Cut, clarity, colour, carat, England’s diamond

England 5 - San Marino 0 - Euro 2016 qualifier - October 9th, 2014

has none.

England’s latest two Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marin and Estonia show Roy’s diamond is a bit of overpriced paste tat.

Yes there was two wins, it’s six points, haven’t conceded, England sit top of the group by three clear points just three games in. But hell that was awful. Have the goalkeepers of the team 208th and last in the FIFA rankings and the one ranked 81st had so little to do in a competitive game?

Hell the first game was five nothing but in reality it was 3-2 as San Marino gifted England three of the goals and against Estonia their ‘keepers only real moment in the game came when he palmed Rooney’s free-kick onto the post and into the net for the winner.

Laughably some will have the England captain – there’s another joke – now one off Jimmy Greaves England tally.

England have not cut, no edge whatsoever. Step forward the captain. No real club form, no real England form, but Roy has got to pick him because he stupidly gave Rooney the armband and declared him his captain. It’s got to such a ridiculous point with Roy that he’s now desperately claiming he wasn’t about to take the under-performing Rooney off just before the ‘keeper scored from his assist.

Poor old Wayne, Roy wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings, after all look at his little face drop when the reporter told him he was just about to get the hook.

Two games where Rooney should have not only overtaken Greaves in the record books but Lineker and Charlton too. And he would have done if he had a first touch. Where has it gone? It’s hopeless, Adebayoresque. The second touch is either a tackle, or a desperate attempt to get the ball untangled from his feet that’s on the few occasions there actually is a second touch and the ball hasn’t been taken away from him.

But Roy has lumbered us with him. As he has done with a number of others. And lumbered us with a system, style, formation, with a lack of clarity. Well, unless the goal is to cram everyone into a very small section of the pitch then it’s clearly working to plan even if it’s clear the plan is not fit for purpose.

Welbeck, finally playing as a central striker for club but here he’s with Wayne, so a split pair, yet not that split with a player at the top of the diamond three players all coming into a central point, where the others all veer into the closer they get to the penalty area.

A flat back ten and all England’s attacking players in a space 18 yards wide. Certainly made for entertaining viewing. Well flat back ten for a game and a half. After all the might of Estonia were down to 10 men for half an hour before England managed a goal.

Ah the width is meant to come from the fullbacks. Well Chambers showed against two very poor sides that that isn’t his game. He provided one decent cross but his selection was another piece of lack of clear thinking by Roy, as the man to provide that width on the right was sat there behind the manager for both games.

Now I’ve nothing against Jagielka, unlike so many, he’s an honest pro and has filled in when he’s been the best available. But against two such minnows Roy shouldn’t have been so scared. But then Roy is always scared. Play Chambers at centre-back, start in these easy games a new partnership – after all you know what Jagielka and Cahill can do together – and play Clyne the better fullback, at right-back. Again best time to get him going in that spot against San Marino and Estonia. Clyne has had an excellent start to the season and was called up to the squad before Chambers came in for the injured Stones.

Why pick a player if you’ve no intention of playing him unless it’s just some sop, like picking Shelvey, mealy mouthed Roy just saying look I picked someone from your team, I’m not overlooking anyone.

Clyne would have provided the width on the right as Baines would have and then did on the left. Would have if he’d have been picked against San Marino. But no Roy went with Gibbs who provided nothing but more evidence of his uselessness. Dear god he couldn’t find a cross in a convent. It was all very Ashley Cole, get slightly forward, panic, turn inside leave himself with two options, pass with his right – never gonna happen – pass back with his left.

Baines I read didn’t get forward enough against Estonia. Do wonder what some of these journos watch. Think it’s only their favourite players, the ones they want to ghost write for later. Baines constantly played balls inside then bombed forward into space wide left or to the byline, again in space. Each time he did that instead of receiving the 2 of a 1-2 the initial recipient turned inside into a wall of blue shirts and meekly gave up the ball.

The width was there just with certain player being carrot than carat there wasn’t the brains to use it.

Ah but all hail our great saviour because not only did England win but Jack Wilshere, under no great pressure, actually managed to find an England player with some passes. Pretty sure those ranked higher than 208th or indeed 81st are quaking in their boots at this news. Well beats them pissing themselves at him running forward, losing the ball and falling over, though the man of the match awards will have brought some mirth.

As for Sterling being too tired and jaded to play. Well quite frankly so early into his England career I’m tired and jaded of him. Tired and jaded of his weird running style – kinda reminds me of the maid in Tom and Jerry cartoons Thomas!, almost makes Henderson look normal. Tired and jaded of him having the pace and space to beat anyone but stopping instead to allow the defence to organise – all too Joe Cole for my liking. Tired an jaded of him running into the packed middle of the pitch with this claptrap about him being a number 10. Hell when Rio Ferdinand is backing you up you know he’s a wrong un.

So not cut, no clarity, no carat and colour well watching Henderson pass the ball sideways is as colourful as ditch water. Ditch water that under Roy is gonna carry on and on and on…

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