james debate
james debate

Saturday 8 September 2007

Let's get something straight; England, as a footballing nation, have not been amongst the best for a long time. Indeed we haven't officially been the best since one fine day in June 1966. Forgetting all the whining about a goal that perhaps shouldnt have been, when we won by two anyway, it was one of the finest moments in English history. It pains all of us to see the team in a state as it is now. We were good at Euro 2004, we were good at World cup 2002. People who were so quick to blame sven for all our problems clearly did not take notice of this fact. They complain we only reached the quarter finals of these competitions... well to be honest that's sounding pretty good right now, its not easy to get that far and considering how overrated english players are (alan smith, kieran richardson, carrick, none of them are worth the attention they get. If they were german they'd be struggling) Perhaps a quarter final is something to be pleased with. It also doesnt help when time and time again the better players are overlooked until theyre the last possible resort (joe cole, hargreaves and shaun wright-phillips in particular).

To compound this nightmare of affairs we have a smiley, creepy manager who looks like hed be sticky to touch. He is useless, that a man who lost 7-0 in his last season before becomign england manager can be appointed to such a post is a travesty, especially in the presence of so many more talented competitors. But can we blame this man completely? I would direct attention to world cup 2006, where a sven who, for all his faults, did produce a team that looked strong, looked in control at each of his previous two finals, ended up with a lazy, completely gormless bunch of louts, joe cole, john terry and hargreaves aside. Noting this it really is fair to point out that we haven't gotten worse with maclaren, so let's hold the blame for a second.

So what is the problem? well there are so many. These players are overconfident and jaded. The FA is useless. The media and public thrusts insane pressure and expectation on these far from exceptional players. Players are trained very differently to other European countries, more emphasis on stamina than skill or technique. Crucially, the clubs coerce the players into prioritising them above the national team, which is absolutely absurd, but you can see where theyre coming from. Frankly any player who agrees with this should not be allowed to play in the team. It is an honor to be selected and should not be approached as 'just another game' it is a fight for your country, all your friends, your family. It is a BIG deal... and yes, the manager is pretty pathetic too.

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