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.