Couple Of Arsenal Players Can’t Save England + Chamakh’s Opportunistic Goal (video)

England were booed off once again after another uninspiring performance. I don’t really care for the English football team so never feel strongly enough but they do get really boring at times.

I’m not sure if this is down to the manager or the general approach to football in England. I’d love to know what Capello truly thinks about English football. I know many people who follow the English team passionately don’t really rate the Italian as the manager but I’m not sure if the problems of the national team are entirely down to Capello and his tactics. I won’t be surprised if he thinks England have serious fundamental issues, something we’ve discussed on this blog in the past.

Once again almost everything that England created came from long balls or set-pieces. Against smaller teams this works and their defence holds firm. In this game, there were a few youngsters and some players playing out of position. That meant France were able to completely dominate the play and created some good openings. They scored two goals before the hour was up and were bored by then. After that the visitors almost stopped trying but England failed to dominate even after that. Yes, there were some balls flying around the box but that was just the hit-and-hope variant of the game.

Sometimes I wonder if the English really did invent football. I’ve a feeling they might have invented something called hoofball, which evolved into football as we know when other nations took the game seriously and added some beauty to it. With the rules being similar it is understandable why the world’s best hoofball team struggles at football.

In recent times there have been suggestions that Arsenal youngsters can make a difference for England but I’m not that convinced. Wilshere is the only one who can really change the way the English team plays but for that he will need a long run of games and the manager will have to build his team around the youngster. Others like Gibbs and Walcott, while good in their own right, will not be able to make a big impact on the national team’s style.

Theo will continue to struggle as long as his teammates are not on the same wavelength. As we saw in this game, either they held on to the ball for too long or got their pass wrong. Walcott was isolated and rendered useless for no real fault of his own.

Anyway, I was happy with the performances of Sagna, Nasri and Gibbs even though the left-back was taught a lesson or two by his senior colleague. The disappointing aspect was that both the French players played almost the full game and might be a bit tired ahead of the big NLD. We’ll need Sagna at his best in that one and I’m hoping he will not feel the strain of this game.

I’ve not heard any injury news so far and hopefully this will be a lucky day for Arsenal. I did catch the Spanish humiliation at the hands of Portugal and Cesc looked out of form, just as he has in the last few games. Van Persie had a few decent touches against Turkey and the minutes will do him good.

I did find this video of Chamakh scoring against Northern Ireland. Good to see his hard work and pressing high up the pitch getting rewarded.

21 Responses to Couple Of Arsenal Players Can’t Save England + Chamakh’s Opportunistic Goal (video)

  1. diablo says:

    the french totally out played out england in the whole match nasri and malouda killed england they pulled all the strings well done france thats out yu killed the shitty england thanks crapelo yu have done well too

  2. Jk says:

    Desi,I feel capello plays his players out of position. I Also think that when Walcott plays he never given a proper ball, it’s like he dosent conncet with the team like he does with arsenal.

  3. Champion says:

    Gibbs was put under serious pressure because the England midfield couldn’t string 2 passes together. If you watched the game on ITV, you would of heard some bloke called Andy Townsend criticise Gibbs even though he and Lescott defended out of their skin.

    When Barry and Milner (who must be very assured of a starting spot) were very, very embarassing. Gibbs eventually stopped giving them the ball and tried to play in the strikers himself – Townsend not the brightest fella praised the left back for finally starting to play, which was nonsense. He was forced to constantly play deep in the opposition’s half.

    Walcott plays an intelligent passing game, unfortunately for him Gerrard doesn’t. Gerrard still thinks its 2005 and the team needs 1 player to save the match. He doesn’t bring players into the game and he over hit passes leaving Carroll & Walcott chasing scraps. Wiltshire is needed and fast, Carroll got himself into some good positions and just needed the ball played into his feet and not head – he has good technique.

    I was glad when Gibbs and Walcott went off. I wish Nasri & Sagna were subbed at 1/2 time too.

    Cappello was the right man for South Africa2010 with the group of players he had at his disposal, he isn’t going forward. He is starting to make me think he’s the Italian Mike Bassett.

    It was very disappointing to see so few Spurs players on the pitch, is Lennon not fit?

  4. Filip says:

    When I heard that England was going to play France about a month ago, I had no doubt in my mind that France will completely outplay them.Why is it such a surprise for everyone ?
    I think Euro 2012 will be very interesting because the good teams have good coaches this time and they will be really strong.Those are Netherlands,Germany,Spain and France. Italy and Portugal(I know they beat Spain but still) are not having good generations so the coaches dont matter.Belgium has a fantastic generation but they wont qualify because Germany and Turkey will finish in front of them. I think Germany will win it but we will see.

