By James Cox
It’s the mentality. It’s not the Jabulani, the lack of goal line technology, the foreign imports in the Premier League, and it certainly wasn’t that the players were tired after another gruelling season.
England’s problem is the very way they play football, they are impatient in possession and do not keep the ball, always looking to play a killer pass when there are better options. They do not play well together.
Photo from fOTOGLIF
When Fabio Capello replaced Steve McClaren, it was suggested that previously the England team had picked itself and there had been an over reliance on too many individuals, the Italian had the job of breaking this group of players up and making them play as a team.
But on Sunday, England were at times sliced open by a German side that play without any individuals, only as a unit and with devastating results, the same cannot be said for Capello’s men.
Capello also said he would only pick players who were fit, playing and in form, this again proved to be untrue as he chose an injured Gareth Barry, who is out of his depth at this level anyway, ahead of numerous other players.
England assistant manager Franco Baldini said back when he first arrived that if England want to become winners they must keep the ball, based on the way they play football this notion must have never been mentioned again.
Capello’s tactics had a lot of success in qualifying, mainly overpowering Croatia home and away, but his team’s performances in friendlies against world class teams such as Brazil and Spain were uninspiring and at times embarrassing.
England could not have asked for an easier opening three games, or an easier second round draw against Ghana had they topped group C, but instead the scored a pitiful two goals in three games and scraped second place.
They then went into a grudge match against their fiercest rivals as favourites and were humiliated in a 4-1 massacre. Based on expectations only Italy and France faired worse in the whole World Cup, both their managers have now left. Hint.
Of course it is true England’s big players did not perform when needed in the slightest, Wayne Rooney had another World Cup to forget, Steven Gerrard performed admirably but, as ever, never hit his club level heights, and barring a great goal that wasn’t given Frank Lampard was again anonymous, at least he had a shot on target this time though.
But it’s not the individuals that make a team, it’s how they play together, England didn’t, there can ultimately only be one man to blame for this, and the English F.A less than a month ago gave him an extension until 2012 on his £6 million pound-a-year contract. Thanks a lot for that.