Wrong tactics, wrong subs, too much fear and woeful Wayne... Paul Merson takes apart England's draw.Back to story
In South Africa, especially Cape Town , is there a large following of the English PL. So when England played Algeria the locals turned up and with the England supporters outnumbered the Algerian support by a very large margin. We locals even know the English players better than our own national side. So we are qualified to voice our opinions when England perform so poorly. This team played so badly that it came as no surprise when they were booed off the field.I am convinced Fabio got it wrong again with his strange substitutions. Most of the players were completely out of their depth and the substitutions that followed were strange to say the least. Of the players that had to go Rooney should have been the first only because he had no interest in the game. Yet the harder he tried the worst he became. On another day this team would beat anyone but this is the world cup where your chances are limited and a few bad displays can see all that hard work you had in qualification stages come to zero. England you owe it to your world wide fan base to perform much better in your final group game to at least give us hope for the next stage.
Posted 09:01 20th June 2010
I am so disappointed with the England performances so far. Even if they do manage to get through to the next stage (doubtful on the evidence of play so far!) they will be have their tails whipped by any half decent team. I agree with most comments made so far, no pride no passion no guts. Lets stop paying these overrated players a fee for playing for their country. Then maybe we could have a team that would honestly be playing for England for pride and passion!!
Posted 08:50 20th June 2010
at least the germans lost!!!!!!! hahahaha
Posted 08:47 20th June 2010
What concerns me most of all is that England dont look as if they are enjoying their football! Qualifying was such a big thing for us and we have waited 4 years for this competition lets enjoy it. We want our team to have a go and leave South Arica having given it our best shot,lets come home with no regrets and screw the press who are best known for destroying our teams confidence! all the best England.
Posted 08:46 20th June 2010
Sorry Merse - I enjoy reading your articles and listening to you on Super Saturday but I think your guilty of rose tinted glasses there. The reality is England are a poor side. In international football all the good sides can keep the ball and can control the tempo of the game in midfield. England seem unable to do this and it is not a new phenomenon but something they have struggled to do in last 20/30 years. Gerrard and Lampard for all their talent going forward are unable to pull the strings in midfield. Ironically Scholes is badly missed as he has the needed quality even if he is on his last legs. How you can believe that England can reach the semis after their first two perfomances is mind boggling. It will be an achievement if they make it out of the group.
Posted 08:46 20th June 2010
4-5-1 4-5-1 If everybody in the Country shouts it loud enough Capello might even listen.I thought although it was a very poor performance at times Rooney and Gerrard linked up well that must be the way forward. And if Barry is going to play a holding role we have to play the sytem thats suits the role.This is our last chance let the players play the same system as they play fpr their very succsesful clubs 4-5-1 4-5-1 Only one change needed from friday J Cole in for Heskey (apart from having to replace carrager)
Posted 08:42 20th June 2010
I am in south africa following england and was at the USA game. I know we are all disappointed by the results but we have to remember that we were also singing Fabio Capellos praise a few weeks ago. He has put together a terrific team that had some increrdible results prior to this tournament. They don't turn into a bunch of no hopers overnight. Let's support them against Slovenia, they will get the result and I am sure the real England will stand up. Let's not forget some of the shock results this world cup has seen so far. Can we blame that on Mr Rooney or Mr Capello?? I will be at the game in Port Elizabeth on wednesday and let's look forward to the next round!!
Posted 08:36 20th June 2010
totally agree with everything being said, but this is the last chance for some of our big name players in a world cup. they have always failed to cope with the hype and pressure, the whole world know what to expect with our star names. can you really see england doing what cameroon and denmark did last night and take the risks at the end of the game to get a result!!!!! why not make some changes now players have had 2 games and done nothing. play defoe and crouch from the start. jo cole, milner barry, as a 3man centre mid. play dawson alongside terry. fulbacks must stay the same. but use gerrard, lampard or rooney as the 4th midfielder behind the front 2, giving him the freedon to play.
Posted 08:26 20th June 2010
This is a continuation of the issues we had under Sven, some of the players know that no matter how badly they play they are never, ever, going to be dropped. If we retain 4-4-2 then Gerrard must play centre midfield where he is most effective, with Lampard dropping to the bench, this is a squad game and someone as good as Lampard coming on with 20 minutes could change the game. There is even a case on performance of dropping Rooney, at present he is being picked on reputation, not performance. Dawson has to come in ahead of Upson on form, if Dawson doesn't play what was the point of bringing him? Heskey must go as no team can win or even get near winning a World cup with a non striking striker So 4-4-2: James, Johnson, Terry, Dawson, A Cole. Lennon, Barry, Gerrard, J Cole, Rooney ( or Crouch) Defoe But I think that Capello will duck the issue and pick 5 in midfield so that he doesn't have top drop a name player
Posted 08:16 20th June 2010
I too cannot believe how Wright Phillips can get on the pitch ahead of Joe Cole, he did nothing in the game against the USA other than give away possession. Joe Cole needs to start and Gerrard needs to play off Rooney to try and create some chances, I have never seen such poor performances from England and Lampard needs to get into 2nd gear as you would never know he was on the pitch. I am unsure about the game against Slovenia but will keep the faith as I always do !
Posted 08:13 20th June 2010
I agree with your comments except that England will be eliminated by a defeat. Having an exciting EPL does not mean equally excellent National team, if anything, it is destroying the quality of English players who are the least skilled, to start with.
