Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The England Tale...

The team I'm rooting for this World Cup.
The players I watch every week and love.
The coach I hate.

It's either euphoria or despair whenever a team you support plays. This WC, even though England have won two matches and drawn one, it's been more despair than euphoria. Why? Ohhh my, I can go on and on and on. I'll try to make it short.

If I could fit it in one line, I would say - "Why the hell didn't the FA kick Swen out after the last World Cup?" You should learn from your mistakes soon, else you're bound to fail again. And that's what I fear will happen again this year. The problem is, just like the FA, it seems Swen doesn't want to learn from his mistakes. And he's repeating them over and over again.

Mistake #1 - Team selection
He chose 4 strikers. Out of which one was still injured, one was recovering, one was a baby totally new to even club-football, and one was a guy called Crotch...oops..sorry...Crouch- The basketball player who (sadly for us) found his calling in football. Now, one of them, Owen, has badly injured his knee and is almost surely out of the WorldCup. So, we've got Rooney, who obviously isn't upto peak form yet, Crouch, who....ahh..nevermind, and Walcott, who is not even being given a chance to show his potential.
End result: 1 n 1/2 strikers, hardly enough ammo to win the Cup.
Why didn't he select Jermain Defoe or Darren Bent? beats me....

Mistake #2 - Team formation
A 4-4-2 works for me. Owen and Rooney upfront would have been ideal..unfortunately we saw that for only 4 minutes..and then Owen got injured.
A 4-1-4-1 is not going to help them win the Cup. It's only calling for trouble. The Swedes took full advantage of that.
But whatever the formation, It isn't going to help if he repeats Mistake #3.

Mistake #3 - Team strategy
Defensive Defensive Defensive. Why??
This England squad has the potential to play beautiful and dominating football. Instead, what do you get? A tentative and wary approach, that encourages opponents to play and score against them. First step: Cut the long-ball approach please. It totally takes out people like Stevie-G and Lamps out of the game. Swen's Long-ball approach is the reason why Crouch is there in Germany. This team..these players can play excellent flowing football. Ground passes, first-touches, intelligent through-balls, these are the few of the wonderful things we want to see. And the first rule, never sit back and defend on a 1-0 lead. Taking out Owen and bringing on the other Owen (Hargreaves) in the first match against Paraguay almost cost them the match. Against the Swedes too, substituting their main attacking player - Rooney, midway during the 2nd half. Why O Why?

If it were upto me, what would I do? I would bring Lennon and Downing into the game as much as possible. Play Walcott and Rooney upfront. Or play Joe Cole on the left upfront. Push Becks to rightback whenever Lennon comes in. Those long balls can be supplied from there too. The problem is that Becks keeps disappearing during matches and only comes into light when a set-piece is taken. Against the Swedes, England hardly had a build-up through the right flank. It was all Joe Cole on the left. Give Rooney as much as roaming freedom as possible. Stevie-G and Lamps in a semi-circle arc behind Rooney. And I would let them play fast and attacking football.

Looking forward, I think England has just enough to eke out a victory against Ecuador.
But looking even more further, it gets scary.
England will play the winners of the Portugal - Holland (or maybe Argentina) in the quarters.
Looking at Holland's present form, I think it'll be an Eng-Por match.
They better improve if they want to reach the semis.
Else sadly, it'll be early curtains for England.
Well, if this dark cloud were to have a silver lining, it would be the fact that it would be mean curtains for Swen as well. But as much as I hate him, I would rather have that happen after the final.


US said...

England, England, England.
Stan's Mistakes in evaluating England's chances
#1 Too pessimistic at this stage
#2 Not counting the positives, which are still there despite key strategic errors/opinions
#3 Wayne Rooney. We don't need 4+2 strikers or 11 good players or 422, we only need 10 players + Wayne Rooney - it is immaterial who else is playing.

stan_da_man said...

@us: Ohh no!!! Lemme reiterate-
#1:Not pessimistic.I'm just being critical.
#2:There are positives..I didnt say there weren't any.
#3:A FIT n IN-FORM Rooney. Not the Rooney we saw yesterday..he isn't gonna make a big difference this way.

Aslan said...

totally agree with u stan. now stop backing england and root for spain! :) the way the union jack is flying, def espana have a better chance.. tho' it seemed ludicrous at the beginning of the WC. cheaply sub'ed torres now eh.

US said...

#1 While being critical, one needs to understand the ground reality and incorporate it.
#2 Bang in the middle of the WC, we should focus on strength and positives only
#3 Rooney. Fitness and Form are only tarnishing/clouting the fact of his capability of creating/weaving magic. We must not deny this and only pray that he churnes out his magic at the right time. AND it's about time!

