Big Words

Steve McClaren

So I’ve just checked the BBC Sport website, and once again I read about another dismal performance from the England team (Israel 0-0 England).

Before I continue this rant, I should state that I haven’t seen the game against Israel, or watched many of the previous games under McClaren. Obviously I’m not helped by being in the US where football is hardly considered top drawer entertainment. Then again, I have absolutely no motivation to try and find a bar that may show the game given the teams performances during and since the World Cup have hardly been inspiring.

However, I still find myself incredibly incensed by both the results the team seem to be getting, the (second-rate) management of the team, and the fact that we are in this situation thanks once again to the poor stewardship of the Football Association.

Missed Opportunity

As I understand it, last year (when I was again here in the States), upon the news that Sven Goran Erikson would step down from the role of managing the England team, there was an incredible amount of pressure on the FA to announce his successor.

The FA actually seemed to be on the right track, and found itself in the privileged position to be having successful talks with ‘Big Phil’ Scolari. According to the rumours, these were so successful that he was willing to take the England job, but only after the World Cup, and the end of his contract with Portugal, which was an entirely fair position to take.

Of course, the FA buckled under the typical undue pressure from the English press who wanted a name, and wanted it now. Accordingly, the FA reverted to tradition, and went on to pick a seemingly talented, but in reality unproven English domestic league manager, with very little success to his name.

That man was Steve McClaren.

Since he took the helm, I have quickly been lost faith in his ability to actually manage a team of football players. His big talk at press conferences, before games, and after dismal performances just makes a bad situation worse, and really gets under my skin actually. It speaks of a man who doesn’t really understand the problems that need to be tackled.

Once again we have a man that is all talk, no action (can you say Kevin Keegan?).

So here’s my prediction. England won’t qualify for Euro 2008. McClaren will be given a vegetable related nickname by the Sun (my vote is for ‘Cabbage’), before being sacked (by which time it’s too late). Oh, and of course the English press will be saying that we should never have gotten rid of Sven (even though were the ones the ousted him) in the first place.

But lets not just focus on the individual here. Yes, Steve McClaren is not up to the job of international management. However, much like the Home Office, the FA (in my opinion) is not fit for purpose, and the press have only themselves to blame for the situation we find ourselves in today.

Frankly, there seems to be nothing left in this game that makes me want to watch it anymore.


5 responses so far. Go on, add yours!

 Gravatar#1 On March 25, 2007 8:16 AM, Stuart Maynard-Keene said...

Paul, I agree, Mr McClaren isn’t the right man for the job he seemingly stamped his mark on the job by getting rid of Beckham, which in my opinion is turning out to be a very bad decision. I think the main problem is him trying to fit Lampard into the team, just think what an attacking team we would have if we had Lennon, Gerrard, Hargreaves and Beckham in the midfield.

We still have a chance, although slim, of qualifying for the Euros and I for one will always watch the boys, however rubbish we are ;-)

 Gravatar#2 On March 26, 2007 3:16 AM, darthlawb said...

Lampard and Gerrard, on the pitch at the same time. When has that ever worked? I had to look hard to find Rooney. Worst mistake I made this weekend, was watchin this rubbish.

Good rant, more than justified!!

 Gravatar#3 On March 27, 2007 10:15 AM, Simon Edwards said...

McClaren is clearly a problem with in a troubled England outfit, hopefully the FA will come to there sense and let him go when they meet after the Andorra game on wednesday. El Tel would be a favourite from a fans point of view but, since when have the FA ever listened to the fans.

Lampard is the most obvious sacrifice that needs to be made he is a luxury player at a time when England simply can't afford them, he has not played well for over a year now.

Gerrard is a far more dynamic footballer, he tracks and tackles, makes raking passes, accurate crossing, and has a long range shot as good as any one. Admittedly this may be viewed as immensly biased as i am a die hard liverpool fan but even those who are not will admit he is the better all round player.

And at the very least one of them must go for the sake of the team. Rooney is a great player the service to him on Saturday was less than poor, he lacks someone of similar quality to play along side him, often looking his best with Crouch (again possibly biased, but I do not rate Crouch as world class), Defoe is wasteful, Johnsson is possibly to lightweight - but has also not had much opportunity as yet (it was his first game for England as a striker).

Defensively we lack depth on the flanks Cole is not a great defender, he has been outshone by Bridge at Chelsea but he can't stay fit, Carragher is not a full back left or right side he is a centre half and has probably shown the most form out of anyone in the England set-up this season. G. Neville is a good full back, but there are no obvious replacements in his absence.

P. Neville somehow manages to get in to the England squad yet is no class act for Everton yet alone internationally.

There's enough of a rant from me. Let me know who you think should be the England starting 11 (everyone being fit that is).

GK. David James
RB. Gary Neville
CB. John Terry (C)
CB. Jamie Carragher
LB. Wayne Bridge
RW. Aaron Lennon
DM. Owen Hargreaves
CM. Steven Gerrard
LW. Joe Cole
CF. Wayne Rooney
CF. Peter Crouch

 Gravatar#4 On March 27, 2007 10:25 AM, Paul said...

Ladies and Gentleman, I think we've found England's next manager. Coach Edwards- has a nice ring to it wouldn't you say ;-)

 Gravatar#5 On March 27, 2007 12:45 PM, Simon Edwards said...

You know I cant help myself, when it comes to football! ;-)

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This entry was written on 24 Mar 2007, 5:45 PM and is filled under , .