  5. Filip says:

    Is Gibbs good enough defensively , desigunner ? He doesnt seem aggressive enough.Clichy has been making many amateurish mistakes but I can still see why he is 1st choice.

  6. Naylyn says:

    Has anyone else noticed that Chamakh’s hair looks way less stupid now?

  7. GF60 says:

    Stupidity is England’s greatest problem. Milner…not fast, Sagna…very fast. Walcott…very fast, Abidal..slow.

    And the passing goes where?

    Fair enough that France are a great deal better now than when the idiot Domench was in charge at the WC, but to ignore an obvious basic strategy suggests that Capello is a bit clueless.

  8. santori says:

    Nasri…where is all his new found pace coming from? Looks like several seasons ‘banished’ out to the wings has done him a world of good physically.

    The other thing I noticed with France is they remind me so much of Arsenal’s own set up. Particularly with Benzema up top (Chamakh), Nasri in the hole and Gourcouff (Fabregas) deeper next to Mvilla (Song). Something to be said of this, particularly if Fabregas is played deeper.

    Was impressed with Benzema’s movement and pace. I don’t know why he is having a hard time at Real but Wenger should be keeping an eye on him (especially IF Bendtner decides to quit). For that matter we should also track Blanc. He’ll make a good replacement for Wenger when he eventually decides to retire, particularly as he shares the same ethos and seems to add a touch of practicality.

  9. as1420 says:

    Samir Nasir’s Arsenal Goal vs FC Porto is shortlisted by FIFA as one of the 10 best goals of the year!

    Vote for Nasri’s goal for the inaugural Ballon D’or Goal of the Year Award.

  10. Tee Song says:

    England’s problem is not Fabio Capello. He’s being asked to polish a turd. The problem is England’s players, taught from an early age to hoof it long, kick and run, and to defend with strength (ie–knock the opposing player down). Even the top players simply don’t have the technical quality of their European counterparts. If one could choose a 22 man European squad, two players for each position, I think only Ashley Cole would be a sure choice. Glen Johnson at right back isn’t even close to the likes of Philipp Lahm, Sergio Ramos and Bacray Sagna. Are Terry or Ferdinand substantially better than Vidic, Pique, Alves, Puyol, Mertesaker or Mexes? But it’s in midfield and attack that England really suffer. Picking from the likes of Fabregas, Xavi, Busquets, Schweinsteiger, Xabi, Diarra, Schneider, or Khedira would you even include Lampard, Gerrard, or Barry in the conversation? In attack, would Rooney, Crouch or Defoe be considered along with Torres, Villa, RvP, Ronaldo, Robben, or Ribery. When England go up against top quality international squads, they’ll have to be compact, organized, defend deep and hope to score on the counter or via set pieces. Kind of like Blackburn. No wonder managers like Fat Sam and ‘appy ‘arry are being mooted as the next Englnad coach.

    • Furovich says:

      The argument that current English international players play “hoofball” and don’t have the ability to play good technical passing football is ridiculous.

      England has and continues to produce some of the best players in world football. From legends such as Sir Bobby Charlton who won the World Cup and European Cup (now UEFA Champions League) to the Liverpool sides of the 70’s and 80’s made up almost entirely of british players that completely dominated The European Cup with a technical short passing style of football. Then players such as Scholes and Giggs that gave United more success in the 90’s and will be remembered as two of the best players of all time and renowned for their technical ability. Then continuing into recent seasons the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Terry and Ferdinand have all featured in the FIFpro world XI, while Rooney just last year was considered by Messi as one of the top players in the world.

      All these players play technical quality football for their clubs and are perfectly capable of doing it for their national side.

      The failures of the English national side, as pointed out by Simon Kuper in him acclaimed book, “Why England Lose: And Other Curious Phenomena Explained” is mainly due to population size. England always compare themselves to Brazil, Italy and Germany, the most successfull international sides but England has a much smaller land mass and population. In this regard, England actually performs quite well (about the 8th best performing international side in the world).

      England isn’t the best national side in the world but their players continue to contribute to some of the best moments in football.

      When people make statements propossing English players lack ability, it looks like they have no idea of the history or current state of the game at all.

