Monday, June 28, 2010

Why England got knocked out

This is my World Cup rant. Enjoy. Here are the reasons England had a poor world cup:
  1. Terry's affair. What a donkey. Because of John Terry's lack of faithfulness and self-control he lost the captaincy, his form dropped, and the squad lost unity, probably thinking 'I wonder if he's been screwing my wife too'.
  2. Squad selection. Lennon, Wright-Phillips and Walcott are identical players, and none of them are that useful I agree with Capello that Lennon is the best of the three, but SWP was a waste of a squad place. He should not have been on the plane. I'm not sure who I would have taken instead – maybe Downing or Bent.
  3. Ferdinand/King injuries. With Terry off form, We really needed Rio, both as a pacey defender and a captain. His injury was bad luck. Then King's injury was even worse luck.
  4. Lennon was poor. No delivery. Not good enough. Milner was better.
  5. Green's mistake. One of those things you can't predict, but it made a difference. It's not an excuse though, England should have still had enough to beat USA.
  6. SWP coming on as sub. He's the same as Lennon, but even worse. He has no delivery. He should not be playing.
  7. The Heskey/Rooney partnership did not work. I don't know why. Possibly because teams predicted it too well.
  8. Heskey coming on as sub instead of Crouch. Capello played Heskey because, while he doesn't score, he brings the best out of Rooney. Once this stopped working, he switched to Defoe. Good decision. But then, when it came to replacing a striker, he brought on Heskey, who (a) cannot score, and (b) no longer works well with Rooney. Whereas Crouch can score (and does, frequently!), and would be a much better option.
  9. Lampard's free kicks. Apart from the one when he hit the bar against Germany, Lampard's free kicks were abysmal. Either way over the bar or straight into the wall. Many chances wasted.
  10. We had no tempo against Algeria or USA. We allowed the other teams to dictate the pace, and thus struggled to break them down because they had time to set up their defence. Ergo, we couldn't score more goals than them.
  11. Missed chances against Slovenia. Way too many of them. Simply wasteful at this level. A single extra goal would have seen us top the group and play Ghana and Uruguay rather than Germany and Argentina.
  12. Disallowed goal against Germany. Shocking decision that did change the game. Had it gone in, we would have been level, we would have had the momentum, Germany would have been reeling, and we wouldn't have had to commit 9 men forward at set pieces to get an equaliser and then get caught on the break.
  13. Not bringing on Joe Cole for Defoe as plan B. Capello didn't really have a plan B. SWP for Lennon was like-for-like. SWP for Milner was a step backwards. Heskey for Defoe did not work, as discussed above. He should have brought Cole on for Defoe, put Cole on the left, and shifted Gerrard to the hole. Gerrard and Rooney are our two most dangerous players, and most of the exciting things England did in the four games was due to their link-up play.
All these things were factors in England's poor world cup. But the last reason is the main one: Gerrard's position. Steven Gerrard is a central midfielder. One of the best in the world. Don't play him on the wing! Especially the left wing, he's right-footed! A waste of one of our best players, and the single player who brings the best out of Rooney. Gerrard rarely has the discipline to stay out on the left, so he drifts inside. This reduces service to the strikers, stifles the central midfielders, means we lack width, and leaves Ashley Cole exposed at the back. With the lack of service to the strikers, Rooney dropped deep to get the ball and we had very little up front. Therefore we do not attack effectively and cannot defend effectively – we were continually exposed down our left side.
Capello's decision to play Gerrard out of position was the single biggest factor in England's downfall. To do well at football, you have to score and not concede (this really isn't a difficult concept!). With Gerrard on the left, we struggled to score and conceded too easily. Simple as.

Player ratings
Green – 3. Unforgivable mistake at this level. Otherwise fine.
James – 8. Good goalkeeping. Dealt with crosses well and made some good saves. Did everything he could
Cole – 8. Our best player (as ever). Solid defensively, good going forward. Did as well as he could with no cover in front of him for a lot of the time.
Johnson – 6. Sparky going forward, ok at the back. Not good enough for a world cup winning side, but not bad either.
Terry – 4. No pace, little confidence. Generally absent. Did not dominate like he used to.
King – 5. Fine until he got injured.
Carra – 4. See Terry.
Upson – 6. Generally did well. Only mistake was in the lead up to Klose's goal, but he wasn't exactly helped by the rest of the team.
Barry – 5. Nondescript. Very little to say, either good or bad.
Gerrard – 4. Some exciting moments, but too many wasted chances and way to little positional discipline (though it's not his fault he was put out on the left).
Lampard – 4. Good against Germany (unlucky not to have 2 goals), but otherwise very poor.
Lennon – 3. Did nothing.
Milner – 6. Not his fault that he was picked while ill against USA. In the other games he did well and was our main attacking chance-provider.
Cole – 5. Didn't get much of a chance, but did ok when he came on.
SWP – 2. Did less than Lennon.
Rooney – 3. 'The first touch of an elephant seal' (Robbo's blog). True fact. Very poor indeed.
Heskey – 3. Ok against USA, but his score is always limited by the fact that he never scores. Did very little.
Defoe – 6. Good goal against Slovenia, worked hard, good link up play.
Crouch – 5. Had no chance to shine.

1 comment:

健豪 said...