criteria applied would be who is likely to drop the least clangers over a season in those circumstances.

Onto real and imaginary transfer news, reports of Koscielny‘s impending arrival are confirmed by Lorient‘s website, the arrival date is 1st July 2010. Now that is what you call a Transfer Linked section.

Joe Cole, meanwhile, has told everyone that he is a huge George Michael fan, demaning Faith from any new manager. Whilst everyone gets excited, John Cross in the Mirror has steadfastly maintained that Cole is not going to Arsenal. Although he suggested Old Trafford first – no faith there – it’s been Tottenham for him for a while.

Delboy Redknapp has apparently been on the blower from his yellow Robin Reliant and observed, “Joe, me old mucker, I am your farver“, which is going to swing it for Joe as Arsenal won’t be able to match the £60k per week plus add-ons that the Tiny Tots are offering, unless they get shot of Rosicky and Eduardo first apparently.

‘Appy ‘Arry may have scuppered the deal by putting himself firmly forward as someone to replace Fabio Capello when the Italian is removed from his post in two weeks. The FA suits claim it was to consider their options and not make a knee-jerk decision. Heaven forbid that anyone suggest it is because the bigwigs do not want to interrupt their South African holiday. The end of the World Cup and the timescale in question were merely coincidental according to an FA insider as he slurped Pina Colada’s by the pool.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 29, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 130 Comments.

  1. Excellent work by FIFA re: banning replays. Just sweep it under the carpet and pretend its not there. Instead of finding a solution Blatter & Co. just go about running football like its their personal fiefdom

  2. Frighteningly for football, he wants four more years and the only real opposition would be Platini, who is his acolyte and has already made it clear he won’t run against Blatter. Now either he is scared or Blatter knows where the skeletons are buried.


  3. ‘arry won’t want it yet. He’s got champions league to manage. Anyway he hasn’t bankrupt the spuds yet.

  4. haha tommo. Twitchy would be on a nice little earner taking the FA shilling. BUT even he would quickly realise he cannot rape his former club of their best players, because none of them are English. Or maybe he wouldnt. Expect to see Gareth Bale named in ‘Arrys first England squad should he jump into Capello’s shoes. lol

  5. bigbrovar whats happening to you bigbro, you arent being first very consistently any more i’m not impressed….

  6. I find it absolutely ridiculous that two Arsenal players not even established in the first team yet alone the Premiership be looked upon to take England forward.
    These two are at least two years away from playing for their country and making any sort of impact.
    It would be totally unfair on them and could even effect their careers as it has apparently with Walcott.
    This shows for me Fabio has certainly ‘lost it’, and i hope for all us Gooners that this never happens as it could be extremely detrimental for Arsenal in the future.

  7. I agree Vet, Fabio has lost it making the statement. But i believe it will only be Arsene’s Wengerball that will save England, it was embarrassing to see the England so called world class players panic on the ball, in such a rush to get rid, wayward passing and all that lack of technique… these arsenal yougsters wont panic and the ones that make it through to our first team squad will have the bottle and not panic on the big stage.

  8. ‘arrys shameless ‘come and get me’ call to the FA and Media for the England Managers job must fill Spurs fans with deep gloom. On the brink of a major leap in Tottenhams fortunes the manager is seen touting himself for a new challenge! Does Harry not have faith in his expensively acquired squad at Spurs to be successful?

  9. CL football with a dib dab side that probably wont qualify or the England job ???
    Harry said yesterday that he wouldnt turn the job down…..

  10. I would absolutely love to see Arry as England manager, he will be regarded as THE biggest flop to take on the role.

    Lennon on the right, Dawson & King at the back, Bentley LM, Jenas CM, Crouch and Defoe up top.. would be an absolute joke.

    Just when you think England has actually had enough of watching average Joes playing for the national team.

  11. Arry was a knob before he went Spurs and he will always remain a knob, ditching various clubs, spending all their transfer kitty and running off at 1st sign of a better opportunity. What kind of man is that?

    Spurs fans are the bigger idiots to put their faith in such a man, he will certainly accept the England job without a blink of an eye and leave Spurs to rot (IF they really want him – hard to imagine but this is the FA). Then, he will probably asking for his job back at Spurs in 2 years when England stutter in qualification to the Euros!

    Wenger has been offered a job for the best clubs in Italy, Real Madrid, even England and France national teams… yet our great manager stands right by us through thick and thin. Arry is just a prostitute, running to whoever pays him more.

  12. Who the hell is this Koscielny??

  13. I’m looking forward to seeing this Koscielny and especially the way that one might pronounce it…
    only thing for me is that he is left footed like TV.. so we may be lacking a little balance!

  14. Joe Cole coming in demanding a central role, and blocking the likes of Rambo, Wilshire, Nasri…

    no thanks.. I’d rather have a 20 game Rosicky who gives his all – even if hes not English until our young stars take the Premiership by storm. Cole is not even a certainty to be a starter for us. He will only be another option for Wenger IF hes brought in.