      • Filip says:

        Gerrard,Lampard and Terry dont have the technical qualities we are talking about.Scholes, Giggs and Gazza are exceptions.Do u live in England ? Have you seen how the kids play ? England have the same population as Spain and much more resources.If the kids were trained the right way, I am sure England would have had much more success. Since 20003, Arsenal have started to train the kids the right way(they take kids only from London) and they already have Wilshere,Jay-Emanuel Thomas,Aneke,Afobe,Lansbury,Yenaris ,Conor Henderson who show a lot of technical abilities.The population doesnt matter that much.Brazil`s population is 190 millions but they have only reached the quarter-finals in the last two world cups.It is full of Brazilians all around Europe but it doesnt mean they will win every international competition.

      • desigunner says:


        I agree with you that some English players have very good technical abilities, in fact most who make it to the national team do. But that is not the point.

        What matters is the kind of football you play week-in, week-out. And the kind of teams you play against.

        In the World Cup even the likes of Slovenia and Algeria were able to put the ball on the ground and put 400 passes together. Shakhtar even when they got thumped at the Emirates put together 500 passes. In contrast more than half the teams in England struggle to get to 300 leave alone 400.

        The game in England is fast paced and end-to-end but not really “top class” in terms of football quality. Even technical players have to adapt their style in such cases and they struggle when they get into the big competitions where the style and the approach of the refs is completely different.

        The large majority in England play hoofball, support it, take pride in it, and refuse to change. This includes players, managers, refs, media, and administrators. Unless this changes the handful of technical players who come to the top will not succeed internationally. That’s also the reason why so few English players succeed in other leagues.

      • Furovich says:

        Desi, your argument is that the majority of teams in the prem are not able and do not want to play the ball along the ground and this means that players in the premierleague are not able to succeed internationaly because they are not playing consistently at the highest level.

        I think this is completely ridiculous. Alot of players in the English national side are considered by many current managers and players to be of the worlds elite ie Rooney, Cole, Gerrard, Lampard and are perfectly capable of playing good football. They do so for their clubs every 4 years prior to a world cup. The elite players of the English national side come from elite European clubs that are amongst the best in Europe and play football nothing close to hoofball.

        You say what matters is the kind of opposition you play against week in week out. Are you forgetting that the top English clubs and top English players play against champions league opposition from Italy, Spain and wherever else week in week out? Furthermore in recent seasons English clubs and players have performed very well in the Champions League.

        The champions league competition is regarded as technically the best competition in the world with teams assembled such as Chelsea, Barca, Arsenal, Inter etc being of better quality than most World Cup sides. If English players can perform in the Champions League playing a technical style of football, they can do so at the World Cup.

        Like I said in my previous post, there have been immense numbers of English footballers and managers that have played football at a high technical level and had great success in Europe. This is the evidence my argument is based on. If British players and managers
        can succeed in Champions League football, which is technically the most intense football competition in the world (as also stated by numerous managers, players and pundits) playing a technical passing style, how can you suggest they are not able to have success internationally?

        This leads me to wonder what the basis of your argument is. You have stated what your argument is but what evidence is it based on? Is it the fact that England haven’t won a world cup since 1966? Well Spain just won their first world cup and prior to that they had never even made it past the quarter finals. Do Spanish players have an inability to succedd internationaly? What about Dutch players? They’ve never won a World Cup either. While France, like England have only ever won once. Just what is the evidence you base your argument on? I’m really not sure what it is exactly.

        Yes England are acrredited with introducing the long ball game many years ago and referees in the prem are also in my regard, too lenient. But even the sides that play an overly physical long ball style are the minority in the Prem today ie; Blackburn, Stoke and maybe Birmingham. Even sides like Bolton and Wolves are beginning to play passing football.

        After every world cup pundits and journalists and maybe even some players try to come to certain conclusions about why a team failed. England is usually at the forefront of these shallow “analysis” due to the overwhelming presence of British media. Just prior to the world cup the general consensus from journalists and fans was the England had a great chance of winning it. However, England played terribly, people failed to distinguish between ability and performance, and all of a sudden theories came out about “why england fails” i.e “They cant play technically at the highest level”. Obviously, from the points I’ve made I completely disagree.

      • desigunner says:

        As I said, top players in England have a lot of ability. There is no argument on that front.

        Consider United. They had a strong English core in the early part of the Premier League and won titles for fun. What did they achieve in Europe in those days? Their European success was down to one good run in 99 and then down to Ronaldo and a strong defence to a great extent, as well as to the decline of Italian teams. They’ve not been a consistent threat in Europe, certainly not as consistent as they’ve been in England. Even Arsenal were not very strong in Europe when we had the English back four who were very highly rated.

