Well what did you reckon to last night’s game? It was alright I guess. DB came, crossed and conquered the headlines this morning. He had a pretty good game I thought; lots of effort, a few beautiful passes, one 25 yarder that went very close and that stunning free kick that Terry crashed in. At the goal the camera caught McClaren turning to Venables and saying something like ‘I told you so’. To which Tel shrugged with a wide smile as if saying ‘for sure, but it’s hardly progress me old china is it?’ That’s the point really, it was effectively Sven’s team – certainly his midfield – and are England a better side now?

The answer’s no of course. Up front we were useless. Smith and Owen just looked out of condition which is hardly surprising. Why do they ask Smith to play that in-the-hole role? His best ever performance was against Roma when he harried the defence in an all-out 20 minute blitzkrieg of aggressive forward play. It terrorised the Romans and if he’s going to be selected why don’t we play a fast tempo game capitalising on Owen’s pace and DB’s searching passes? Instead we try and play the Brazilians at the cagey cat and mouse game. Was it worth bringing Crouch on for 5 minutes or so at the end? Pointless. Don’t know what the guy’s done to deserve that kind of humiliating substitution.

At the back. Bit of a shambles. King wasn’t very good I thought – he too looked short of match practice. Why on earth Carragher wasn’t playing at his best position I don’t know. Can’t we pick a proper right back to play in that position? At left back Shorey looked nervy but did absolutely nothing wrong did he? So to midfield. Ho hum. McQuiff was talking afterwards and saying there weren’t many negatives to take from the game. McJargon, were you watching the same match as me? Lampard and Gerrard did ok for a change but they are too similar. I keep saying this and I’m convinced we’d be better balanced with one or the other. Personally I’d go for Gerrard in the centre of midfield as Lamps looks like the light’s burned out. Then have Owen or Carrick holding. I’d have DB as a squad player but not start with him. It’s time for them to persist with developing the new talent. We have enough friendlies let’s face it and prospects of one a week if the FA had their way.

Round pegs, round holes with classy replacements on hand eg Beckham, Lampard, Crouch, Woodgate, Barton (?) if we need to change things at say the 55 minute mark. Not 85 minutes. One final thing, McClaren is a painfully square-headed square peg in the role of England manager. He just doesn’t look impressive, sound impressive or act impressively. It was a mistake to banish Beckham to history. He’s not the future but as he proved last night he can play a role. But he needs managing strongly. McClaren looks like he’s in as much need of the player now as Sven ever was. It’s all too desperate. Beckham’s going to manage McQuiff now towards 100 caps and a glorious career finale even though he’ll be playing in Disney league football. The time for change is upon us. Come on Brainiac Barwick show some mettle and grasp the nettle and frighten McTufty away.



2 thoughts on “copaca..beckham

  1. Couldn’t agree more PP. Until we look at producing a balanced team rather that merely accommodating egos and reputations then it will always be the same. In fairness to McTwit I’m not sure it’s all his fault. We haven’t taken a footballing approach to the problem since dear old Sir Alf. Even Sir Bobby’s foray to the semi final was more by luck / player power than due to tactics or insight!

    The real problem is that we are not good enough to play the way we think we should and not humble enough to take the Greece / Chelsea pragmatic approach to the game. When you see subs like Dyer and Jenas coming on you realise the paucity of real talent available.

    Marketing has a lot to answer for. Sky repeatedly tell us that this is the best league in the world and we believe it! Sadly richest and most over hyped doesn’t equal best. Of the top four teams only two play ‘great football’ and one of them is almost completely foreign. The other two are efficient but again have huge foreign influences. The rest of the league is made up of dross, plucky over achieving dross and of course sleeping giants who deserve more because their fans are vociferous.

    An interesting question would be how many current england players would get into the starting 11 of Brazil, Argentina, France, Italy or even Germany? We’re stuck in the third tier of international teams (just above estonia, wales etc.) but will never over achieve in the way the Scots and Irish are at the moment!

  2. wotcha mike.
    top reply m – my longest yet. i bet that gets the conversation flowing. i thought i was the only one feeling bad about our international performances. i realise it’s not all McQ’s fault but it takes a certain type of manager i think to get the best out of these pampered souls. fergie does it thru fear, wenger thru sheer intelligence and jose thru forceful personality. Which one of these attributes has the quiff got? I just don’t think the players respect him as a manager and what sanctions does he possess? dropping them for the next game – he rarely does that with the big players – they virtually demand to be picked. when he does make a statement as with beckham he goes back on it just as soon as the pressure’s on. They ain’t going to quake now are they?
    we need a guy who can deliver a reality check – we aren’t that good internationally – certainly not as good as we think we are. but we could be if they played within a framework which harnessed our strengths and with a team spirit that made them truly proud to play for the 3L shirt.
    before each critical match i’d play a video of ball or moore talking about the honour of being a member of that fabulous 66 team. Not for what it did for them but what it meant as one person amongst a group of achievers.
    Time to go and get some sunshine…
    ciao m

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