    Arshavin, Walcott, Nasri, Cesc, Robin, Chamakh, Bendtner…

    << Just a few players he will have to get passed to get into the 1st team. When he says he wants faith from a manager, it sounds like he means he doesn't want to have to struggle for a 1st team place like at Chelsea. Maybe the step down to Spurs will see him get an automatic spot. This is why I expect him to go there. This is why hes leaving Chelsea in the 1st place too. Will he want to battle for a 1st team spot again at a better club? we will soon find out.

    I don't know why I am coming down hard on him now, I was at one point looking forward to seeing an experienced Englishman coming in. But the more comments I hear, the more it makes me ask myself, does Arsenal really need Joe Cole?

    I don't actually think we do, we have quite a few technical players who are better than him, and some coming through who I don't want to see sit behind an ex-chelski player who couldn't get in their 11.

  15. tommystout

    He will replace the left footed Silvestre. We have Djoruou for the right side. We just need 1 more for the right.

  16. spot on chris

  17. There is only one solution. Andrew Flower must coach the england football squad. I expect him to be announced in 2 weeks. Hell, they’ll still lose, but at least they won’t sleep with one another’s missus’.

  18. Question is, if Campbell signs, will we get 1 more like YW said.. or will we just promote from within?

    Konchelslenenyy ( I give up trying to spell it)
    + 1 youth

    is 5 CB’s enough, or should we have another experienced CB? There is always Song who can play there, but we saw what happened when switching a players positions against Barca.. = Ibrahimovich 2 sloppy goals.

  19. The Sun says Koscielny will be paid 25,000 pounds a week….wow that’s a major saving regarding Gallas’ 105,000 a week!

  20. ZP: “Hell, they’ll still lose, but at least they won’t sleep with one another’s missus’.”

    And what will be the fun in that?

  21. Joe Cole is no better than what we have. Forget Joe Cole. Regarding the CB situation, I don’t think Djorou can be included as he has been out for so long. We can’t expect too much from him yet, anything he does will be a bonus for us so we still need another CB after Koscielny. Preferably one with EPL experience.

  22. Why know answer to my question has anyone seen this guy play is he any bloody good? A worthy replacement for Gallas?

  23. 1 loose cannon

    Capello is running to Arsenal for help now. Wenger has been banging on about playing football the right way for donkies years and all the media, pundits and other english managers mocked him called him all sort of names.”If you don’t like our football bugger off” that is what he was getting, no support at all.
    After the England selection was made this was the headline Spurs 4- Arsenal 0. this is the kind of mentality we have to deal with. Spurs 4- Arsenal 0 equals Germany4- England 1.
    Wenger was criticised a million times for no fielding english players. He repeatdly said if you are good you play and english players are simply not good enough. He said we have to be patient and we will see English players playing the Arsenal way and its happening it just takes time. I remember last year Collymore dedicated a whole show insulting Wenger and saying if he does not like it he can go and manage elsewhere. Now he has changed his tune according to Maria, I have not listen to him for a long time.
    Now Arsenal is their only hope, We all new Gibbs Wilshere, Walcott, I can add Eastmond and Afobe, they are the future of England so Capello doesn’t need to tell us.
    This is the core of the future England
    Hart, Rodwell,Gosling, Gibbs, Wilshere, Walcott, Adam johnson,

    Scrap yard
    Terry,Rio,Upson, Cashley, Heskey, SWP, Barry, Carrick, King, Caragher

  24. Maria

    None of us have seen him which is possibly why no reply. I suppose we could YouTube him?


  25. In – Scwarzer, Koscielny, Chamakh, Joe Cole, Micah Richards and Nigel de Jong
    Out – Fabianski (Loan) Campbell, Silvestre, Gallas, Eduardo & Rosicky

    Seems like a straightforward 6 out 6 in. But if Fabregas goes, it could be instead of Rosicky meaning we will need to buy.

  26. BC
    Where did you get that from?

  27. If Campbell goes, is there a possibility that Richards will come in as a Center and Right ‘understudy’?

  28. Hopefully, he’s the replacement for Silvestre, not Gallas. Otherwise depending on Koscielny as first choice is a big risk. AW does like taking risks though, so I guess we’ll just have to see

