Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We're shit and we know we are!

It's not the worst England performance I've ever seen, but...

Well before last weekend everyone thought England were beyond hope of qualifying for Euro2008. We'd got used to the fact, but then we were thrown a lifeline. All we had to do was draw against Croatia at home - and Croatia had already qualified, so they didn't have anything to play for. What did we do with this lifeline? We pissed all over it is what! We took the lovely present we'd been offered and then jumped up and down on it, set fire to it and threw it out the window.

From this you might guess that England lost their crucial qualifying game against Croatia. Croatia played very well, but that can't excuse the dismal England performance. Our defense was crap, but then so was our midfield, and as we only started with Crouch up front there wasn't much he could do as a lone striker. After going 2-0 down early in the first half, from a dreadful goalkeeping error and then some poor defending, we decided the best way to respond was to not bother playing. In the second half, after a couple of substitutions, we started trying (a bit) and managed to pull the game back to 2-2, but then forgot we were in an important game and let things slip again. There were major tactical errors by the manager Steve McClaren and there was also a complete lack of passion and belief by the players. If you contrast how we played today to how Scotland played against Italy at the weekend there's a marked contrast. After Scotland conceded a poor goal and then got back into the game they knew the importance of the game and upped their performance (despite still having a fairly ropey defense.) The England players deserve a large dose of the blame for our failure, but McClaren's job as England manager is now untenable. His poor squad selection and changes in formation have confused and unstableised things in the team throughout the campaign.

We're now left with a European Championship next year with no home nations. I'd like to say I'll be as excited about it as if there was England, or even any home nation, playing, but I doubt I will. Well there's the World Cup qualification to look forward to at the end of the week!