…a number seemed to be, overly in some cases.
That was a poor start by Capello, from the moment he picked the team, that wasn’t a first XI to fill any decent footballing nation with fear on paper never mind on grass. Allied to the formation this resembled a McClown game, it was about as bad as the Austria game under the previous regime. Yeah Switzerland are a bit higher up the rankings than their Euro 2008 co-hosts but they’re not a great team, workmanlike is the best you could say.
But what did we get the usual crap on the pitch and the usual crap off it, “oh we’ll learn from this”, “take the positives”, how many times have we heard that rubbish?
It’s said he picked them on current form, yeah that is something that should be done more of rather than the Sven/McClown method of picking names but you also have to add in ability at this level.
So we have James in goal, didn’t have to do much but as he went walk about and flapped at one cross you just know he’s going to cost you dearly at some point. His distribution was terrible, from his early humps up the park to no one, to his slices for throws, to his throws that played people into trouble.
The fullbacks, both out of their depth, Wes Brown is a stand in at club level, he had early promise but that’s long gone. He was useless in attack and defence, it made a good case for Micah Richards. Ashley “Where has Cheryl gone, where has Cheryl gone” Cole, hasn’t been playing so why was he picked on form? He’s not even the best left back at his club and he was even worse that normal last night. At least before he could run fast not against the Swiss and when you take that away from him he has nothing left, can’t dribble, can’t cross, can hardly pass to a team mate.
Centrebacks, didn’t have much to do but still couldn’t keep a clean sheet and allowed a few shots, Upson didn’t look convincing, a step above his limit I think, distribution from both wasn’t up to much either.
Midfield, a bunch of players out of position who didn’t really know what they were doing or shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Well I’ll come to the latter right away, Jenas, oh wow he got a goal, watch the build up, he slowly wanders up the park hiding all the way behind a Swiss player no wonder he looked shocked he thought he’d got himself out of taking any responsibility for doing anything. The number of times when England had possession and were looking for an out with a pass or from a throw and Jenas was stood behind an opponent was amazing. You look at some of the players from the past who had great ability and have about 15 caps between them and this cretin has 18 now. Oh he’s on top form this season, one good game against decent opposition, hasn’t exactly been the greatest since that semi-final in the last three games and before it was only good against relegation fodder. Apparently that’s what constitutes great form these days.
Barry is not that type of holding player, he can help in defence but not that role, he should have been in there with Hargreaves. Gerrard how many is that in the undeserved cap column now? Knocking on 60. Man of the match, err where did that come from? The goals it must have been, one decent pass to Cole for the first and a run for the second but apart from that where was he and what was he doing? We keep being told England need to keep the ball more at this level to compete and Gerrard is one of the worst at giving it away, forcing it with battered passes, glory balls and Hollywood attempts and as for those surging runs well the second goal apart he looked like he was running in treacle all night.
Bentley and Cole, well the former might as well just have been Beckham for all he did, never got by anyone very few decent balls into the box, hitting the first defender, useless from corners and free kicks, a like for like replacement. Cole floated about but his best work was when he was direct on the left, where Gerrard seemed to be an awful lot, and got to the byline and put a cross over, it led to the first goal, but did he do it again no he wanted to fanny about and try and beat players this way and that, cutting inside all the time.
Rooney can’t play on his tod upfront, he’s no good to us with his back to goal, he needs someone in front of him laying it off so he can run at the defence. He needs to be involved and in that position in that formation he isn’t so gets frustrated and starts doing too much running around headless chicken style. It’s no coincidence he looked far better when Crouch came on. It’s not that we need a big lumper up front like the old days it’s someone who can control the ball, keep it ’til others join him or can lay it off and Crouch is the best option we have for that role, forget his size he has one of the best first touches of the ball in the squad and is far more comfortable with the ball than many.
From those available in the squad I’d have picked the players on the right to start, not a strict 4-4-2 with Rooney in a roaming role, don’t know who I’d have in goal as I’d have picked Green ahead of those i the squad but I can’t see that lot doing any worse than Fabio’s first selection.
Still on the plus side it will stop much of the euphoria that greeted McClown’s first game in charge. But if Don Fabio thought that was promising I see heart ache ahead…