Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tame lions put on monkey show

I wasted two hours of precious sleep in the early hours of this morning as the bunch of monkeys known as England completely embarrassed the nation yet again.

It would have been more pleasant picking through a bag of tripe than the wreckage that was strewn across the pitch by our inept players.

An absolutely wretched performance has left us on the brink of elimination with only one goal and no wins to show for 180 minutes' work against USA and Algeria. The fact that we were unable to carve out a single decent chance against the north African outfit shows the depths to which we have sunk. There are no more excuses. They have all been wrung dry and thus we are left with the hard facts.

Steven Gerrard

I don't understand what Gerrard's role was on the pitch. What was the point of him playing? It's a tragic shame that we didn't learn this lesson four years ago - that Steven Gerrard is incapable of passing the ball to a teammate in an England shirt. He wasted every half chance that came our way and was awful throughout. His corner kicks were dismal. How he even came to be the captain of his country is beyond me. That in itself is a joke worth laughing at for the next four years. I struggle to believe how he got into the squad, let alone the starting eleven. The most over-rated waste of space in the squad.

Aaron Lennon

Lennon contributed absolutely nothing on the right wing and looked completely out of his depth. The times he did get on the ball he agonisingly cut inside onto his left foot and from there everything broke down. Why was he not using his explosive pace and running against the Algerian defence? Why was he not doing everything to get to the byline and give us some much-needed width which was so painfully absent? The best thing that happened to him was being hauled off in the 62nd minute, but hope was turned to misery as his replacement was Shaun Wright-Phillips, another one who managed to get into the squad who shouldn't really be there.

Glen Johnson

While half decent going forward, Glen Johnson replicated his Liverpool defensive form by being torn apart by the Algerians, and were the Africans a little more composed, we would have been punished even further. Glen Johnson simply can't defend and is a huge liability at right-back.

Wayne Rooney

What was wrong with our main man? He looked increasingly frustrated as the match wore on. He couldn't control the ball to save his life and lost possession every time he received it. There was none of the usual fire in his play, he failed to get England motivated. He never roughed up the Algerian defenders and looked more like a tame lion cub than a 34-goal scoring machine.

The absence of Peter Crouch

We had a six foot seven inch striker sitting on the bench for 83 minutes of this match. Why? That fat old lump called Heskey, try as he might, did nothing, and the match was crying out for Crouch to give us something different. There was only 7 minutes left by the time he did make an entrance, too late to make any impact on the game. And why didn't we put balls into the box, to the back post, for Crouch to get nod-downs? Because we are completely naive tactically and didn't know how to use our lanky bean-pole striker properly. Crouch is tall, has two wonderful feet, and should have been starting with Rooney.

It was so terrible that I began cheering on Algeria in the closing stages of the match. If we did snatch a late winner it would have been completely undeserved. The Algerians, shockingly, were much better in possession, kept the ball better, and were so comfortable on the ball, that it put us to shame.

I doubt we will beat Slovenia. Another draw will not be good enough and England will deservedly be facing an early flight home. These are the dry facts, because, simply, there is no room for willying around, pretending we are a good team, finding excuses, blah blah blah.

Fabio Capello

Started the wrong players against Algeria. Glen Johnson, Gerrard and Heskey shouldn't be in the team, but they are because Capello failed to select his 23 wisely. Imagine the width Adam Johnson, Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor would have provided, which was so terribly lacking. Imagine Paul Scholes instead of Gerrard, controlling the match from the centre circle, spraying probing passes around the pitch. Could Capello have persuaded Scholes a little more forcefully? Why did he call up an eternal cripple in Ledley King who has now, after one match, injured himself for the rest of the tournament? Following Carragher's second booking we are now left with Upson or Dawson to partner a fragile Terry in the heart of our defence.

Nothing makes sense with our entire World Cup ride. I'm sorry to say that it's a complete shambles. The monkey show is in full force. The lions have gone into hiding.

One disgruntled and severely embarrassed Englishman.

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