        There is no doubt in my mind that the general approach to football in England is the problem for their pathetic performances at the international stage.

        It’s not just limited to winning World Cups or Euro. They didn’t even qualify for the last Euro and their performances against the likes of Algeria and Slovenia were shocking given the quality of the players. This is not a recent phenomena and no one can claim that England suffer because they try to play the beautiful game against the tactical sides, something that could be said for Netherlands or Spain.

        I’m not sure what your point is. If you’re trying to defend football in England you’ve to come up with a clear explanation of why what goes on in English football is good, why they fail, and how they can improve. These arguments cannot be isolated ones but all of it should be interlinked.

      • Furovich says:

        How you can read my previous posts but not be aware of the point I’m making is beyond me.

        Desi, my point is very simple. I am criticising your belief that the England national side play “hoofball” and that the style of play in England inhibts players abilities to succeed internationaly. When you make comments such as “Sometimes I wonder if the English really did invent football. I’ve a feeling they might have invented something called hoofball, which evolved into football as we know when other nations took the game seriously and added some beauty to it”, I think you are either being intentionally disrespectful for some reason to British players or that you simply have no knowledge of the great British players and sides that have taken part in the game of football.

        I base my criticisms of your argument on the fact that English players have obtained much success in European football since its inception and have often been considered amongst the worlds elite. As I’ve said, as European competition is of a higher standard than the world cup on a technical level (as agreed by many players, managers etc) then there is no reason to suggest British players are unable to achieve success on an international level.

        You make the comment in the last post in reference to United that, “They’ve not been a consistent threat in Europe.” I’m not sure what you base this on but I certainly disagree considering that United along with A.C Milan are the only teams in Europe to of made 3 final appearances in the last 12 years of the Champions League. Therefore it seems quite obvious that United have been very consistent in Europe. Other British sides like Chelsea and Liverpool have also been extremeley consistent if you consider semi and final appearances.

        When you state that, “(England’s) performances against the likes of Algeria and Slovenia were shocking given the quality of the players”, you are actually acknowledging their ability and by using the word “shocking” you imply that they should of and are expected to of performed better. If you think the style of English football prevents international success, then why would you believe such performances to be shocking?

        Of course I believe the performances were shocking but I am not crticising the abilities of England to succeed. I make the distinction between ability and performance. England played terribly at the world cup, that is quite obvious, but the players had the ability to succeed if they played to their potential.

        You highlight several examples of what you believe to be evidence suggessting Englands inability at international tournaments. Your examples are all based on performances of England at international tournaments such as Euro and the World Cup i.e failing to qualify etc. Again, to make the point clear, I agree that the PERFORMANCE is bad but the ABILITY of the players is nevertheless good. To reaffirm what I’ve said, I choose to make my judgements on players over the course of 4 years, prior to or after the world cup, of them playing club football at the highest level week in week out opposed to the 4 week tournament that is a world cup. You mention failures of England internationally but I could mention the record of France and Spain which are equally poor. This certainly doesn’t mean that the poor records of France and Spain mean their players aren’t capable of achieving at the highest level.

        You suggest that playing in the premier league week in week out and being subject to it’s particular style makes players inept internationally. Many, many non English premier league players that have succeeded internationally have forged almost their entire professional careers in England. Obviously part of their development occured during their non professional youth, but nevertheless the English Premier League must have been a key component of their development. Out of all players that participated in the last world cup final, 11 of them have at some stage of their carreer played in the English Premier League. Clearly, the English Premier League is of no hinderance to club or international success. Infact there is alot of evidence to support the opposite.

        Your so critical of the English game yet you support an English club that inevitably plays in the English League against other English clubs. You depict the league and British players as being somewhat regressive yet you continue to support it. Wenger has himself called the EPL “The best league in the world.” This is a seperate point to what we’ve been arguing but I find it interesting.

        You say if I’m trying to defend English football I need to come up with a clear explanation. Well I am certainly defending English football and I believe my explanation is very clear.

      • desigunner says:

        I’m sorry, you’re clearly making an effort to explain but I’m not getting it.

        I’ve very clearly and explicitly accepted that top players in England have the ability. To me it seems you’re trying to establish this over and over again.

        I’m trying to discuss why that ability is not turned into performances as often as one would like it to.