  29. England were knocked out of the World Cup because they came up against an excellent Germany team. They lost by three goals because they defended abysmally. The mistakes made by the England defence were nothing to do with Capello, and I can’t see any reason for him to leave. How many managers must England try before it is realised that England does not have the best football team in the world? If Capello does leave, the obvious replacement would be Roy Hodgson. He, however, looks likely to join Liverpool. Whoever manages England has a thankless task ahead of him. Since I like Hodgson, I’m not sure I would want him to be given the post. Gainsbourg69 did an excellent job yesterday of showing how bleak the outlook is for England. Whatever you think of England’s Golden Generation, you have to admit they look exceedingly yellow and shiny in comparison with the Generation of Iron that is succeeding them. From his list of fine English talents, almost a third are already at the peak of their careers and are not good enough. Micah Richards looked as certain as anyone to become an England star, but his career has sailed on to the rocks. Can anyone save him? Most of the list of fine English talent consists of little more than promising youngsters. Of such there is never a shortage. They still have the crucial years of their development to come, when the vast majority will fall away. Almost none of the players on that list have had the impact that the members of the Golden Generation had from the start of their careers. There is a misconception that the players of the Golden Generation are no good. Contrary to popular belief, “We’re crap but we’ll scrap” has never been the official policy of the England team. Nor were the current England stars trained according to some inferior “philosophy.” The problem with the Golden Generation is that is didn’t provide enough players for a full team. I’m sure nobody needs to be reminded that Glen Johnson, Gareth Barry, Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, and so on were never considered golden. The Golden Generation is short on strikers and devoid of creative players, goalkeepers, and others. You can’t win competitions with half a team.

  30. Maria

    I haven’t seen him play but Lorient plays really nice football, Christian Gourcuff the manager has kind of the same philosophy as Wenger. He plays a young team that is technical, attacking and pass the ball well.

    Like I said before, I would prefer Ozil over J Cole anytime. J Cole is on the down whereas Ozil is going to be the german number 10 for years to come and will keep improving.

    I’m happy the Scharwer rumours are cooling down as he is no way any better than Almunia. I would rather Wenger Splashing money on Ozil and an experienced CB.

  31. Nice comments Poliziano & 1 loose cannon

    England have mocked us, the media has mocked us, and mostly the other managers have mocked us for playing football in the beautiful way it is meant to be played. Now the England national team has been shown up to have no skill, no pace, no creativity, and no brains.

    As much as I brought myself to support the scum like Terry, Gerrard, and Rooney, they got what they deserved in the end.

    I agree with Poliziano though that these players ain’t bad players overnight, you put them in a team with some skill and pace and they will score 20+ goals a season. Lampard, Gerrard, and Rooney are fantastic at club level in the right system, playing alongside skilled players.

    English players sadly have NO skill, it is a problem that we as Arsenal fans have vented in many ways, from other teams playing anti-football, breaking our players legs, playing counter attack… it must changed or the national team will never improve.

    The problem is the likes of Stoke, Bolton, Blackburn will always adopt negative tactics in the fear of dropping a division and losing out financially. That is the issue in the Premiership which has come about more so since the popularity has been ever increasing around the world, through television, Internet, marketing etc etc…

    It is purely up to the FA, and the media as well must take a stance, to make sure that football is played the right way, and the old guard who always say “you gotta kick em if they are better than you” are removed. These old pundits have a huge affect on the general thinking of the vast majority of the public. In consequence the referees allow violent play, allowing thuggish players to become Premiership stars. Its time for a change, and this change has been LONG overdue. Football is about skill and scoring goals, not about breaking peoples legs and defending for a draw. Wenger spotted this issue from years ago, but everyone mocked and laughed at him, who is laughing now England? Its time to listen to Wenger, Capello already is.

  32. Chris – everything you say is true, but aren’t we shouting in a vacuum on this site?

  33. Spuds on the brink of signing Kjaer and Cavani from Palermo

  34. Off topic here, I hate Howard Webb per se but last night he was excellent, the blatant dives from either side were not awarded free kicks the way continental refs would do.

    CG at 11:43, agree with all your points, but for England to improve the change has to start from the grass roots level, just the way Gibbs, Jack & Co were given a footballing education for the last 10 years. Does the FA, the English Media & most importantly, the average English fan have the patience to wait through failure of may be doing worse than they have done so far to enjoy the fruits later.
    The waiting game sounds very close to home to me and the way most pundits, ex-players & fans have reacted to Arsenal’s “barren” spell, the answer to my above question is probably no.

  35. On one hand ‘Arry is busy taking the spuds down the same road as portsmouth etc…on the other…hes eyeing the england job…god save the queen…

  36. 1 loose cannon

    chrisgoona- Well balanced comment, I agree with you 100%
    Lower Teams are fearful of teams who play good football and they resort to violence, but that should not be the answer, imagine stoke playing in the world cup, I can assure you they will have 5 or 6 players sent off within 45 minutes. Why? because the refs in europe and in major competitions they simply do not take that crap from anyone, you step out ofline and you’re out and that what the FA need to tell their Refs, they simply need to clean their act and try improve their football skills. You clearly remember Ridgwell bulldozed Walcott to the ground the ref did not even award a free kick, puindits later on aplauded Ridgwell for his heroics. Sadly we will be stuck in the shit hole if the FA don’t clean their act and stop thinking about money for once, they need to move on from primitive football, You get the usual argument football is a contact sport bl bla bla, yes contact within a limit. If you watch la liga top players are given more protection by the refs because they are targeted. Even Wenger himself moved on from the days of Adams, Keown. What we have now Vermaelen a fantastic defender with fantastic skills who can score goals. He wants good technical players wether they are small or tall to play the game with freedom so that the supporters can enjoy watching fantastic flowing football. A bit of aggression is not a problem but when you get players fired up want to cause some serious damage then its not on.

