I watched with great disappointment last night as England were not just beaten but outplayed, at home, by a young rejuvenated French side.
Surely our opponents, France, have given us a model from which there is much we can learn. Having had a torrid World Cup campaign, far worse than England’s. France have removed their former manager, Raymond Domenech, removed certain ‘over the hill’ players and dead weight from their squad, bringing in youth to form a mix of youth and experience that can only be called quite exciting. France in my own opinion is missing one key thing to complete the equation, a leader on the pitch. Laurent Blanc could perhaps mould one of his players into a leader by using himself as a model. France has always had great leaders, Zidane, Henry and Blanc himself but to name a few. This is a small problem which France has time to work on.
The point is that in a short space of time since the World Cup and since Domenech has left Blanc has rejuvenated the squad. They are playing a style of football that suits them, they seem motivated and seem to be willing to work hard, all things England were missing last night.
Fabio Capello, it seems, has lost the ability to motivate his England payers. To use an old cliché, last night was more about the performance then the result, however in the end both were poor. Finally Capello is choosing to pick some youth in his squad, Gibbs, Henderson and Carroll to me are all future Internationals provided they continue on the right path, and shouldn’t ‘the future’ be the focus of the team now?
Yes we have the Euro’s in 2 years time, but shouldn’t the aim be to blood the youth and ‘when’, or should I say ‘if’, we qualify, use the Euro’s to get that youth some much needed tournament experience, putting us in a stronger position in 2014? I mean the world cup has to be our focus, doesn’t it? Why continue with players such as Barry, Ferdinand, Terry, Lampard, who all won’t be around in 2014 when we could improve players such as Henderson, Cahill, Dawson, Huddleston and even Lee Cattermole, all suitable replacements in the respective positions if you ask me. They will only get better with 2 things, experience and a good manager, an impact manager, someone who can leave an impression over the 2-3 days of training the England teams get together before a game. I did leave Gerrard out, because although he will not be around for the next World Cup he is the sort of player who’s experience would be invaluable to pass on to the next generation, he is the experience we could use along with others such as Ashley Cole to give some much needed guidance to our young internationals.
Finally I think motivation is a factor, pound for pound, player for player France are no better or more equipped then England, but last night quite simply they wanted it more. I question if, before every game these ‘men’ are being told they need to play for those 3 lions on their shirt, the same way Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves, David Beckham, Geoff Hurst, Terry Butcher and Gary Lineker but to name a few did. Show them what it means to be English and wear that shirt. Overall what it means to the country that our national team does well. What it would mean and did mean when England won that World Cup. Capello is the only one who can do this and that is his job.
I do not have an immediate replacement for Capello in mind. Harry Redknapp’s name has been thrown about a bit, but would he take it?
I think somewhere down the line Nigel Clough should be given the job his dad never was, but that’s a different blog altogether, he has a few years to go yet.
I think the time for Fabio Capello to leave is here, if he had any self respect he would walk away, but would any one of us sacrifice a £12 million payout for ‘self respect’ I don’t think many of us would.
The ‘pratt in the hat’ as he is now known has to go, so someone English and someone can lead a new squad into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Capello is leaving after Euro 2012, is 2 years enough for someone to take an International team into the next World Cup? I fear not.
In the immortal words of Andrea Bocelli – Con te Patiro Fabio (Time to say goodbye)
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