So, another World Cup ends with dreams of ‘what could have been’ as England fail once more. This time however, it hasn’t ended quite as it should have.

Usually in World Cup’s we go out to the ill-fated penalty shoot-out, or the controversial decision that should have won us the game. And this World Cup looked like it was gearing up to end in the usual way for England.

At 2-0 down, it looked all over. Upson looked like he’d been dragged straight from the Slug & Lettuces’s 5-a-side team and the rest of the defence was fumbling around him. But Upson pulled one back during one of those “you couldn’t make this sh*t up” moments, and just for a few minutes, it looked like the Three Lions were fighting!

For just a minute or two, England looked like the more-than-capable team we know they are. Upson’s goal gave everyone a lift, and from one of the attacks that followed, Frank Lampard struck neatly on the volley. His shot hit the bar and dropped behind the line, before coming back out and being captured by the hapless German keeper. 2-2, and euphoria broke out in South Africa and across the nation!

The ref had other ideas though. Despite the fact that everyone inside the stadium, and the millions watching Worldwide just saw the ball land well over a foot behind the line, the ref “allegedly” missed it, and the goal was ruled out. Perfect! This is how England always exit World Cup’s. Even though we’d lost, the nation has something to whinge about – someone to blame! That’s all that matters to the English. Exiting in controversy.

So, as history would have it, that was game over. 2-1 to the Germans and England out thanks to a goal ruled out by the ref. An angered nation would be appalled once more, but the lads would be heroes nonetheless. The lads had other ideas though, and what followed (and preceded) was perhaps, the worst game of football we’ll ever see England play!

Upson’s place in defence seemed to tear everyone else out of position, Lampard and Gerrard took it in turns to waste chances from 40-50 yards (in between giving the ball away with sloppy passes), Rooney never turned up and the only two players that left the field with any dignity remaining were James (despite having four put passed him) and Milner (who Capello decided to take off!)

So the Golden Generation exit another World Cup in failure, and as some of them begin to hang up their boots, we can only pray the next generation serve us better – for this England deserve to be heading home.

  • Tim

    Blame the manager..almost entirely.

    At 2-2 things could have changed, but in all honesty it would have just papered over cracks again.

    A manager that can’t devise a system to work with what he’s got…..£6m a year…Pah!!

  • Marc Butterworth

    Well put TSS. Top be honest, i had no illusions about today. I predicted 3-0 to the Germans so werent far off. The fact is that, as a national team we are no better that teams like USA, Ghana, Algeria, Australia. Teams like Germany, Argentina, Portugal are so far above us that anyone who thinks we have a chance against these teams needs to be committed. We need to accept this, coz then (and only then), the lads will be playing with a lot less pressure.

    Not one English player can leave South Africa with any pride. Rooney has not even taken part in the Tournament, Lampard has played for the opposition every match, Gerrard has been astoundingley absent from each game and I dont even want to get started on payers like Terry Cole, Upson. Lennon S W Phillips. We are what we are though. A very average (on a good day) national team.

    None of this will change until we restructure the national league system and force more top teams to play more English players.

    • Craig

      I agree on the English players in the top league issue. It is so blindingly obvious that not even the FA can see it!

  • henry vincent lewis

    The players are entirely to blame!
    They will return home and pack their bags again and head off to some millionaires playground.
    They do not care how upset we are. or how many thousands fans spent to go to South Africa.
    The useless prats would love us to blame the manager.
    They certainly will!!
    No system would turn those talentless losers into a good team.
    No system can cater for players who are slow in mind and body.
    No system can help a player to pass the ball or shoot straight, or close down the opposition.
    When I saw that German lad, Ousysomething, leave Gareth
    Barry for dead I could not believe it.
    I thought Barry had pulled his hamstring, but no, he was just slower than a snail.
    Can’t blame the manager for that.
    The players he picked were most peoples choice.
    It is frightening to think that they are our best players!!
    Rooney was great when he was 18, but he has got worse with age!!!!
    Lampard was just terrible AND SLOW!!
    Gerrard was terrible and not a good example to the others.
    The defence stunk from start to finish.
    I almost wondered whether they were playing that badly on purpose!! Naa!
    Milner did nothing.

