Fabio Capello blamed fatigue for England's disappointing draw with Switzerland on Saturday but I am completely fed up of hearing that excuse trotted out again. Footballers aren't tired, it's absolute garbage.
You do not get weary of playing football because you do it for fun. Maybe some players are uninterested and club football comes first for them, but that is another issue entirely. Tiredness is a feeble excuse and we hear it too much these days.
To be honest, I don't think Fabio Capello even believes it himself. It is just an excuse made to disguise a poor performance. It is an easy thing for Capello to say but you don't have to be a massive football fan to know that elite footballers can't be exhausted because all they are doing is 90 minutes of work.
The man in the street works from 6am to 6pm, gets home in time for dinner, kisses his kids goodnight and then gets up and does it all over again. Footballers are not digging roads, building houses or carrying bricks every day. They are getting paid for something that, in theory, they love doing, and when you are privileged enough to be in that situation you don't feel tired and you don't feel pain. Capello saying that was a cop-out as far as I am concerned. John Terry contradicted his manager on Saturday and said so himself.
Tiredness is always blamed when footballers fail to win games, strangely enough. It is true that the fixture did not come at an opportune time given it was the end of the season, and some of the players probably needed a break, but it was exactly the same scenario for Switzerland. As it transpired, they looked the fresher side and will be disappointed they didn't beat England at Wembley.
Ottmar Hitzfeld won't be saying that his men didn't win the match because they were suffering from fatigue. They drew the game because they lost concentration, and their poor defending cost them. England were lucky they were not facing the Switzerland side of a couple of years ago, who would not have conceded two having gone 2-0 up. Now the Swiss are unfortunate enough to have an Arsenal centre-half playing for them, because they seem to enjoy giving goals away. The presence of Johan Djourou was a bonus for Capello.
As for England, we are just not as good as we think we are. It is as simple as that.
Perhaps if an Englishman was in charge he could explain to those players what it means to wear that jersey, and help them understand that there is nothing quite like representing your country and succeeding in an international competition. We need a manager who can inspire them and that most likely would come from an Englishman.
But I don't think we can say this current predicament is Capello's fault. He has been criticised by the media once again but we can't keep looking at the managers as the root cause of England's failings on the international stage.
We don't take international football as seriously as countries like Germany or Argentina, and we don't have players who look like they love playing for the country. Actions speak louder than words in that regard.
We get a lot of good chat from England players prior to games but they have to do that to satisfy the media, and at the end of the day does the manager make that much of a difference when his troops actually get on the pitch? All the hard work is done by a manager prior to kick-off and after that is it up to the players. You cannot blame Capello for the performance that England produced on Saturday.
How can he be responsible for the individual errors that culminated in Switzerland's two goals from Tranquillo Barnetta free-kicks? To be clear, I don't blame Joe Hart for the two goals, especially the second. If you are going to leave a big gap in the wall like James Milner and Theo Walcott did, then someone like Barnetta is going to put his shot through the middle. You cannot blame the goalkeeper in that scenario, and in fact both of the goals came about as a result of poor defending, not mistakes by Hart.
Of course, Capello didn't do himself any favours when making an obvious tactical error like leaving Ashley Young on the bench. I was very, very surprised to see Milner in the side despite the fact he has been struggling to get in contention for a place in the Manchester City team. Young, meanwhile, has something special about him with his delivery and he can turn a game, as he showed when given his chance in the second half.
I thought players were going to be picked on current form for their club sides and that would have dictated that Young should have been in from the start. I couldn't see any reason for picking Milner ahead of him to be honest. Hindsight is great, and Capello did rectify the mistake at half-time when Young came on for Frank Lampard, but it was still a strange, strange decision.
But individual and tactical mistakes aside, England were just not up to the task on the day. We are what we are, and we have to admit England are nowhere near as good as everyone wants them to be. We keep talking the talk, but not walking the walk.