In the early 2000s, English premier league was being widely telecasted in India for the first time. We were able to see players like Beckham, Bergkamp, Zola and many others perform the most wonderful things ever seen by us on a football pitch. Before we became familiar with the genius and ingenuity of the Brazilian team, before the start of 2002 world cup, many of us (well I think so) rooted for England to go all the way. Oh what a pity! The ineptitude hidden behind all the glamour. The paltry talent, very professionally hidden behind the pre-cup shim shams. Nothing has changed. Rather things have gone from acceptable to miserable state. What appals me is the indifference shown by fans when England didn’t even cross the group stages this time around.
The English team always seems to have an enjoyable time in all the pre-match and cup drama than in actually playing for the country. The incidents involving WAGs. Managers have even tried banning WAGs from staying with players while the tournament is on. As if banning them would get a bunch of highly over-rated, overpaid, pampered and obnoxious bunch of nimwits to focus better and play better football.
The agony I have gone through seeing them fail in brilliant fashion everytime. The battering dished out by Germany in 2010. The paneka penalty insult by Pirlo on Joe Hart in 2012. They somehow find the way to screw it up in a humongous manner. All the blame lies on shoulders of the GREAT ENGLISH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION. They just know how choose the most imbecile managers for the team (read: Roy Hodgson and Steve Mclaren). When things are going right, they get itchy, forcing the manager to resign. Fabio Capello was a good manager. But the Terry racism fiasco made him resign. There had to be strict actions to be taken against Terry but other steps could have been taken to pacify Capello. Rather Capello was kept out of the loop, making him angry, grumpy and ultimately forcing him to resign.
Other problem is the obsession of the FA with the need to appoint an English manager. It is a very known fact that last bunch of good English managers consisted of Sam Allardyce and Harry Redknapp, both of whom had expressed interest for the job but were never considered. No disrespect, Roy Hodgson, you should stick to managing Fulham or any other Championship club. Another thing that has struck me odd is the way Hodgson talks. He has actually made the people indifferent about the World Cup disaster. This is wrong. Earlier there used to be riots but now no one cares. Mark my words, this will lead to something terrible, probably the team slipping into obscurity. SACK HIM! I SAY SACK HIM!
One thing football has always had is over-rated English young talent. Always the manager makes a point to take with him around 5 ‘developing and young’ talent who have never played in such high stakes and have just performed good for a season. Players like Ross Barkley should not have even been considered for the world cup but still made it. He had an excellent second part of the last season but he still isn’t a proven talent. I have heard so much about the always running Jordan Henderson from Liverpool fans. Frankly he wasn’t able to make even on a small impression. Another example is Jack Wilshere. The talent he has is never going to be fully realised due to his shenanigans and his attitude. As a result of giving chances to people who still aren’t mature enough for it has robbed some classy players of their opportunity. Michael Carrick was ignored for theWorld Cup this time around. I bet he would have at least made an effort to make the team play better rather than brilliantly falter against Costa Rica and others.
Other problem has been the utter ignorance shown by managers and fans towards the failing of Gerrard-Lampard partnership. It hasn’t worked for the last 15 years and it never will. Because of the obsession of playing them together, Scholes was made to play out of position, ultimately leading to his early retirement. Oh what all England could have achieved with Scholes at the base of the midfield! Alas, we will never know!
Things have to be changed. A steady manager with lots of experience who knows about the players at his disposal is very important. The players should not be allowed to float on cloud nine. Their ego and thinking should be brought to ground level. Make the players earn the jersey rather than give it to every ‘young and promising talent’. A system like that of GERMAN football would be excellent to follow. We can now see the fruits of the seeds sown the German FA a decade ago, giving a perfect template for others to follow.