    Bring on the Championship!!
    They majority of the players in the Football League are British.
    The Premier league is a greedy & pathetic cesspit!!

  • henry vincent lewis

    Oh yes – qualification.
    I think we would have struggled more to qualify for the World cup if we had not been seeded.
    In each group there are 2 seeded teams and the rest are cannon fodder.
    Teams like Scotland, Ireland and Wales are not seeded, so they get 2 seeded teams in their group and they are they makeweights who struggle against the ‘Big Boys’.
    Not surprisingly they did not qualify!

  • Paul Gittins

    And you’re all surprised exactly …. why??! England has never been better than a mid-ranking football nation – it’s only our media who, every time one of these events comes around, talks us up into being world-beaters.

    We have some decent players, and if they had half an ounce of guts between ‘em, we MIGHT have made the semis. (Actually, if they’d performed anything like they should, we wouldn’t have been playing Germany today ….)

    But World Cup WInners? Yer ‘avin’a larf …….

  • Richard

    I take any suggested criticism of Beckford back. If they are the best defenders that the Prem can offer then JB is going to bag a hatful. Over the four games played this must be the worst English challenge at a major competition that I have ever seen. Time for the old school to take their inflated pay packets and quit; bring on the youngsters.

  • Tim Wilsom

    Glad that’s over, bloody embarrassing. Our great striker did nothing, absolutely nothing. Too much to cover. I’ll be glad to see the back of Capello, goofy looking prat.
    Maybe SG can get us a preseason game against the golden flops.

  • Colin

    I thought Lampard and Ashley Cole gave it a go today. They weren’t good but they gave it a go. Gerrard and Terry were mediocre. The rest were awful.

    And please don’t give me all the turd fished out by the BBC that David James was our best player – he had one put through his legs!! Awful.

    What annoys me is that these players aren’t overhyped primadonnas – they ARE GOOD PLAYERS.

    BUT…we hire a manager and I don’t care who he is or where he’s from, that’s not a problem for me. But there was obviously a problem in the camp. He gave the tactics, the players didn’t agree with it and then it became every man for himself – Terry was up front in a banzai shit or bust performance, Barry was in a world of his own etc etc.

    £6m a year – you’re 3 goals down, you bring on Heskey? Then you bring on SWP? WTF?!?

    And as for Rooney – not scored in an actual tournament for England since 2004 – a disgrace, a complete disgrace. Heskey is shit and we all know he is, but he put more effort into this world cup than Rooney ever did.

    Darren Bent and Theo Walcott and Joe Hart must be laughing their tits off

  • Colin

    @henryv – i’m as angry as you are but i’d disagree, the manager is to blame – he didn’t pick the people choices – we didn’t want heskey or SWP, we wanted adam johnson, we wanted Joe Hart in goal, we didn’t want 442, we didn’t want Gerrard on the left, we wanted Crouch to start.

    Arrrrrrrgh!!!!!!

    Get rid of Capello now!!!

  • Barry Monaghan

    Wverything was wrong about England! Wrong players-wrong system- looking at the England squad youi just could not fancy them when compared to previous squads at previous tournamemts- of course Lampards goal should have stood and it will possibly give the FA and the media something to latch on to, but it was a disgraceful display from overpaid prima donnas, managed by a stubborn man on £6 million a year!!

  • Barry Monaghan

    I feel Capello’s squad didn’t allow enough flexibility either! Hart was the obvious keeper choice; Dawson had a good season at Spurs and Terry could have played on his left at centre half; To me Scott Parker should have had the anchor role with Joe Cole on the left; Gerrard behind Rooney- his subs to include Adam Johnson and Crouch off the bench if things needed to be changed- Capello has to go and give an englishman the job- How about Redknapp???
    PS.thrilled that France got what they deserved- Ireland may not have faired any better but should have been there!!

  • henry vincent lewis

    Colin.
    Nobody agrees on the squad completely as we all have our own ideas.
    I would have picked Crouch also, as he is a good goal-scorer for England, and I would have preferred Dawson etc etc. but that is all HINDSIGHT.
    The players we may have preferred would not have made any difference. Nor would Gerrard behind Rooney etc etc.
    They ALL PLAYED CRAP!!
    The Manager may have made some wrong decisions but the squad are senior pros who performed abysmally.
    New tactics would be wasted on those pathetic losers.

