Pele says he has the answer to England’s problem : They simply don’t have enough talent. But then … Gerrard , Rooney , Ferdinand , Owen , Terry etc can hardly be called un-talented. So that theory is out the window.
A digression here: Anyway I have always believed that Pele really doesn’t know much about analysing football for most of his judgements are crap like for example including El Hadji Diouf in his list of greatest living players and not including a great like Tostao .
Oh by the way Pele has also included 14 French players in his list of 125 greatest living footballers to which Tostao reacted ” This is an insult ! Fontaine , Platini and Zidane is understandable , But I’m rated behind 11 other Frenchmen?”
Other bad judgements include calling Rooney the next Pele . Rooney is great but he isn’t Pele! He also said Ronaldinho is better than Maradona (which I suspect is more of an emotional judgement than a footballing one) .
Ok , coming back to the point . Why do England perform so badly ? Croatian coach Slaven Bilic says that England are too confident . Once again , its not the team thats confident . It’s the people of England who expect their team to win every game . And they should , after all they have got loads of stars , so why shouldn’t the people expect the best?
Another theory is that England’s players just don’t like playing together as a unit. Great on Paper – Shit on grass ……to put it not-so-eloquently .
I don’t think it’s any of the above. I firmly believe its completely the managers fault. McClown has been useless as manager. To elaborate:
England don’t have a naturally left footed player (and haven’t had for many years) so the whole plan of playing 4-4-2 is flawed. There is no balance. I just don’t understand why England have to play the traditional 4-4-2 if it harms their game. It makes more sense to play to your strengths….any idiot would know that!
So now, England have a great defense. Cole and Neville are very attack minded full backs and they are going to go up and put in crosses. Ferdinand and Terry are a brilliant central defensive pairing. Now coming to the midfield . We need one workhorse to just run around and win the ball back from the other team . Hargreaves does that job really well . Gerrard and Joe Cole (or Carrick depending on the opposition) would complete the midfield. Lampard would play just ahead of the midfield since all he is good for is taking shots from about 20 yards out scoring. Rooney and Owen would then play in front of Lampard . So now we have a 4-3-1-2 formation that uses all the good players in their preferred positions.
But what about now? For the Croatia game , England should play the same formation with Barry in place of Hargreaves and a proper striker up front like Defoe or Smith even. (Crouch is NOT a proper striker)
But McClown will not do this … He will recall Beckham , drop Barry , stuff in Lampard with Gerrard in the midfield (ie revert to the good ‘ol tried and
tested failed formula ) and play a lone striker up front. Then England will either lose or play like crap and win . The Tabloids will scream their approval/disapproval and go on to elaborate details of the shopping habits of Cheryl Tweedy and life will be back to normal.