48 years of hurt? It ain’t going to end anytime soon!
I admit it, I got caught up in the usual excitement and proclaimed “England can win the World Cup”. It was about a week before the tournament and I was doing a betting article for this very magazine and I got a bit lost in it all. I now look like a twat to anyone I said it to, which was quite a few.
I don’t understand how it went so wrong. There is talent coming through in Sterling, Shaw, Stones and Barkley for example. And we’ve seen new emergence in slightly older players been given a chance; Llalana is a class act. I am gutted Gerrard has retired, but he never really put his club effort into the National team. The question is, can you honestly see us troubling many teams in a winner takes all game? We’re down to 20th in the World Rankings and I honestly believe that we would have struggled against any of the other 31 teams in Brazil. How in the hell did Costa Rica win that group?!?! If anyone dare tell me they thought it would happen beforehand, I’ll smash the room up!
Our problem is, opinion only by the way, we don’t know how to react to anything. If we go one up, we struggle to maintain, gain or protect that advantage. It’s like when a dog farts and doesn’t know it did it, England just act shell shocked that something good happened and go to pieces. Same as when we concede; we fall to bits and never truly look like taking the initiative. How many times have you heard “We need ******* to do us a favour to qualify”? It’s because it’s not in the teams nature to win and win well. Germany? They’re winners, they know how to win and they do not accept losing. If they do, they sort it out next game around.
One other thing, and I’ve said this a million times, is that we don’t have a National style. Think about it, Spain, Germany, Holland and even Italy have a style that goes from their domestic teams through to their National set up. It sounds like a broken record now but the fact is that due to the number of foreign players in our league, our National team does struggle. Every domestic team has a different attitude and way of playing so every England player looks for different things in a game. Perfect example-Jack Wilshere. Tippy Tappy crap that ain’t gonna happen in an England shirt. There is no definitive English style. Woy at least had a go this time by using the system adopted by Liverpool and creating a spine in the team using their English players.
Lastly, is our obsession with a talisman. We’ve always done it. The latest is Rooney. There is an argument that teams that focus their attentions on one person suffer and don’t do as well (Argentina being the exception). I do not believe for one minute that Brazil would have conceded SEVEN with Neymar on the pitch, but he goes and they fall apart. James Rodriguez couldn’t get a look in against Brazil and Columbia are out. Rooney didn’t perform and England are gone. We need a stronger squad, it’s a team game, something Spain, Germany and Holland have got right, and those who pin their hopes on one man haven’t.
At the Euros in 2016, it’ll be 50 years of hurt. I really can’t see that pain being soothed anytime soon.