England Message Board
I must say that I really do not know what has happened in the past few weeks. In my opinion we have the best squad of players forming the England team in 40 years. We should be near favourites to win the world cup.
That said, we get thrashed 4-1 by Denmark, beat Wales 1-0 by a lucky defelected goal, and can't score against a weak Ireland side when we have 3 great strikers up front.
I really do not know what to expect next and there is a possibility that we may not qualify.
There are already a number of threads on this board about the England players being overpaid primadonnas. To some extent that is true, but I really do believe our present crop of players really are world class superstars.
Where I think the first problem lies is in complacency. The players probably thought "Well it's only Ireland" and expected a goal fest. A prime example is after the the Denmark game when Calamity James only excuse was that he had not prepared for the game.
The second problem is a lack of passion, both from the players and the manager. What makes this worse is that there is a lack of competiton for places in the England Squad. Our current 11 are just so much better than all the other players in the country, they have nothing to fear about losing their places. We all know that Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, Cole, Owen, Rooney, Ferdinand, Hargreaves & Terry (and almost always James) are going to play every match. The manager needs to mix things up a bit such as occasionally replacing Rooney with Wright Phillips, not playing Gerrard, taking Beckham off at half time etc, just to show them that no player is indisposable and that they have to fight to wear the England shirt.
Sadly the simple fact of the matter is that last night, Ireland wanted to win the game more.
The next problem is the captain. I have never been a fan of David Beckham and to have a team that revolves around one man who is long past it is madness. Beckham has never been the wunderkind many profess, all he has ever done is a few good free kicks and costs us a previous world cup. Beckham's chosen career seems to be marketing the Beckham brand and football is merely a sideline. England need a younger and more articulate captain who can motivate the players such as Frank Lampard or John Terry.
The final problem is the manager. There is a growing campaign for the next England manager to be English. I don't particularly subscribe to this view, since foreign managers have proven to be very successful at club level, just look at Ferguson, Mourhino, Benitez & Wenger. That said, I do believe we need a manager with enthusiasm and passion.
At the moment, the England squad are a range of exhausted volcanoes with a manager bankrupt of ideas.
It seems to me only Stuart Pearce or Ian Wright would have the determination, pedigree and passion for the job.
Beckham cost England the world cup in 98?
I thought it was Shearer who tried to elbow the keeper in the face when Campbell scored what should have been the winning goal !!
And naughty Beckham not letting Ince and Batty score with their penalties !!
Surely there was also 3 more games to be played before the cup was won !!
Another media led sucker - why dont people think for themselves instead of reading the tabloids ??
Pearce or Wright? That's madness - can you imagine Brazil or Argentina going to a World Cup with a manager with about a dozen games experience, or with an ex-professional who's never managed before? Passion as a player is NOT enough to be a successful international manager. The manager of England should have a long track record of success to gain such a privileged position. Do you think that the managers who have won the big tournaments just wandered into their first management job a few months earlier? Parreira, Scolari, Jacquet, Rehhagel... these guys have had years and years of club management behind them, they don't just think that the good old 'bulldog' spirit will see them through.
Eriksson has genuinely taken England forward from the Keegan era, but he has definitely got things wrong at the present time. He is not passionate, and not particularly likeable, but I suggest that he stays to the end of the 2006 World Cup campaign before we make a change. At the very worst, we have a two-legged play-off coming up, and as dreadful as England has been this season, Eriksson has always got us to the tournaments before. Lets make our minds up in a few months time...