Thursday, August 21, 2008

That's it... destroy the village

Is there anything at all that's salvageable?

Thankfully, it was only a friendly, but a last-gasp, comedy-of-errors, listless 2-2 draw at home to the Czech Republic is hardly the stuff that builds confidence. Fabio Capello once again ignored all the promises and fantastical talk he wooed the press with upon first being hired, and trotted out a team so devoid of imagination and experiment that Glenn Hoddle could have picked it.

We're 2 years from the World Cup (that is, assuming we make it, ugh), and this is the XI selected by Fabio to get some valuable playing time and experience:

GK - David James (age 38)

LB - Ashley Cole (27)
CB - Rio Ferdinand (29)
CB - John Terry (27)
RB - Wes Brown (28)

LM - Frank Lampard (30)
CM - Gareth Barry (27)
RM - David Beckham (33)

LF - Steven Gerrard (28)
RF - Wayne Rooney (22)

ST - Jermain Defoe (25)

Brilliant, isn't it? The same cast of indentured characters, several of whom will surely be too old to participate in the World Cup itself! Thus, why waste the time? It's not like we need to play it safe in friendlies and make sure we win points... there's none to play for!

The second half saw little improvement, as the players of the future saw the last 20 minutes or so without any real chance to assert themselves on the pace of the game.

It's a very depressing thing to see ones country struggling like this. Years of the same-old, same-old rubbish from a string of uninspired managers who seemingly picked the same 15 players for every match, regardless of domestic form. The sea change for me was the continued selection of Beckham (yes, I know, I dog him frequently), who was rewarded for taking a big payday to play in a more sedate league with plenty more caps for his country, not to mention that the quality of his individual play at the Galaxy has been far from dominant either! (Lest we forget that Huckerby outshone him in their recent meeting)

And yet, nothing changes! The media get sick and vitriolic, Capello answers the criticism and then we sit and watch the entire thing repeated over and over again from match to match.

Capello promised us the world, a brave, exciting new vision of an England team selected on merit, a novelty for us, and the guarantee that new faces and new talents would be given every chance to shine in all these pointless friendlies leading up to our World Cup qualification group.

In reality, we've seen nothing to get excited about. Andorra is just around the corner as qualification begins, but it's not difficult to imagine a match-up much tougher than it should be. And the longer Fabio continues to ride these ineffectual horses into the ground, the longer our disappointment and failure continues.

[The strain was enough for Brian Barwick to quit yesterday... the entire FA should be dismantled and rebuilt again until the national team is something worth cheering about]


Keith said...

The back line was fine, I guess; the midfield needs to be (l-r) Young, Barry, Gerrard, Cole

Lingering Bursitis said...

They were shit from front to back. That's definitely a start for the midfield... who do you put up front?

Keith said...

I think it depends on how Agbonlahor progresses this season; if he goes up over 15, I run Rooney in his newly preferred "sunken striker" role and run Gabby off of him.

Keith said...

Or, I slot SWP/Bentham at RM and run Cole and Rooney as the strikers

The Likely Lad said...

It Takes a Village... (of french schoolboys to get Arsene a woody)