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Jun 192010
 

Apparently so, however you could be forgiven for thinking any different. Maybe it’s just England fans that feel like this because of our poor efforts so far but for me I just haven’t been able to get excited in any way about the World Cup yet, it doesn’t feel like World Cup time for me yet.

Let’s talk about last nights England v Algeria game (yes it really did happen), what the hell happend there?. Well I said in an earlier blog that Capello likes to play safe and picks his team based on experience over form,yesterday was a classic example by giving Carragher the nod over Dawson. For me he got it wrong when he put Gerrard on the left to bring back Gareth Barry, that is negative move number one because Gerrard is not a left midfielder and it showed. Negative move number two? well I would say it was picking Emile Heskey because Rooney wants to play with him up top. I wouldn’t have a problem with Heskey playing if he was either in form or if he was any good in the first place. The trouble with this scenario is that he is played to help Rooney out and when Rooney like last night has a nightmare game then there is nobody up front to score the goals. England actually looked more dangerous when Defoe came on but it was too little too late, this is the change that should have happend at half time because 0-0 at half time with Algeria is bad enough. Peter Crouch was given 6 minutes to change the game, please tell me, what is somebody supposed to do in 6 mins?.

I see Rob Green lost his place to David James and destroyed any confidence left that Green might have had, I wonder if he will drop Rooney,Gerrard,Lampard,Heskey next because Green lost his place for not doing his job so what is the difference?. I did laugh though when I saw the most pointless substituion I have ever seen in my life, when England wanted to change the game and really go for it we decided to swap a right winger for…………… another right winger!. Yes I was just as suprised as anyone that it wasn’t Joe Cole being brought on for Barry or Defoe for Heskey but it was Wright-Phillips who came on for Aaron Lennon. It’s almost like Capello has his untouchables and no matter how poor they are won’t ever get substituted. Could somebody please tell Capello that there are different formations he can try if 4-4-2 isn’t working out, it’s like he has been told if he breaks the 4-4-2 he will be shot.

I don’t really like to jump on the England bandwagon and I’m still as patriotic as anyone and really hope we get through but can we really defend the team so far?. I think some of the teams players are too big for their boots, they believe all the hype that they hear because they are some of the top Premiership players. The newspapers today are dominated by Rooney having a go at the fans for getting on the backs of the players, Rooney reckons the fans have no right to boo, I am sorry Wayne but when people have saved up all year and spent thousands of pounds to watch England play like that then they have every right to boo. I’m sure Rooney would want the fans to cheer if England lifted the World Cup, so he has to know that you take the rough with the smooth.

I hope that come Wednesday Capello doesn’t stick with what has failed him so far this tournament and has the guts to make a few changes. We are supposed to be England, one of the favourites, so why when we play the teams like USA, Algeria and next up Slovenia do we play negative tactics. We should go out there with the mentality of the Brazilians which is play to our strengths and not the oppositions. Why bring in a holding midfielder like Barry when we could play the likes of Joe Cole, and why play Heskey when we could play Defoe or Crouch. These teams are ranked way below us so we should take the game to them, whenever I see an England team sheet all I see is fear, fear of not wanting to get beat rather than a team that is set out to take the game to the opposition and go for the win. Where is the passion lads, are the days or passion players like Gascoigne in 1990 and Beckham in 2002 long gone? I thought Rooney would install some passion in the side but so far I couldn’t be more wrong.

Wednesday is make or break, if we don’t win we are going home, but for me it doesn’t feel like its even started yet. If England were to be flying home next week then i’m sure this could end up being the World Cup that people forgot. I take heart from the fact that in 2006,Italy didn’t set the tourament on fire with their football but ended up lifting the cup, yes I know its wishful thinking but England can’t keep on letting us down. One more point I would like to make is that the current squad of players are known as the golden generation, can someone explain to me why this is?. The golden generation, what on earth earns them that title? they have never got past a quater final of a major competition but somehow they get dubbed the gold generation, don’t make me laugh. This does just go to show that for all their faults the media really don’t help the players out.

Right now all I am thinking is if England are coming home next week who cares because Tottenham have a Champions League game coming up and I can bet my life they show more heart in that one match than England have and will in this World Cup.

Would love to hear whether you readers think i’m harsh or if you agree with some of my comments, remember as I said I am not agaisnt the England players and I support them more than anyone, but you can’t defend 2 performances like that and someone needs to give the players a wake up call. This is aWorld Cup and if you ask me, if we don’t get out of the group it will be worse than when we didn’t qualify for Euro 2008. I hope Wednesday is when the World Cup comes to life for us, and not the start of us trying to forget a shameful attempt. However if England score and the fans celebrate like mad I will think to myself “is this what it has come down to, having to celebrate like crazy because we score against like Slovenia”, when for me we should never have even been in this position. The thing is I am confident if we get out of the group stages then the boys would do us proud in later rounds untill we are inevitably knocked out, my only worry is I am not confident we will be getting out of the group. Slovenia will be harder to break down that the previous games because they know a result of any kind for them will be enough to send them through.

Would love to hear whether you readers think i’m harsh or if you agree with some of my comments, remember as I said I am not agaisnt the England players and I support them more than anyone, but you can’t defend 2 performances like that and someone needs to give the players a wake up call.

Behold, The Unluckiest Man In Football…

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Jun 152010
 

Step up Ledley King, as we all know the England and Tottenham center half is likely to be out for the next 3 weeks. How does this rate on the luck scale? well when you consider Ledley last played a major tournament for England in Euro 2004 but had to fly home during the group stages after an impressive performance agaisnt France due to the birth of his first child (Yes it was a bit awful timing but it showed Ledley to be the true decent,honest and loyal man he is). I’d say his luck is off the scale.

Since 2004, Ledley has been plagued by his mysterious knee injury which prevents him training with the rest of the team. After each match his knee swells up and he is in pain for a few days. On average now if other injuries permit he can manage 1 game a week for Tottenham. The most amazing part of this story is the fact that Ledley is still one of the best defenders in the Premier League, he was instrumental in Tottenham finishing in the top 4 for the first time this season.

King picked up a groin injury agaisnt USA in Englands World Cup opening match, a scan has revealed a tear which is likley to mean 3 weeks out for Ledley and probably the end of his tournament. He has had the worst luck in football from a personal point of view in the last 5 years, god only knows how good he could have been if he wasn’t cursed with a crocked knee. Harry Redknapp himself even says it would be scary to think just how good this guy could be because he is one of the best defenders around and doesn’t even train. It defies all logic.

It is a shame but I am glad his talent has been seen by Capello and he got his chance, I just hope that Dawson is the man to replace him although somehow I doubt it. All Spurs fans know just how good King and Dawson are and could do a job for England. The only thing that bugs me is all the non Tottenham fans coming out and saying this just proves that Ledley should never have gone to South Africa. Do they even know that this is a completely new injury that King has picked up? do they even care? No!, they just jump on the Ledley King bandwagon. Let me tell you that if Ledders had managed to keep himself fit all his career I would bet my life he would have been England captain, he has the attitude,ability and character.

When it comes to football I declare Ledley King the unluckiest man in recent times, but maybe it is a blessing in disguise because if he had kept fit would he still be a Tottenham player? my heart says yes but who knows what big offers would have come in for him.