England will peak. Scale higher to reach semi's - where they go from there will depend on their will/determination to tread that path. There are no second chances from now onwards.

the tRooney said...

well...i'm not an england fan so i don't care about what they do...

but still, i think the players are a bunch of dufus...why...are they so numbheaded to see that their present strat is not working...atleast it won't work against the better teams...

Another thing...they are killing the charm of the world cup...defensive strats make the game boring...england is better off coz they atleast have players who can't be defensive for a long time...thank god teams like T&T, saudi are out...

and boi...you are being pessimistic...england certainly have the firepower to win the world-cup (they always have it)...just that they need to start using their brains...

about the long-balls...i don't think they saw the argentina match... else you would have seen a much better england yesterday...

but you never know...rooney is the man...and he's getting better day by day

stan_da_man said...

@aslan: hehee..sorry! still supportin Eng until they r out or win the WC!! but spain has a chance this year maaan! yeah i substd Torres n took Klose..hehe..lucky one again!

@us: Thank God i only wrote 3 points else we'd be debatin on all 'n' of them! I'm being realistic polo..i'm being as positive as i can be, if u saw yestrdy's match, u wud agree with me! it was a shameful performance!

@trooney: agree with u PB! Beautiful and exciting play is what we need, and they can deliver too, if the coach allowed it! ur rite, Rooney is the ONLY hope now..

Noname said...

Completely agree with you on all counts...Only when the ah Sven changes his mind (which he will not) can i see a future for england in dis world cup. :( Heart Says "ENGLAND" But Brain Says "Argentina"..lets await

Dream Sporting said...

Hehehe...Another insight into England's performance. The internet is FILLED with that, don't you think? :)

Anyway, being a die-hard Argentina fan, I don't mind England losing soon. But from what I've seen, I guess that they would come with with the GOOD GOODs when they play top quality opposition. Increasingly, it looks like they are going to play Holland/Portugal winners. That would be a cracker. But of course, I guess that I wouldn't expect them to show the flair and domination that they promise on paper.

Besides the stuff you mentioned, what about Paul Robinson??!!! Does he command any AUTHORITY in the team??? I don't think so.


Guru Panguji said...

As much as I hate to say it, I can see reason in stan_da_man!! Staney Boy can be logical at times. And this was one of the few

Boy, they should have just taken you and me for their coaches man. You would have seen a different England altogether.

I have another q. Who could take up Swen's place? Fergu? He would never leave Man U, unless he dies.

Who else is there?

But, Swen needs to leave. And about the long ball approach. That's how English County football has made a lotta clubs play that throughout these World Cup matches.

Yes, free flowing football was more fun to watch tho :-(!! Miss it

stan_da_man said...

@noname: sadly yes...McBoy! Eng better pull up their socks! Else we'll both be eating pizza and watchin them lose. hehehee

@dream sporting: yea..i know the net's filled with similar views, but i just had to free my mind! ;) Arg looks strong..but, anything can happen u know. Argentina will reach the semis i'm pretty sure...hope Eng can make it there too!

@pangu: *duh* Hello?? Swen's place is already taken boy, its Steve McClaren!! I like him, he's done good work at ManUtd and Middlesbrough. It'll be great for England also cos he likes his teams playin good attackin football! Just look at MidsBro dis year! sesski future i see..but the present is important too!

Neo said...

Finally i see few England supporters!! Aint I glad. I have been encountering Anti-England fans everywhere - mails/ forwards/ orkut and amazingly even on the bbc site!!
I wonder at times, if Sven actually does anything other than praising his players and saying "We'll win the cup and have the potential to play better" (just hold the nose and talk and u will sound like Sven)
I believe we (we as in England:)) should adopt a position where

Neville Ferdinand Terry A.cole

Beckham J.Cole

Lennon Gerrard


Essentially a 4-5-1 formation with Lennon and Gerrard given the freedom to move up front n link with Rooney to score and take england ahead. Gerrard could be replaced by Lampard at half-time or the vice-versa -> Lampard could start n gerrard comes on at half-time. With both Gerrard and Lampard strong playing in the same position, its a big mistake playing them together where neither perform to their potential as opposed to their club performances!!!!!
Rooney was brilliant in the last half an hour against Ecuador.
You are the second person (after me) whom i have heard despising Crouch. I sincerely cant link football and crouch in my mind. If not anything else, he doesnt resemble a footballer in any weird way.
Just hoping for them to play better in the quarters and overcome Portugal / Scolari - their nemesis in the past 2 tournaments!!!!

Anonymous said...

All Over .. :( :( :(

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