This seasons English Premiership highlighted to the world why it’s the best in the world, with six teams ranging from Utd to Liverpool all with the squad strength and depth to challenge for a top four space and a bottom ten that at one point were all in the relegation scrap. Indeed the English Premiership boasts more drama than an episode of Eastenders, how is it then that the English national side is so lacklustre and struggles to draw with teams like Switzerland at home, who are 20 positions below them in the rankings?
Many cite managers preference of foreign players, claiming that the foreign imports are of a higher quality and therefore get played before players born and bred in England. This just isn’t a viable excuse, every player that features in the England squad are first team players for their premiership side, our national side is one of the only ones in the world top ten rankings who can say this, with the likes of Spain’s squad spread across the world. There are of course cases in which this can be argued, the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips rot on the bench when he could be playing himself into the England squad, but this is one example of a wasted English talent, and there really isn’t that many more.
So yes it is true that the Premiership probably hosts more foreign imports than other leagues, however the players of the national team do get plenty of first team experience with their top flight clubs. This is not the issue, the issue is the lack of passion amongst the England squad. Wayne Rooney is the perfect example of this and sums up England’s problems. Rooney was on fire for Man Utd this season, one of the best in the league, across the pitch he put in 110% for the devils. He dons an England shirt against Wales and he was almost invisible. Again at the World Cup, the England team was deservedly booed off after an utterly shambolic display against Algeria, his reaction was to verbally attack the fans and try and turn the blame on them. A player with passion for his country would accept that such a result was unacceptable and hold their hands up, admitting that they have to better, rather than handing off the blame to the fans of all people. You feel that this brazen attitude has a lot to do with the ridiculous amount of money in the English game these days, the England players have let their feet get off the ground and haven’t kept their egos in check, and this is shown with their national performances.
So how can England get out of this rut and finally challenge for silverware after being out of the winning light for over forty years? They need to employ a hard-hitting manager who isn’t afraid to upset the order of the England squad. If England’s crash and burn out of the World Cup isn’t an indication that the squad needs an upheaval then I don’t know what is. Capello needs to drop players like Lampard and Rooney, who haven’t realistically played well for England in years. Again there is a perfect example of this being needed with the inclusion of Darren Bent, Ashley Young and Jack Wilshire, they have all upset the natural order of the England squad and they have all performed better than many England regulars have in years. One feels that until the whole squad gets a revolution and more young, or previously un-capped talent comes through then England will keep flying the same team of disappointments to competitions and they will keep performing below par.
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