USA 1, England 1: Let the Press Massacre Begin

06/13/2010 12:21 PM |

Robert Green

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday was National Football day in England with the new Prime Minister urging more to get involved with the national sport with video messages from the number 10 website. At 12:10am this morning the BBC’s flagship football show ‘Match of the Day’ sobered up a nation drunk on its own propaganda.

The four horsemen of the apocalypse, Lineker, Shearer, Hansen and Dixon, all fine footballers in their day, cast a long shadow over the proceedings in Rustenburg. England weren’t good enough; everyone except Steven Gerrard was showered in thinly veiled criticism. Lennon for being unable to cross, Carragher for his lack of pace, Milner for being obviously unfit (I thought he was just useless!), Heskey for his lame attempts on goal, Wright-Philips for the same. “But we will win our next two games,” offered Alan Shearer, the last voice of hope in BBC.

Over on RTE (Ireland’s National Broadcaster) it, as always, was a lot less PC than the stuffier Beeb. Eamon Dunphy described the England team as “inept” and “to realize just how poor they were you had to look at their opponents. Mike Bradley was man of the match, a playmaker in midfield around a team of players with clearly defined roles. England had none of this. No playmaker, and no defined roles.” Graham Sounness said he had “never seen an England team play so badly”.

This morning, as Dunshauglin Town opens its eyes to a watery sunshine, the shelves of ‘Tara News’ are stacked with British press. “Hand of Clod” screams the ‘News of the World,” while the ‘Sunday Mirror’ goes with “Worst Howler Ever!” Robert Green is the story for the tabloids and once these fellas get the scent of blood I really fear for the lad.

The press lynching of the England team has begun. God help them if they screw up the next two matches that the English nation has now transformed into training sessions for the knockout phase. God knows they need them, but Algeria and Slovenia, no matter how inferior they may be, will see a very large chink in the armor of the English

One Comment

  • Almost as predictable as the horrible overeaction of the English press is the very failure of the team to deliver. I feel that with the rather strange selection of the team yesterday that Capello for the last time decided to put his trust in a team that yet to learn to think for itself on the actual field of play.
    Without getting all chalkboard on everyones asses , playing two attacking midfielders in the same team leaves a huge gap in the middle of the field as these men push forward. The defence when they have the ball then have to go long to seek out a teammate. Inevitably the play breaks down and they come under pressure again. This will then lead to the piecemeal broken up play that was witnessed last night.
    However credit must go to the Americian players for the application and sheer hard work they applied to the English last night. It is not an easy gig to hussle and harry for 90 minutes and for that they must be applauded.
    Capello must now justify his six million bucks a year appointment by making some hard decisions. Number one. Get rid of the keeper and bring back David James. The UK bookmakers already believe that this is certain to happen and they don’t drive Mercedes Benz for nothing. Two, drop either Lampard or Gerrard and play a defensive midfielder to plug the gap in the middle of the park. Three, have a serious re-think about playing the big man upfront option. The way that the ball was not dropping to Rooney last night was indicitive of a plan that was failing. Rooney is Englands one true world class player and he needs to be brought into the game. End of.
    Just a word of encouragement, did’nt the Italians draw 1-1 with the US in their first game of the last WC ? They had a decent tournament did’nt they. A little bit of reality goes a long way.