Friday, November 23, 2007

Why & Where Did England Fail

Before you turn away from this page following the rather generic title up there (yea, I mean above this), I would encourage you to read on because it isn't generic and won't be the same old shite you read on The Sun or The Daily Mail.

England failed to qualify. I think the dust have yet to settle and it's still quite a choas over at Blighty. A mention of Wayne Bridge or Steve McClaren might incur an almighty wrath of any male on the street.

So I'll cheer you up by joining you at laughing at the lot of them.

McClaren failed. He was sacked.

Brian Barwick failed. He appointed that failure.

Steven Gerrard and John Terry failed. They didn't lead the team by example.

Wayne Bridge actually didn't do too badly in being rubbish.....

The Wembley pitch was utter disgrace. Like a woman spending thousands of dollars on plastic surgery (fake boobs, etc) yet with a face of Marilyn Manson. To quote Silvan Bilic, it's the 'most expensive plowed field he's ever seen.

But the following is the funniest yet:

'The British singer who sang the Croatian anthem before last night's match accidentally sang 'My penis is a mountain'.

Tony Henry was trying to sing the national anthem in Croatian, but reportedly got the words wrong...The line in which Henry slipped up should have been "mila kuda si planina" (You know my dear how we love your mountains). But what he actually sang was "mila kura si planina" which means "Dear Penis, you are a Mountain" or "My Dear, my penis is a mountain".' - Ananova

Even the opera singer was rubbish..... Oh dear...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

*Latest - McClaren Axed

The English FA have decided to sack Steve McClaren after an abysmal Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. Decision was made after an emergency meeting between the FA executives and it is reported that McClaren will get a massive payout of 2.5million GBP.

Despite his insistence on staying on the job, the FA clearly have no more patience as they saw the Euro qualifiers turned out to be a national catastrophe. McClaren is now officially the shortest serving manager of the English national team.

Insights: How the meeting went

Barwick: Morning lads, so are we sacking that grinning ginge?
The Rest: Yes, boss.
Barwick: Alright, meeting over.

Right from the start, I've never believed that McClaren is the one to take England to the next level. I mentioned that it's no point killing the weed without exterminating the root. They sacked Sven but kept his assistant (which is him) on and appointed him the head coach.

Hindsight is always a blessing and we can all talk about his shortcomings and mistakes he made. Ultimately he'll go down into England's annals of shame, the one who saw their fall from grace.

No England At Euro 2008

Despite Israel's Help, McClaren's Men Stumbled At Crucial Time

Euro 2008 Qualifier

England 2 - 3 Croatia


ENG - Lampard (pen 51), Crouch (65);

CRO - Krancjar (8), Olic (14), Petric (77);

With an imminent death sentence delayed, glimmers of hope filled the hearts of the Englishmen after seeing Russia haphazardly lost to Israel on Saturday. The supposed inevitable was avoided in much of a fortunate manner seemingly...

But England's chance of qualifying for next summer's European Championship was finally guillotined in front of their home fans after an abject 3-2 lost to Croatia, who will be heading over to Austria/Switzerland as the group leader.

The cold winter rain fell on the muddled heads of the English players as a packed Wembley watched in horror. Chanting like a mantra prior to the match, players came out to say that they'll go on for the kill and secure qualification.

But with a 4-5-1 formation set out, who truly believes they're not playing for a draw?

The disastrous 2-0 defeat in Croatia months ago still seemed to be a spectre, haunting the English players and just as Paul Robinson comically 'air-kicked' a Gary Neville backpass, Scott Carson continued the tradition of England's 'goalkeeping-killing act'.

With the freezing rain all over the sticky Wembley pitch, it adds an extra tilt to the game. For a 22 year old Carson, what a night to make his competitive debut for England. It took Croatia only 8 minutes to found him out sadly.

Confidence bruised and broken, his back line didn't do him any good either. Minutes later, a two-men breakaway was enough to find the chink in England's defence. Arsenal's Eduardo drew the entire defence to him before making a defence splitting pass for the magnificent Ivica Olic to round Carson and send shock wave across the nation.

Hopes seemed lost and difficult words must have been exchanged in dressing room during half time. 'Nothing to lose now' was on McClaren's mind when he sent on Defoe and Beckham on for a disappointing Shaun Wright-Phillips and the out-of-place Gareth Barry.

It surely was a gamble. But it has been a gamble all along.

England did find their way back early in the second half through a magnanimous penalty after substitute Jermaine Defoe was adjudged to have his shirt pulled inside the area. Up step Frank Lampard and the Chelsea man made no mistake.

Beckham then proved his point when he assisted Peter Crouch in scoring the all important equaliser, just enough to send England through to the finals. Crouch controlled the ball with his chest brilliantly before slotting it past Stipe Pletikosa.

He turned out to be one of the few players whom escaped with any sort of credits and he deserved the goal to be fair.

But England's fate was penultimately sealed late in the game when substitute Petric hit a fearsome shot with his left and it whizzed past the diving Scott Carson. Croatia's never-say-die attitude epitomised.

They gave so much when so little mattered. Probably riled after the moronic England fans jeered their national anthem, the Croatians brought the English nation to the ground, in shame. Past glory was all that it is and now the bare truth is staring right in the face of McClaren, his players and the FA.

The cleverness and deft movement of the Croatian outsmarted the English, who are all about blood and thunder. Traditionally a team that plays at break-neck speed, England players doesn't possess the required technical abilities and brains to execute it.

All we saw was the old route one football of Wimbledon back in the early 90s. Aimless 40 yard balls or lumping balls towards Peter Crouch. There was no flair and there was no guile. Blood and thunder couldn't get them any further.

Failure to qualify this time could also be a good news to many England fans as now it is a possibility that the English FA will have a long hard look on the organisation structure and address the obvious flaws that had been on cover since God-knows when.

McClaren might have his brolly to shield the rain from him but it wouldn't be able to withstand the flak he's going to get from the English media and public. It might not be his fault totally but much responsibility must be shouldered by the grinning one.

Expect him to be sacked in an hours time.

England Player Ratings:

Carson (4/10) - You thought Robinson was bad....Like a rabbit caught in the headlight

Bridge (2) - Shambolic. One of the worst performance I've EVER seen
Lescott (4) - Was all over the place yet not found when needed
Campbell (5) - Didn't marshal his defence well at all
Richards (4) - All running but with no effect. Poor positioning sense

Cole (4) - Plenty of trickery as usual but no guile and no thrust. 'Owned' by Corluka
Gerrard (4) - Hollywood balls and all, the captain did nothing inspiring...Poor
Lampard (5) - Didn't notice him until stepping up for the penalty. Credit for not bottling it
Barry (3) - Fish out of the water. Found out. Passing was abysmal and fail to offer protection to defence.
Wright-Phillips (4) - Running head-on like a headless chicken. Poor delivery and finishing.

Crouch (7) - Only player to walk off Wembley with head held high. Scored a good goal and worked extremely hard. And to think he was boo-ed by the England supporters a year ago...

Beckham (7) - With him on, there is no lack of energy and commitment.
Defoe (5) - Didn't threaten the Croatian defence other than the penalty incident
Bent (5) - Should have taken the half chance

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ronaldo's Back....

Seriously, Diego. Is that you?

By the way, Zidane was involved in the match as well.
At least he still looks like a proper footballer!