  • alex

    The players are a disgrace but so is the manager, I have never seen an England team so disorganised….. Terry played out of position, Gerrard played out of poisition, stubbornly sticking to 442 formation, Rooney sulking……then Cole on for Milner ??? then Hesky on for Defoe ???? lol Many of those players will never see another world cup, they have wasted their chance…… the worse thing was that this world cup is going begging…. there is no absolutely outstanding team, the german team are there for the taking with a poor defence.

  • alex

    paulg, Its plain to see that this tournement was ripe for the taking and the players on paper are very good. No the problems stem from disorganisation from the start…. they obviously wanted to play 4-5-1 with Gerrard in the centre but because Capello was an idiot over it they sulked and this in turn effected their performances and confidence which in turn led to more moaning and sulking…. Terry played out of position + no pace at the rear = disaster. If an English manager had managed this lot wed have seen far better performances but that doesnt mean the players were a disgrace to the england shirt…… they have shamed all the england players who went before them and given everything.

    The other thing we have to remember is….. the players know there is an upsurge of anger against them….. they read papers, watch tv, read forums they know they are viewed as overpaid premadonnas and that may not have helped either

  • Matt BB

    The inquest will no doubt begin now and we will look to install an english manager, but to be quite frank i think a discrimination of that sort is stupid. The managers role is the only one which you can pick from strength from anywhere, namely the best person for the job.

    I think being an Englishman will have advantages when dealing with english players, but I dont think its anything to do with Capello being foreign that we did so poorly that was down to our players. Whatever formation you play you should be sweeping the likes of algeria, USA, Slovenia to one side with no problems, and then we would have had chance to grow into the tournament instead of meeting one of the stronger sides so early on.

    I would like to see the FA address this fully. We need fewer games at the top level, a winter break and one cup competition. We also need rules on the number of foreginers in our teams to ensure english players get the experience they need at the top level. Our ogalkeeping squad came from Portsmouth, West Ham, Birmingham City. not exactly our best sides. We had to draft in defenders who were prone to injury, played for West Ham or had come out of retirement. In summary perhaps our squad wasnt as good as people thought. Again up front are Heskey, and Crouch the best we have, if thats the case then we are in trouble.

    This game was the worst england game I have seen in watching them for 28 years. We have real issues with our game, and maybe this is a call to arms. In Four years our present 17 and 18 year olds will be old enough to play for the national team, and maybe we need to start fast tracking some.

    • Craig

      @mattbb Agree with all the above but fast tracking would be a disaster. You’d get another crop of Rooneys who are told at age 17 they are going to be world-beaters and swallow the hype. No. Quietly select a few class youngsters and keep them away from the hype-generators (media) in the football equivalent of a boot camp. Let talent emerge at its own speed and nurture it gently.

      • Matt BB

        We arent going to win the euro’s though so we need to start from ground level? Why dont we take Agbonlahor, Walcott, Defoe and Rooney as our strikers – whats the worst that could happen? we would probably go through to the second round, but youd have given those guys experience.

  • Matt BB

    I’d like to see players like :- Ashley Young, Adam Johnson, Stewart Downing, David Bentley, Theo Walcott, Owen Hargreaves, Michael Carrick, Michael Dawson, Andy Carroll, Steve Taylor, Fabian Delph, James Milner, Aaron Lennon, Ben Foster in our lineup. Good young english players who were either on the sidelines or not picked.

  • pete

    Young, Carrick, Hargreaves, Milner – good shout for a midfield quartet once Gerrard and Lampard retire – if all fit. Add Adam Johnson and Theo Walcott and there’s good competition too.

    Defence? Johnson on the right has his spot sewn up for better or worse, if there’s a god in heaven it should be Dawson + 1 other – maybe someone else different like Michael Turner or Steven Taylor. Left-back, it’s Cashley’s spot as long as he wants it, hopefully Kieron Gibbs will get a chance to at least get some experience soon though.

    Up front, Rooney will carry on until he doesn’t want to any more. Why not give Agbonlahor a proper go? He definitely adds something to the side.

