So England are out of the World Cup, at the last sixteen stage. You must be gutted? you say. Not really. In fact not at all. In my opinion they should have gone out against Slovenia. It might have been better if the whole team had missed the plane out to South Africa in the first place.
Their performance was so abject that after the second game, against Algeria I would quite happily have brought the whole useless bunch tickets home. On the wings of a rickety bi-plane.
What the hell happened? That’s what I’ve been asking myself. Between the qualifying stages and the tournament proper, what was a pretty good team, turned into a bunch of strangers. At times they looked like they’d just met in the tunnel, minutes before the game. They couldn’t string two passes together, they couldn’t defend and of the three keepers we took, the best (statistically) didn’t play, the best (on the day) was in a team that was relegated from the Premier League and the one with Slippery Hands was keeping for a team that almost got relegated. When David James is your man of the match, your team is in trouble.
So why did England play so badly? Were they responding to John Terry being stripped of the captaincy? Were they feeling the pressure of Cappello’s tough regime (bless them, away from their familys for four weeks and unable to have a drink) or was it something else we haven’t heard about. Perhaps they really are just shit – their short comings hidden at club level by more skillful foreign players. It’ll come out, of course, once the dust settles, an insider will emerge from the shadows and reveal the whole shoddy affair to one of the red tops (my guess would be The Mirror). This of course will heap more pressure on Fabio, who won’t be resigning and (unless the FA want to be paying out about 12mill) won’t be fired. So we’ll go into Euro qualifying, in about four months with a lame duck manager and a bunch of players who aren’t good enough.
Cappello needs to take a dose of the blame, of course. His refusal to see what every football fan could see instantly, that Stevie G wasn’t working on the left hand side, was tantamount to sabotage. One of the best central midfielders in Europe, who has admitted that playing on the left isn’t good for him and that he would prefer the right side, was wasted, while one of the best left sided midfielders, James Milner, was played on the right! Even when Joe Cole came on, against Germany and Milner could have gone to the left, Gerrard in the centre, Cappello took Milner off instead and kept Gerrard out on the left. Bringing on a striker, Heskey, who couldn’t score in a seedy club with low lighting, when we desperately needed a goal and leaving a big gangly GOAL SCORER like Crouch on the bench. What the fuck?
And Frank Lampard…I’ve never seen a player who looks so uncomfortable in his countrys shirt. I can’t even remember when he last had a good game for England. Walking around in the middle of the park, like he was trying to find a lost golf ball. Michael Ballack, his Chelsea teammate, plays the same way. The Germans know this and that’s why they dropped him. You can’t play fast flowing football when one of your key midfielders would rather be somewhere else.
That’s one of the big problems England and Cappello have got. There are too many players living on past glories and no one coming through to replace them. What would be ideal is if they could drop a good half of the team that went to the World Cup and bring in a new bunch, like the Germans have been able to. Unfortunately there isn’t anyone out there that’s really good enough. Walcott, Bent, Hargreaves, Michael Johnson, Chris Smalling, Jack Rodwell, Daniel Sturridge, and Wallbeck are all good young players. I reckon the only way we get out of this current plunge into obscurity is to bring a few of them in and start again.
Rant over – at least now I can enjoy the rest of the WC, without having to worry about if this side or that are going to humilate us in the next round
Nice new remix from The Swiss of Annie’s ‘Songs Remind Me Of You’ to cheer everybody up
Gypsy and the Cat have just made a big blip on the SS radar, but they seem to be gathering some hype for a while now. Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers hail from Melbourne, but have set up base over here in the UK. They’ve been likened to Empire of the Sun and you can hear that, especially on ‘Til Tomorrow for example, but setting that aside (they also sound a bit like Fleetwood Mac and Mew aswell) what appeals to me is the laid back vibe of their music. When the sun is beating down, as it is here at the moment, you just want something you can close your eyes to and drift off for a humid moment. FTW
Time to Wander is out now
Keeping with the ‘let’s cheer ourselves up shall we?’ ethos of this post, the Grum remix of Marina and the Diamonds ‘Oh No’ is spot on. Caught a bit of her on the BBC Glastonbury coverage and got to say she was pretty great.
Marina and the Diamonds – Oh No (Grum Remix)
Talking of Glasto coverage, just watching Muse performing ‘Streets Have No Name’ with the Edge. It brought to mind this great moment of Bill Bailey