  37. this on FIFA’s site. cant remember the link, so pasted it here.

    The universality of the game: one of the main objectives of FIFA is to protect the universality of the game of association football. This means that the game must be played in the same way no matter where you are in the world. If you are coaching a group of teenagers in any small town around the world, they will be playing with the same rules as the professional players they see on TV.

    The simplicity and universality of the game of association football is one of the reasons for its success. Men, women, children, amateurs and professionals all play the same game all over the world.

    The human aspect: no matter which technology is applied, at the end of the day a decision will have to be taken by a human being. This being the case, why remove the responsibility from the referee to give it to someone else? It is often the case that, even after a slow-motion replay, ten different experts will have ten different opinions on what the decision should have been.

    Fans love to debate any given incident in a game. It is part of the human nature of our sport.

    FIFA’s goal is to improve the quality of refereeing, making referees more professional and better prepared, and to assist referees as much as possible. This is also the reason why refereeing experiments (such as with additional referees or the role of the fourth official) will continue to be analysed, to see how referees can be supported.

    The financial aspect: the application of modern technologies can be very costly, and therefore not applicable on a global level. Many matches, even at the highest level, are not even televised. For example, we have close to 900 preliminary matches for the FIFA World Cup™, and the same rules need to be applied in all matches of the same competition. The rules need to be the same for all association football matches worldwide.

    The experiments conducted by companies on technology in football are also expensive. The decision of the IFAB, after careful consideration and examination of studies conducted in recent years, to give a clear answer on technology in football is also positive in this regard as these companies will now not spend significant amounts of money on projects which in the end will not be implemented.

    The extended use of technology: the question has already been raised: if the IFAB had approved goal-line technology, what would prevent the approval of technology for other aspects of the game? Every decision in every area of the pitch would soon be questioned.

    The nature of the game: association football is a dynamic game that cannot be stopped in order to review a decision. If play were to be stopped to take a decision, it would break up the rhythm of the game and possibly deny a team the opportunity to score a goal. It would also not make sense to stop play every two minutes to review a decision, as this would go against the natural dynamism of the game.”

  38. 1 loose cannon

    We mention these factors throughout the season and we get laughed at for being ‘pussies’. The referees allow them to play with added aggression to compensate for lack of ability. This doesn’t happen in La Liga, this is why Villa, Ronaldo, Messi, etc all play in Spain. The Spanish pride themselves on playing good football, even the lower teams are technically quite good, as a nation England have been diseased with these old boys and pundits who tell their players to go out and have a good kick at the opposition. Week in week out they prasie and support the shite players who go around consistenly fouling. This isn’t football, and this is why England will not win the World Cup again for another 100 years if they play this way.

  39. Arsenalkabisa

    That is absolute bullshit, well apart from the part of costing them more!

    It takes the ref a lot longer to run over to the assistant referee to have a word rather than someone quickly confirm in his ear what actually happened. (for example: the ball 10000% crossing the line)

    It will not disrupt the flow or rhythm of the game in any shape or form. It will actually speed it up! Each manager / captain could then have a right to contest 3 decisions in a game which they feel were incorrect, if need be. The ref consults quickly, replay is probably already checked by the assistant watching on the monitor anyway, correct decision made.

    Also, no FUSS from players, no FIGHTS over decisions, no post match tantrums from managers and players etc etc. You will then have the thuggish players having second thoughts over committing serious fouls or any violent conduct on the field.

    Everybody wins, the cost will be so SMALL for the top leagues in comparison to what it can do for the game.

    How can they argue it won’t be fair on other leagues to not be universally the same when they have 2 extra refs in the UEFA CUP!!! It is stupid, it is a cowards response, and it is FIFA not wanting to have added cost to a sport which hasn’t moved forward like other NEWER sports.

  40. I dont agree with anyone who thinks that England did not have a good squad for me it was a question of two things :-
    1) England players were weighed down by fear that much was absolutely evident

    2) Square pegs in round holes, you know what i mean we all see that England should have played 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 with two proper wingers that really provide width. Alas it seems Capello was either too stubborn or convinced 4-4-2 was the way foward.

    Bolatelli romours have surfaced again, I would really love this guy to come here as if he got his head screwed on straight he could really be world class.

  41. ah well i am dreaming

  42. Silver

    no more strikers !!

