Sunday 15 November 2009

England 16 Argentina 9

Watched the rugby yesterday, pretty uninspiring stuff from England, but I suppose a win is a win . That's really all you can say though, as the performance was nothing to write home about! I can't see where this England team is going, except backwards. It could be humiliating next week against the New Zealand All Blacks!

The problem I think England have is that they don't know whether they're planning for the long term ie the next World Cup in 2011 or the short term, where it's simply about winning matches and building confidence.

If England's management team came out and said the ultimate aim is in building a team to challenge for the World Cup then that would be fine. England fans would know where they stand and what the a long term goal was.

Results wouldn't necessary be the most important thing, as building a team for the future and blooding young talent in the international arena would take priority.

But England haven't done this at all. It's probably too late to start bringing in young inexperienced players as it would only mean that England would potentially lose more matches due to this lack of experience.

On the other hand, the short term goals aren't really working either. I know there's a huge injury crisis at the moment which has weakened the squad for this Autumn's internationals, but it doesn't excuse yesterday's performance which was full of basic errors.

From the games I've watched, and listening and reading the comments of former players and commentators, it seems that England are too conservative and scared of losing.

There's no cutting edge to the play, no spark or imagination from the players. I get the impression that some of the players have been over coached to the point where they don't know how to think for themsleves on the pitch. Nobody wants to take chances or try something out of the ordinary.

At times yesterday against Argentina it was so tedious. Even England coach Martin Johnson admitted it was difficult to watch in places.

In the first half there was too much of an aimless kicking game that was boring to watch and achieved nothing; and if you want to instill confidence in players then a good start would be in playing people in their proper positions. Watching Ugo Monye at Full Back was painful as he dropped one high ball after the other.

It's asking too much to expect England to beat the All Blacks next week, I can't see how that's going to happen. Maybe a crushing defeat would be a good thing to really shake things up, so that major changes could be made. We can then hope that England can realistically compete in next year's Six Nations Championship something I'm not too sure we can. We'll have to see.

Bring on the All Blacks!

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