Posted 08:09 20th June 2010
I agree with most of what you say iny our column Paul and I think most people do. I've read alot of people saying "drop the lot", Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard etc. which is all well and good in the normal run of things, but we have 1 game left. 1 game. Lose, or draw and the boys are (most likely) on the next flight home. Capello is never going to drop all of them, but he may see sense. Many fans have pointed to Gerrard and Lampard not playing well, which I dont get? They never seem to play well when they're both in the team! the balance is gone. For me, Gerrard is more reliable for England and should start, with Lampard on the bench. I have nothing against Lamps, he's a top player, but for some reason the two of them in the same team just doesn't seem to work. As for Rooney, honestly I was sort of happy to see him getting angry, obviously what he said isn't good enough, but at least he's showing a bit of passion... getting annoyed by how things are going. He's a top player, he's no idiot and he knows whats going on. The press (sorry Paul, but this includes you) need to let Wayne be Wayne. If he wants to get angry, let him. He's a better player when he's got his heart on his sleeve. Besides, when was the last time you saw a Premier league game, or any big game for that matter, without any bad language??? Doesn't happen! That includes every country, not just England! Finally, Heskey. The only positive I have is that he works hard, so credit where it's due. But, honestly, that's just not enough. I dont think he'd get a first team shout for many of the clubs in the Premier league, maybe come on as a sub for something different with 15 minutes left, and if we're honest he hasn't exactly set the world on fire with Villa has he? Whatever Capello decides to do (please let it be 4-5-1 and drop Heskey) the players just need to get their heads up and do what they do week-in week-out and play with their hearts.
Posted 07:44 20th June 2010
Why all these long, explanatory comments ? Simply, England are just not good enough.
Posted 07:30 20th June 2010
England will go through to the 2nd round, but needs to start playing rather than practising. Never saw any desperation to score or even get anywhere close to scoring, no hassling or extra efforts to win the ball, sitting through the night and supporting the team has been a frustrating experience. Algeria played a better game than England and deserve the result. With a do or die situation hope to see Crouch and Joe Cole starting instead of Aaron Lennon and Heskey. Do not blame Green, he just let in one goal: you have to score to win and not blame the Goalkeeper to one miss and expect the opposition to put the ball in their own net for England to win!
Posted 07:18 20th June 2010
I havent seen any heart in any of the england players. I believe that Lampard and Rooney should be benched for the Slovenia game. They both dont look fit and have lossed their touch on the ball. I would definately bring in J. Cole, because he creates creativity and can break down defenses. I can see slovenia playing for the draw and were gonna need to break them down. Bring on some speed, Defoe to play with Crouch, they know how to play with each other.
Posted 07:17 20th June 2010
Jeff Vee has witten the most sense about the problems in English sport that I have read anywhere. The problems caused by "the system" or lack of it are now being seen in all sports at senior levels. If you discourage competitive sports at school and do not encourage kids to play to win, then you are left wit namby pambys who expect to win even if they are pathetic. There are no more stars in English sport. even the crisket team is dominated by foreign players! Drop all this "Health & Safety" and PC nonsense and get real. Life is hard and owes you nothing. You have to work hard and fight hard to make it anywhere.
Posted 07:07 20th June 2010
England must win their last match and they have to go for goals from the start at least a couple in the first half. Rooney should be partnered by Crouch with Lampard and Gerard behind them. England need to play with confidence which is lacking but they must remember they have not lost a game yet and that is a great consolation. come on England lets see a good game and I am sure you can make it. Rooney must watch his behaviour and for God sake dont do anything silly as the Slovenians will try their best to upset him ang get him sent off so my dear friend Rooney be a good boy. Good luck and plenty of goals.
Posted 06:20 20th June 2010
Rooneys comments to the camera looked like a man more upset with himself than anyone else.the boo's dont help but are justified.England have been the worst team in the tournament so far!id love to see them win or at least come close and im from ireland!best thing now is for the fans to get behind them and hope for a win.by right they should beat slovenia but capello has to play 4-5-1 with joe cole on the left and gerrard just behind rooney and play a high tempo pressing game.his team selections so far have been mind boggling.play your best players in there best position surely!all is not lost and it could all turn around next game.question though is rooney fully fit????such a shame as every tournament hes played in hes carrying an injury or has picked up 1 midway through.just get behind the team for the next game cos they look haunted wearing them jerseys right now.such a shame.
Posted 05:35 20th June 2010
Carragger will be a big miss at the heart of defense. According to FIFA's latest ranking, Gerrard is England's best player, not Rooney. Capello needs to watch a Liverpool game to see the effectiveness of Gerrard playing behind a certain Torres. If England doesn't qualify for the KO stage, i might have to stop watching the world cup. England KO begins on Wednesday. Against Slovenia we need a 4411 system with Barry, Carrick, J Cole and Lampard at the center of midfield. Gerrrad as the play-maker and Rooney- a lone wolf at the moment, as the lone striker. England please go for goal as soon as the referee blows the whistle.
Posted 05:16 20th June 2010
WHY Paul Jackson (Chelsea fan) does not say change Lampard off ? Maybe he is hero in club, but he is rubbish in nation team! He is in Gerrard's positon but did not work£¡ No good passing ball, no assistant, no goal, just poor shot. Which game he did well for nation team? Anyone can tell me?Even if england win slovinia, you will also lose next, if you donot change the formation. The problem of DD exsits from erikson, but he is coward, he just won some game by David. Mclaren is too. But fabio why donot change? you can send Beckham and Ronaldo off in Madrid, why you are so kind to lampard?England need paul scholes, not lampard! with lampard, englang will lose their midfield and die finally!
Posted 05:09 20th June 2010