  43. there isnt video technology in grass roots rugby.

    It works fine in top level rugby.



  45. Silver Gunner

    eduardo is going or is that bs ?

  46. Good comment and how true from ‘1 loose cannon’. Listening to the media slaughtering Capello post Algeria, then heaping praise pre – German game to then piling on bucket loads after the defeat shows they haven’t a clue about Football or it’s direction. These same ‘experts’ were so behind the Manager when Walcott was jettisoned after Shrek and the Chelsea boys had made it clear they didn’t rate him. Arsenal Fans had just cause to be smug on Monday morning. Next one up for England manager…..Brown, Allardyce, Pulis!!!! Thats England problem in a nutshell! No doubt come August the media will praise the physical dinosaur type football played by Stoke, Blackburn, Birmingham when Arsenal receive another good kicking as Good Old British football and if Wenger defends his players as typical whinging from Jonny Foreigner.

  47. Where is the link to Capello listening to Wenger?

    I suspect the PL and the way the games are refereed in England will not change. The post-mortem has already veered off from that direction by looking into the lack of dressing-room harmony. Personally I don’t mind the robust nature of the English game. But I wonder if the debate has even flirted with the concept that perhaps that fully committed style of play, at the expense of ball-loving technique, brings little reward in international competitions, and is even bringing down the attractiveness of the Premier League “package”, overseas!

    On Joe Cole. I’m also in two minds. Some days I’m thinking he would be a good signing and others, I’m thinking do we need him? After all, Jack is our Joe.

  48. Silver Gunner

    Jack our Joe?

  49. Silver Gunner

    In time perhaps if he did some he will bring that additional winning experience and hopefully the role model for our Jack.

  50. Hear hear everyone.

  51. I like the robust nature of the English game, but what I like even more, is our running rings around it, through it and under it. (but never over it.) A shawcross should never be allowed however.

    What do the Spanish equivalent of Stoke or Blackburn do against technically superior teams? If they don’t kick lumps do they just roll over and die? Or (unthinkable I know) do they try and play football?

  52. Good idea YW but his a relatively unknown defender can’t imagine there will be many of him. Arsene knows. Leave it to him I suppose.

  53. mingus

    I saw some quotes on this blog I believe where Capello has already highlighted Wilshire and Gibbs to be England’s saviors. He has also already stated Walcott will be in his plans, so thats 3 England/Arsenal players, I expect a few more too.

    Arsenal players will feature by the next World Cup. All our patience and hard work will finally help England.. I know its a long way away, and its hard to predict what future these prospects will have…. but many are expecting great things from these players. Expectancy can haunt them in the future like it has with Walcott, I think this is why he tries to bring them through under the radar, giving them as much time as possible to come into their own.

    Some players do not need this, like Cesc, I think Wilshire will be the same. How much of an affect 3 or 4 Arsenal trained players have on an England squad full of average Joes is yet to be seen… I think it could make the difference, but by then the likes of Terry, Gerrard, and Lampard would have lost their chance to prove their worth on the International stage.

  54. Arsenalkabisa

    especially after hitting the net and bouncing out!!

  55. There’s only one technology I would like to see. Players who commit a ‘yellow or red card’ foul and getting away with it, including diving, being retrospectively yellow or red carded.

    So much of the English game and the “English football culture” is built around fouling and getting away with it. In fact, it’s a matter of some pride amongst players and managers at all levels.

    The whole edifice of the ‘hard-man’ culture of British football is stripped away in the world cup, and what you see is, finally, what you get. As soon as England cannot physically dominate their opposition, they lose the advantage gained and learned in the EPL – the professional foul culture.

    How to “unlearn” this, since it is a skill learned over some years, is almost impossible until someone with some vision creates an alternative at club level, and builds a winning team, or at the very least an attractive, top level team, based on speed, passing, control and technical ability.

    It won’t be easy, mind you, because in doing this you challenge decades of in-built arrogance around the ‘can he take it?’ culture, the vast majority of media pundits and commenators who joyfully revel at every game in physical and foul play, the ref system and the rules they blow to, and a fan culture that would rather see an opposition player injured than lose a match.

    Maybe, just maybe, someone will have the guts.
    I’m willing to bet he (or she, you never know) even gets mightily insulted by a section of that team’s own support, because such a manager will be trying to overcome years of prejudice. God help him if he’s foreign, or black.

    When that day comes and I do hope it will come sooner than we think, I would like to support that team. It’s like waking up to a lovely new day.

  56. ZimPaul – excellent post. I agree 100%.

  57. @Chrisgoona,
    That makes me think higher of Capello than I did before. He was Mr Discipline. But is he Mr Modern Football? I don’t think our Arsenal boys will need such a strict disciplinarian. More like someone who can give them further belief, and stand up for them when the likes of Alan hansen or Greene criticises their way of playing or even their actual inclusion in the squad!

