Sunday, March 25, 2007

If he really cares about England, Steve McClaren should resign.

Little to talk about today, really, on the old Arsenal front. International weeks are always slow, so there's only been a few mildly silly stories floating about.

We've been linked to Andy Johnson, again, who's ours for the paltry price of £14 million. That much money for an English player seems slightly un-Arsene, it must be said. Adebayor and Eboue are near to signing new contracts: good news on Ade, not so sure about Eboue. Is he really a player we want at the club in the long-term? His crossing ability must be weighed against his theatrics, which have damaged the team's performances at times. Finally, Inter are after Tomas Rosicky for £10 million. Despite a middling season, I can't see that happening.

And so to England.

The game yesterday was a farce, an embarassment, a disgrace. Israel defended in depth behind the ball and managed to break up our play reasonably well, but was I the only Englishman hoping for Israel to win? Hoping that it would be the blow that forced our sub-standard manager out the door at last? A manager who refuses to confront the Lampard-Gerrard problem; a manager who throws on Stuart Downing for our best player in the last ten minutes of a game; who still chooses Phil Neville, despite Gareth Barry having his best season for some time in the premiership; a person who swaps right-backs when we're meant to be chasing the game.

In McClaren's defence, his players were awful yesterday. Even if he is not organising them properly, which he clearly isn't, far too many of our Galacticos, and I will use that term, don't seem to be able, or perhaps willing, to reproduce their club form at international level. Maybe if they took ten minutes out from collecting MBEs or writing best-sellers or spouting rubbish about 'English heart' being key to our performances or organising their 'bling', we might actually get somewhere. On their performance yesterday, I'd be willing to call up some of the under-21s to give the senior squad a kick in the backside. At least they'd show some desire. Players like Lampard, Gerrard, Ferdinand, and Rooney must be wrenched from the comfort zones they are currently basking in.

Maybe failing to qualify for next years championships would be the best thing for our current squad. Hopefully the FA would look past nationality when they recruited, and get someone who can finally organise the spoiled brats that make up our first team; someone who might actually pick our best performers, not just our best-known.

And I thought Croatia was a nadir.


Anonymous said...

No you're not the only Englishman wanting secretly Israel to win. I think its high time the current English Turkeys come home to roost. THe current squad is a disgrace and I've lost count of how many mediocre games on the trot that Lampard and Gerard can play without getting dropped. I agree with your comments that we need a manager that picks players based on performances and not ego or 'big name' brand status.

Anonymous said...

Rooney needs Ronaldo and Giggs, Lampard needs Ballack Drogba & Robben,Gerrard has lost his position to Alonso and Sissoko and has to play on the right, Lennon is quick but can't cross. Put them all together and ask them to do it all on their own and they are not up to it. England never will be whilst we still propagate the if you cant beat them kick them attitude that goes throughout the premiership.

Mark Wellington said...

I was also hoping for Israel to win. The only hope of England winning anything in the next few years is to get rid of McClown.

I had bad feelings about the game when I heard Ray Clemence talking about 'getting a result' (i.e. a draw) on Radio 5 last week. If the players are going out with that mentality against Israel, you know something is badly wrong. McClown clearly cannot get the best out of the players and he is tactically inept.

It was like torture yesterday. I didn't want to watch but felt I had a duty 'cause it was England, so I couldn't turn off.

The current problems of the England team mirror this country's problems in so many areas of sport and other things such as transport and... well just about anthing you care to mention. It's down to management. We attract the wrong people to positions of power -- and that includes govenment and the FA. So many people say to me that they want to become a manager because it is an easy life and you don't really have to do much. That's not how it should be. People have to start realising that power carries with it responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Okay McLaren is not good enough but I think the players are also not performing. England have been a "results" team for the last few years, set pieces were there main weapon & McLaren killed that when he removed Beckham. Am not a big fan of Becks but whenever I watched him I was impressed this season. France have Domenech but he got them to the world cup final, Gerrard, Lampard and Terry are not pulling thier weight. Scholes had the same problem before, the English players just dont play as a team for England

Anonymous said...

any english fan wanting anything other than an english victory is an absolute disgrace !!! regardless of how crap the manager is !!!

and that against a team who shouldn't even be in a european compeition !!

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knikik said...

am I the only person not too bothered by Eboue's gamesmanship. he's a wind up merchant, for sure. But please, aren't we over-reacting just a tad? The guy is a professional. It isn't so long ago when his crosses were shite. He worked on them and improved. Eboue's theatrics are not a threat to our success just like Lehman's have been what they are intended to be: wind ups.

I'm confident he can adjust his bahaviour accordingly if necessary. I am very happy he's extending his contract. Cut the guy some slack