Home > Football (soccer), Politics > What’s wrong with sorry England?

What’s wrong with sorry England?

England is out of the world cup having lost their first two games. Why are they so bad as a national team on the world stage? The British love to tell us that the Premier League is the best league in the world, but it must be due to all the foreign transplants.

Wonderful London Restaurant

Wonderful London Restaurant

 

I guess the foodies in London figured out the same thing regarding the London restaurant scene long ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The English squad doesn’t have the midfield play to compete with the world’s best teams. Watching Costa Rica (a nation with the population of Northumbria) vs Italy was amazing to behold when compared to how England played Italy. Costa Rica’s midfield was dynamic and tricky, combining to great effect – something England could never conjure.

There were so many times in the first half of the England v Uruguay game that 6 field players were behind the half-line in a sort of double defensive line, Gerard with the ball at his feet, wondering which wing to pass it to. Of the other four outfield players — two were up front being marked by five defenders, and there was one on each wing. The midfield was completely bereft of English jerseys.

When England did get the ball rolling through midfield, their play was straight forward and predictable. Can anyone cite a time when an English midfielder feinted one way, spun, and switched the field of play? Or a time there was one ounce of trickiness or guise in their play? Other than Sterling, what did England have? Once Lallana and Barkley came on in the second half things started to pick up for England a wee bit, and it was instantly obvious that Lallana had come to play, but it was a case of too little too late.

In today’s game against Costa Rica, it was a case of the “same old boring England.” There were multiple opportunities that Sterling created going forward. Sturridge showed neatly from the center forward position, and then… what? All of Costa Rica knew what was coming next. Everyone in the stadium and homes around the globe knew that Sturridge would try a one-two pass with Sterling.

The only reason I didn’t get there first from my couch was because I was crowded out by the 5 Costa Rican defenders who beat me to the ball.

Do you know what a Uruguayan or Costa Rican midfielder would have done receiving the ball that Sturridge got? He would have feinted the pass to Sterling, and switched play to the completely wide open midfielder on the other side of the pitch. There was no one within 20 yards of the player. This happened over and over and over for the English. England’s play — even when their passes were clicking and connecting — were so straight forward that the other teams’ defense had plenty of time to read and adjust. Remember Pirlo’s dummy that set up Italy’s first goal? All of England was fooled. When did England’s midfield fool anyone?

When Costa Rica played Italy their midfielders twisted, feinted, turned and passed their way through the Italian midfield time and time again. They would flood an area with 3 or more “middies” and then make triangles through the Azzuri in ways England couldn’t hope to do.

Yes, England created chances. And truly, I believe they were a bit unlucky to lose to Uruguay. Rooney had one against the crossbar and an open look at the ‘keeper from 8 yards that he couldn’t convert. They were a bit unlucky. But their true problem is that they struggle to control games and impose their will without better midfield play.

And what of the goals they conceded? Balotelli getting a header at the far post? On a cross like that? Isn’t defending crosses England’s bread and butter? Do we need to bring in some Scottish consultants from Rangers or Celtic? You know, people who see crosses all day, every day? How is this possible, England?

And I love/hate the goal worked by the Suarez / Cavani combination.suarezGoal It was a 2 vs. 6. As in 2 strikers against 6 defenders. And a goalie. Who do you think should win? How is Glen Johnson standing so far off Cavani when there were literally 3 layers of defenders behind him? Go. Put. In. A. Tackle. Forgoodnesssake! Make him pull it back. Put him under pressure, suffocate him. Even if you miss, there are 3 more of your mates behind you. Do something other than give him time to pick out a perfectly weighted chip onto Suarez’s head.

 

If I’m an English coach, I’m going to take that video clip to practice tomorrow. I’m going to show my team how 2 strikers with feints (Cavani) and clever running (Suarez) can beat 6 defenders. And start training them now so that this doesn’t happen to them in 2022.

Sorry England.

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