Monday, June 28, 2010

What went wrong for England’s ‘Golden Generation?’

A league that is proclaimed as world’s best domestic competition, a set of players who have worldwide admiration, and yet England were comprehensively outplayed in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. What’s wrong with the so called England’s Golden Generation? Why are they not able to transform their club form to the international stage?

For all the admiration I have for Stevie G, I wonder why he’s not able to inspire England the way he inspires Liverpool. Be it taking the attack to the opposition stand back & defend or scoring goals, he’s Liverpool’s inspiration for sadly not for England. There’s a surging run every now and then but the finish, nah!!! Tactially, I thought he was being wasted at left midfield when he should have played just behind the two strikers. A 4-3-1-2 combination would have suited England than 4-4-2 that they used. Frank Lampard and John Terry are the two guys that make me angry, literarily. Coming off his most successful season with EPL Champions Chelsea, Lampard looked every bit like a second division footballer. Notwithstanding the disallowed goal in the Germany match, he was totally disappointing. Every time he took a free kick, it’s imperative that he’s going to hit the wall. JT is the pillar of Chelsea’s defense, but for England his mistakes are way too unacceptable. The biggest disappointment however is Wayne Rooney. I mean, for a guy who inspired Manchester United despite the loss of Ronaldo with 34 goals, going an entire tournament without a single goal, is too much. He didn’t even make the keepers work, so much for being Wayne Rooney.

Fabio Capello, for all the tactics that took England to the world cup without a scratch, looked totally out of ideas. England lacked imagination, quick passes and speed. This is where Capello’s selection comes in for scrutiny. David Beckham was not fit, but where are the other dead ball specialists. Leaving out Theo Walcott was a big mistake. His speed and imagination would have been the turning point for England. Germany was so fast on the pitch because it’s a very young team. And I don’t know how many of you would agree with me in this, but I think Capello made a mistake in not picking Michael Owen. Yes, he’s not had so many matches under his belt, nor was he in best of form. But with people like Owen, who’s a naturally gifted goal scorer, England would have scored much more goals. He’s instinctive and a world cup stage would have lit him up unlike Rooney.

England made Algeria look like a strong side and Slovenia were generous in giving procession back to England whenever they gained it in the group game. But Germany was never going be this generous. If you lose procession to a young team, they are going to out run you and outscore you. That’s what happened in Bloemfontein. Germans would feel that justice was restored after the controversial Geoff Hurst goal in the 1966 final at Wembley. Bye Bye England. Start worrying about EPL player transfers and pay cheques. That’s the only thing you guys are worth for. If you ever think of claiming the Euro 2012 title, set your egos aside and start playing like a unit. But at the 2010 World Cup, you guys are an embarrassment.

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