    For international football, I like the German idea of a younger manager, whose WC experience as a player was not so long ago. For us….Southgate? Gazza? (joking! but if Maradonna can…..)

    Muller looked off-side for number four! And Lampard’s “goal” was funny, but even funnier was Ozil outpacing Barry down the left.

  58. ZimPaul, i think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the fan culture. That will be the one the FA will find hardest to turn around.
    For me, it’s a balance. We talked about it last year, I think. Let’s not lose the 110% commitment in the English game, but players and refs need to find where robustness stops and violence starts.

  59. Aaah, I think we exaggerate this whole English hardman thing a bit to much, just to show how different Arsenal is. I can’t remember England ever dominating any opponent physically, or foul aggressively and relentlessly like Chile does.

    Yes the lower prem teams use that tactic, but it obviously doesn’t work for them, and their players rarely get into the national team

  60. zp & others; surely teams like West Brom under Mowbray, and Burnley under Coyle have tried to play football at a smaller team in the Premier league.

    Unfortunately they don’t get ridiculed, they get relegated. The media are actually quite positive about them though, if a little patronising.

    Not sure what my point is though…I seem to be justifying the Allardyce approach.

  61. I agree Henristic, it is not solely an English thing. South American football in general is robust and unflinching, too. But it is a rejection of technique and composure. Love him or loathe him. Cronaldo dared to be different, dared to try things no matter what the consequences, nor what the crowd thought (home or away). English players rarely love the ball enough to even consider making a tit of themselves in front of 50,000 people. Only making a tit in front of themselves in front of teammates ex-girlfriends.

  62. And of course football is a team game, and you can’t have a team of Cronaldos doing risky stuff all the time, but one or two in a team, plus others on the same wave-length, who are used to playing with those who take risks, without castigating them, chastising them and side-lining them…..
    I’m not sure what my point is either,

    I think it’s we should encourage risk-takers!

  63. Henristic

    Its not about them dominating physically, its the use of physical tactics to dominate a game in the Premiership, or even getting them decisions from referees in the Premiership.

    At International level, England cannot impose that game. Which is right, it is foul play, dirty play, whatever you may call it. Chile are a very aggressive team, they got punished against Spain, from consistent fouling, and getting caught on the break. Chile are a technically superior team to England, but they lack the tactical know how in big competitions of which experienced is gained at club level by our Premiership stars.

    If the likes of Gerrard, Rooney, combine their experiences at the top level with added flair and technique like the South Americans, they would be on the same level as Messi. Unfortunately this has to be introduced to a footballer at an early age.

    It is why I think Holland has a chance this World Cup, they have skill, and they have the tactical awareness to take them far. Spain you could say are very much like Arsenal, do they have the aggression and physical side to overcome a more tactical team, or a the quicker South Americans… it could be done, but our Invincibles proved you need to have some power in the ranks to carry you through.

    There is some quality and interesting games coming up that is for sure, England do not deserve to be there, that I am even more sure of.

    This is why I hope Capello or whoever is in charge of England, tries to promote the more skilled players, the faster players, and the better players for once. Not the Heskeys, Barry’s, Carricks etc.. ordinary players who wouldn’t get a snif at being anywhere the Brazil or Spain setups.

    The standard and quality of our players is appauling compared to other countries. Its a shame the media has only just now realised this.

  64. So is African football mingus. Look at some of the tackles Cote d’Ivoire players made in their game against Brazil. Tackles that will no doubt impress the Taylors and Shawcrosses of this world.

  65. ChrisGOONA,

    You say Arsenal are like Spain and lack aggression and physical edge.

    But I do wonder why you say this. Spain is not a small or weak side. And if you compared Arsenal to Man United which won the league three times in a row, Arsenal are not smaller.

  66. Martin Samuel’s wits are failing him. it must have started since he decided to write for the Daily Fail.

    Arguing that Walcott and Wilshere should leave Arsenal is just further evidence of it.

  67. ZP, dont you support such a team already?

  68. ZP is correct. The hard man or lets save overly physical thing in England is the problem. If not then what is? If playing like this wasnt the focus of the british game then it seems reasonable to think that the players would be more skillfull.

    The mentioning of Burnley and West Brom highlights the problem. The Coaches know what they want to do but the players are technical enough to carry it out, why? because they have been taught to play some caveman type of football all their lives.

  69. Chris G,

    My point is “the use of physical tactics to dominate a game” does not describe the English game at international level

    Like I said the Boltons, Stokes and Blackburns do that, and none of their players play for England

    I agree that tactical awareness play a role in this, in addition to relatively poor technique and the ridiculous amount of media pressure they seem to suffer from

  70. Paul N, can you give me an example of a recent game that England won by playing ‘hardman’ tactics?

  71. Henristic,

    You cannot take one match and make a claim that football on a whole continent is played a certain way. Many times teams get a little frustrated and start fouling.