        My explanation is that it is down to the way the game is seen, analyzed, and played in England. Right from the lower leagues to about 10-15 teams in the premiership, there is no focus on passing or movement. Obviously this cannot be the case unless the players, managers, coaches, media men, etc all think alike. In essence the approach to football in England is fundamentally flawed. And the top quality players pay the price for this at the big stages.

        About United, I did mention they had a couple of good years when they had Ronaldo. Leave those two years out and they’ve reached the final once in 10 years despite there being plenty of hype around Scholes, Beckham, and the others.

        A related thought would be – Why don’t many South Americans succeed in England the way they do in Spain or Italy?

        This is not a discussion to be done with examples because it’s such a broad topic that we can find examples for almost anything. I’m just trying to give examples to highlight a thought not to prove something.

        I’m trying to answer the question why England don’t do as well as they should. And the answer keeps coming back to the approach to the game in the country. Trust me, I’ve nothing against English people. But I do see a flawed approach to the beautiful game in England more than in other top European countries.

        I’ll leave this discussion now. If you have a better explanation for why England don’t achieve as much as they should please feel free to put it forward.

    • Furovich says:

      Your original article criticised England football and the English nationl team for playing “hoofball”. I didn’t agree with this belief and found it a completely unrealistic representation of England’s elite players because although some players and clubs in the EPL do play a long ball style, others such as the players represented in the English national side play very high technical level of football for their respective elite clubs.

      In your latest post you are now saying that yes, English players do have the ability to win but you want to know why this ability isn’t turned into quality performances. Your explanation is that it is because the approach to the game is fundamentally flawed. This is where I believe you are actually contradicting your own argument. If the game is played and analysed with a fundamentally flawed approach, how can you say that England’s players do have the ability? How can you on the one hand acknowledge that British players do have the ability required to win UCL (a higher level of competition that the world cup) but then say because the game in Britian is fundamentally flawed, they aren’t succeeding internationaly?

      Sure there may be elements to British youth football coaching that could be improved but the fact remains that Britain has and continues to produce some of the worlds best players. I keep bringing this point up because if the game was so fundamentally flawed as you say, how could the likes of Best, Charlton, Scholes, Rooney, Giggs etc be produced? And how could British clubs have so much European success?

      Even foreign players like Ronaldo (as you keep trying to insinuate single handedly won United the champions league despite the fact that it was a British player Scholes who scored one of the greatest goals arguably of Champions League football to knock out Barca in the semi final) trully developed into a world class player from playing in the English premiership under a British manager.

      Now, as you say, your trying to answer the question, “why don’t England do as well as they should?”. If by that you mean, “why did Rooney and Gerrard play so terribly in South Africa when they have played so well in UCL football against the world’s best players?” Well I have no real answer to that. The only people that can answer that question are Fabio Capello and the English players. You or I are not involved in the team and can not claim to know why certain things did or did not happen. However if by the same question you mean to know “why have England historicaly performed so bad” well the answer is they haven’t!

      As I stated in one of my earlier posts, in a very informative book by Simon Kuper, “Why England Lose: And Other Curious Phenomena Explained” he explains that it is mainly due to population size. England always compare themselves to Brazil, Italy and Germany, the most successfull international sides but England has a much smaller land mass and population. In this regard, England actually performs quite well (about the 8th best performing international side in the world). The point is that historicaly, England haven’t underperformed so therefore there is no need for a theory sugessting “The English approach is fundamentally flawed”. No matter what the approach to the game is in England, their performances internationaly are not likely to change much due to, as I have stated, land mass, population size and economics.

      Prior to the last world cup, the general consensus was that England were a great side with a great chance of winning the world cup. However it wasn’t until after they failed, theories such as “The approach of the game is fundamentally flawed” etc started to emerge in great force. I’m sure you also heard many people suggest the same belief you have.

      The problem is that the expectation around England is too high. They simply cant expect to perform too much better at world cups than they already have. If people had a more realistic view, acknowledging that England has a good team with a few exceptional players but ultimately a small chance of winning world cups due to the strong opposition nations of Germany, Brazil, Italy etc and them having much larger populations and land masses etc, then I don’t think theories such as “The game in England is fundamentally flawed” would exist.

  11. N says:

    Fuck Chamakh was quick there

  12. […] Couple Of Arsenal Players Can’t Save England + Chamakh’s Opportunistic Goal (video) England were booed off once again after another uninspiring performance. I don’t really care for the English football […] […]

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