Monday, 28 June 2010

Germany 4 England 1

Not even the most pessimistic and cynical England fan could have predicted yesterday's result. It was total humiliation for England, with a performance that I never thought I'd see from an England team in a World Cup.

England got exactly what they deserved, and there's no point in pretending that Frank Lampard's goal that never was would have made a difference. It would only have papered over the cracks.

In some ways going out of a World Cup in such fashion is far easier to take then going out on penalties.

With yesterday's game you can't argue about being unlucky, or a refereeing decision making all the difference. England simply weren't good enough against a Germany team that I would describe as half decent but nothing exceptional.

This result exposed English football in a way not seen before. Behind all the Premier League hype, the celebrity culture, the over-inflated egos we found the 'Emperor's New clothing' reality of the English game.

There was really nothing there, no golden generation of players, no serious international football team, just England's embarrassment and humiliation.

This is a watershed moment for English football, we're at a crossroads. We can carry on doing what we always do, or we can look at making some real radical changes to way we coach and run English football.
The match itself

Returning back to the game, I've never seen such a shambolic England performance particularly against one the big footballing nations, it was embarrassing to watch. It many ways England played worse than they had against Algeria in the second group match.

Before Matthew Upson scored we could quite easily have been 4-0 down and apart from a ten minute spell either side of half time, we were second best in every department.

Should Capello stay or go?

In my opinion Capello should go. I don't believe England's performance is all down to him, but the fact he's on 6 million a year and has overseen the worst England performance in World Cup history tells me he has to go.

Capello is one of the game's most successful managers who's had almost no significant failure in his managerial career, yet managing England has put a big failure mark on his CV.

It seems some of the demands of managing an international side have been beyond him. Firstly having a limited number of players to choose from. England just don't have a big enough pool of talent to draw from.

Secondly, when it came to managing England during the qualifying campaign, Capello was only with the players for a couple of days at a time. In the tournament he and the players were together for over a month, it seems that close proximity perhaps didn't create the ideal atmosphere for the players.

The FA, The Premier League and English coaching

Capello could only work with the players available and the real issue is that we simply don't produce players good enough to compete at the highest level.

The Premier League is a real problem. I compare it to Wimbledon in the sense that it's a great competition, the envy of the world, huge amount of glamour and prestige, but when it comes to producing English talent it's totally irrelevant.

The Premier League is run in the interest of the clubs and not for the benefit of the national team. At the moment I don't really see this changing. English players who are brilliant at club level seem to be surrounded by foreign players who allow them to be the players that they are.

When they come to play for England it completely different and they don't seem to be able to adapt. Prime examples are Rooney, Gerrard and Lampard.

The FA really need to look at grass roots football and coaching in this country. We hardly have any good English coaches coming through who have the chance to manage in the Premier League.

Again yesteday's result highlighted the lack of technique and tactical awarness of England players, I'm so sick of seeing this, it's been spoken about for the last 25 years!

Football on the surface seems a simple and straightforward game, but at the highest level it's quite complex and we need to develop players who have both the technical and tactical nous to compete with the very best.

In this country we fail to produce players who fulfil the player maker role. For Germany yesterday they had Mesut Ozil playing just behind the front two, we don't produce that type of player. We never produce players like a Messi, Xavi, or a Pirlo who dictate how we play.

Another crucial position where we're lacking is the 'holding midfielder' role. Gareth Barry supposedly played this position, but if he'd played it correctly he would never have been out of position to for the third goal, where he lost possession on the edge of Germany's box, before they broke away to score their third goal.

The holding midfielder role is crucial in modern day football, we have to start producing this type of player.

The Future

This should really be the end of the international careers for a number of players. There's no need to keep many of them in the squad. The worrying thing is there's not really much coming through to replace many of them.

I'm thinking about those players in the mid 20s. You've got Rooney and James Milner, but there's not much else.

England may as well start drafting young players in their late teens early 20s, the likes of Joe Hart should be drafted as Goalkeeper and we should stick with him

It's going to take me a long time to ever really get excited about England again. I felt disillusioned in 2006, I never thought I'd look back and think 2006 was a decent campaign.

2010 has been a humiliating disaster, if anything good can come out of this, is that we must never let this happen again.

Read the thoughts of the BBC’s football pundits here

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