    I have watched South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria and they were not fouling constantly.

  72. Just for Maria:

    A bit of good and bad


  73. I can see Spain getting knocked out, but I doubt very much that it’ll be because of the lack of physical aggression.

    Their attacking play just haven’t clicked yet.

  74. Henristic, you miss the point.

    When England play Internationally they cannot play physical football and try to take the more technical players.

    The problem is when on a whole you teach an overly physical approach the pool from which to pick skillfull players is dramatically reduced. You can only pick from what you have, which are a product of your football philsophy.

    SO, if England were to focus on skill from grass roots, they will have better players in the national team.

  75. Similarly, I’ve never thought that physicality was what arsenal lacked. We’ve suffered more from injuries, inexperience, and -yes I’ll say it – lack of big game mentality (which is somewhat related to experience).

  76. Being physical is a part of the game but England look upon being physical as some kind of big time skill when it is not. There is a time and place for being physical but there should be no place for the like of a Stoke and Bolton in any league.

    I dont understand your points with Spain and Arsenal, well how they relate to what the problem with English Football on a whole is.

  77. Its not one match Paul N. I’m Nigerian and can tell you that african football is as physical as you get. Doesn’t mean they lack skill though, as my Ivory Coast example will tell you.

  78. The spain and arsenal comment wass in response to Chris G, sorry.

  79. “England look upon being physical as some kind of big time skill when it is not.”

    Yes, at grassroots level the philosophy is as you’ve described. But I’ll guess the football powers that be have long realized this approach does not work at the top level of football, hence why they generally pick the most technically gifted players to represent the national team, as opposed to the so called physical players.

    Of course ,as I also have argued before, that poll of technical players is small and unless the grassroots system you described changes, there’s very little chance England will win a major senior tournament in the near future.

  80. Silver Gunner

    God this japan game is pi$$ poor

  81. I think Henristic is right, the English clogger a reason for international failiure is overstated a bit.

    The top English teams even Chelsea last season all play reasonable football.

    I think the reasons for failiure are not so much about whats happening now but whats happened in the past in terms of coaching and development.

    There is no quick fix but the good news is that our club started the process some 10 years ago.

  82. Henristic, I didnt see the African teams play the way teams play in the PL.

    “I think the reasons for failiure are not so much about whats happening now but whats happened in the past in terms of coaching and development.”

    QoS, well you cannot have “now” unless you had the past years of bad coaching and development.

    Its not about England being all Shawcross, that not true but its about neglecting skill for physical.

  83. Penalties!

  84. feel sorry for Japan, they played well throughout the WC.

    I wouldl like to see a big club give Honda a chance. Very good player.

  85. FIFA looks like a freaking rouge nation with no control from any one over it except Pirate Sep Bladder? How the hell can one man govern this important and international position for so long?

    Why isn’t any one saying anything or doing anything? Is there elections? Who votes in these elections?

    I think football fans from all over the world should vote or have a say in who runs the rouge nation of FIFA.

    It is obscene to act as if no one else is good enough to run FIFA. What’s the difference between this and a third world country run by a dictator?

  86. We seem to be nicking the same nicked videos, YW….hup, hup, hup

  87. Frank

    So you couldn’t be bothered to go past the first couple on YouTube either then…!


  88. QoS

    There seems to be some confusion over the word ‘physical’. At international level England are physical because they run around a lot without the ball because they give it away so frequently. English teams outside of the top 8 and bottom 3 just kick the living bejesus out of anything that moves in order to survive in the EPL.


  89. Exactly, YW.

    I would like to see at least five players on each side sent off tonight in a very physical game.

  90. From the article on Wikipedia, I’ve discovered that Sepp Blatter was elected president of FIFA in 1998. Since then, he has been re-elected three times, most recently in December of last year. All well and good. You can’t argue with a democratically elected leader. My suspicions were aroused, however, by the revelation that he was “unopposed” in his re-election of May 2007. Unopposed! That’s a bit odd, isn’t it? So I did a little digging, called in a few favours and whatnot, and it turned out that Blatter is an agent of – you guessed it! – the CIA, charged with undermining world football, which is unpopular with the American government because of its popularity in poor countries. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

  91. Again no Cesc? Cunts! I hope the lesser Ronaldo scores a couple against them.

  92. When did El Chipolata develop a stoop? He has the posture of a brewer’s penis.

  93. Pique is such a clumsy cock.

  94. This Portuguese back line is the deal.

  95. Thanks YW…if he turns out to be like our boy Thomas I will be more than happy!

    Excellent post ZP and I agree with Pz with this game tonight I hate the lot of them!!

  96. Three reasons to hate Portugal:
    1. El Chipolata
    2. Carlos Queeros
    3. Simao

    Three reasons to hate Spain:
    1. Fernando “La Muchacha” Torres
    2. Sergio “Peek-a-boo” Busquets
    3. Carles “The Drag Queen” Puyol
    4. Gomez Addams
    5. Ridiculous facial hair

  97. Wondering if the weather has something to do with the south americans good performance thus far. The weather does has similarity to Argentina in 1978. The latitudes of Uruguay, Paraguay and the Beunos Aires area of Argentina, and South Africa are the same!

  98. Even a good portion of Brazils live below the 20 parralel. The important latitudes are from 20 to 40!

  99. Take a look arsenal fans!!! I have faith for the goalkeeper of arsenal!!!

  100. And of course Africa used to be joined to South America.

  101. Poliziano more like the weather influences the way we play football. Glenn Hoddle gave that as the main reason for placing his academy in Spain!

  102. spain dominating portugal, Cesc on the bench

  103. Ronaldo’s reputation for diving not doing him any favours tonight.

  104. Only the Argies or the Duestch can prevent Espana from making the final. Expect them to walk over Paraguay.

  105. DId anyone see Cesc on the pitch after the game? Seems like he just stayed in the bench area and then went to the locker room…can’t imagine he is very happy right now. Gotta beleive there is an anti-EPL thing on the SPanish nat’l team…

  106. leftpinky if he does go to barca he will go from warming the spain bench to warming the barca bench…..

  107. Spain gave Portugal a passing master class. That was brutal.

  108. SG–probably, but man, the kid was nearly the player of the tournmanet at Euro 2008 and provides so much more than Iniesta. Look at Xabi Alonso….at Liverpool he was on the Spanish bench…now with Real he is a starter…

  109. what ever you do dont go down to a goal against them cause you won’t see that ball again pi$$ takers

  110. I love this rouge nation idea. Come on you rouges!

  111. Despite our well founded hatred of the Barca scum, fair play to them and the rest of the Spanish national team. They played a patient, controlled game, showing both skill and determination to overcome a stubborn Portugeese XI. I have criticized del Bosque in the past for subordinating his offensive weapons by insisting on two holding midfielders but it was the right tactics tonight as they always had the required numbers behind the ball to snuff out Portugal’s occasional attacks.
    As an Arsenal fan it was also humbling to see a winning Spain with Cesc on the bench for 90 minutes as the likes of Pedro, Machena and Llorente all receive calls from del Bosque. If Cesc hasn’t got the message that he will be similarly treated at Barca then he deserves all the miserableness that awaits him if he insists on breaking his contract to joint the scum at Camp Nou.

  112. 1 loose cannon

    Logan- I like the Chemical Brothers track on that video but listen to this, the original track. they mugged off this moroccan singer.

    Spains swallow the ball and let teams chase shadows but have one fraility at the back. they simply can’t deal with high balls or pacey players so far no team has exposed them except the swiss. Barzil’s defensive back line tend to tire a bit at the end of every game Gilberto Maicon, Lucio are old men and the Argies still haven’t been tested yet. The dutch are a good team but the dressing room starting to crack a bit I think. Ghana will win the world cup, Don’t laugh guys I’m serious. Well at least I hope so anyway.

  113. Thanks for that thorough research from the reliable Wiki Poliziano.

  114. Shotta—-you would hope so. But maybe he’ll look at it as a challenege or maybe even think that he needs to play for Barca/RM to make the starting 11, ala Xabi Alonso.

  115. Do you think Eboue understood the North Korean coach?

  116. Bradys right foot

    The same pundits who indulge, support, condone encourage and celebrate the tactics of Tony Pulis and Fat Sam are now up in arms because the premiership has produced footballers incapable of competing in the modern world, tactically inept on the pitch, technically inferior with zero game intelligence. The irony is completely lost on them.The english game simply doesn’t produce enough ball players instead we develop the likes of Brown Shawcross Taylor and an envronment were the type of football they play is actively encouraged.

    Bizarrely the hacks still miss the point about this current england team that their is considerably more to football than running around a field after a ball, possession is king. To control a game you need midfielders who can control a game. The mere notion that Stephen Gerard and Frank Lampard are midfielders is nonsense. In their respective clubs they have no responsibility but are specialist players coming from deep to score goals. Bastien Schweinsteiger that is what a central midfield player is, Pauls scholes of yester year. English players who actually know how to play a role in central midfield are very few in the league Hargreaves, Parker and Murphy positionally at least know were they should be when out of possesion. Lampard and Gerard deriliction of duty and wonderings when not on the ball is completely ignored.

    Anyway good news about Kosciecy l8r

  117. Did Ronaldo really spit on the Camera after the game?

  118. seemed like he spit on the ground

  119. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Bwahaha. Thanks for posting that Eboue video. That’s hilarious.

  120. I think Swiss Goalkeeper is better than what we currently have and much more better than Schwarzer & Green..

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