    • Matt BB

      agbonlahor definitely, the key though to get out best young players playing in the champions league. Harry Redknapp will see to that next season, but Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal – they wont, and they are the sides who have access to experience at the top level, and the best managers. I would love to see Arsene Wenger take up a role either as England Manager, or with overall responsibility for our youth system.

      When you see Chelsea’s youth team full of foreigners there must be something wrong. I also think teams who develop young english players should be given a premium for doing so. At thte moment the best young english players we have all came from league clubs, Milner, Lennon (our good selves), Young (Watford), Johnson and Downing (Middlesbro) Dawson (forest) or clubs with a youth development policy (West Ham – Defoe, Ferdinand, Lampard, Cole and Cole) yert these clubs are rotting in their respective leagues or at the bottom of the topflight, they get no reward for the work they do, and there has to be incentive.

  • Craig

    Yesterday boils down to two simple maxims:

    England Invents. The rest of the world improves.
    England write the rule book; others improvise.

    As Alexander would say: “Simples”

  • alex

    mattbb i think your too soft on Capello, bottom line is the team was a shower of shit and completely disorganised with key players played out of position. The preparation and team morale obviously non existent….whos to blame for that other than the manager ????
    Yes the players were pathetic and a disgrace but so was the managers performance. The key is winning and sometimes you have to adapt to win. Did Capello actually change anything in order to facilitate that ??? i didnt see anything

  • alex

    Check this out ; a small sample of Chris Waddles infamous rant over the England display…..This is exactly the sort of passion we need from the people running the game in this country

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/8767443.stm

    • Scratching Shed

      @Chareose I saw that and agree. What irritates me more than anything is the pre-Madonna culture we’ve fallen victim to. Shearer was an arrogant tw*t, but even he never stropped like these muppets do. Beckham may have had his faults, but he always gave everything. Capello did the right thing by enforcing order and trying to curb the culture, but the players proved once again that they’re the real boss. Disgraceful.

  • TheReaper08

    I think Fabio was up against it and if he has any sense at all he should get out, he is on a hiding to nothing.

    Player power and no passion to represent your country means it’s not a job worth doing anymore.

    And for all the mugs bemoaning Capello’s tactics it’s wonderful being an armchair manager, I am sure your 4-3-3 works on Champ manager 2010 but this is real world. If players won’t play it doesn’t matter who you pick, what formation or what you say,

    We are talking about a manager with a proven winning record, is it the case that he suddenly and inexpicably became bad ?

    The facts are this, the 11 players selected were good enough to win all the group games and good enough to give a poor Germany side a game, but they didn’t and for that they all need shooting.

    • alex

      Reaper, I agree the players were a disgrace but the decisions of the manager werent exactly logical….. Cmon Gerrard on the left ???? Hes not a winger ! He kept coming inside….idiotic to keep playing our most influential player on the left wing…infact its insane. Pulling Milner off for Cole ??? now you have no width at all. Having your one remaining experienced defender play in a new position ?? Terry. Replacing Defoe with Hesky when you need goals ??? I feel sorry for Capello, theres no way he deserved those sort of performances from a team he was running but at the same time he made some massive gaffs and couldnt communicate himself to the players.

  • alex

    and i know it wont happen but id like to drop rooney from the england team permenantly….. he was a pathetic sulky waste of space who doesnt belong in an england shirt.

  • TheReaper08

    @chareose I would like to drop them all mate, won’t happen but if it was up to me I’d put em all in the bin and start again.

    I would like to refer everyone to an article just published on Clarkeonenil

    http://clarkeonenil.co.uk/front-page/fan-says-fabio-was-fab

    An excellent piece which in the main details the patheticness and hypocrisy of the so called ‘Golden generattion’.

  • henry vincent lewis

    I do agree 100% with Reaper!
    Gerrard came inside plenty of times against Germany and from good positions hit shots that went metres wide!!
    I don’t care if he had played behind Rooney or even half way up his backside, it would NOT cover up our SLOW midfield players like Barry, Lampard and Milner (as well as he played in patches). Our TERRIBLE technique in controlling the ball and passing!! Our DIABOLICAL corners and freekicks (apart from Lampard hitting the bar – still a miss!!)
    I am sure the manager communicated EXACTLY what he wanted to those wimpetts!!
    I wonder what our soldiers in Iraq and Alfganistan thought about the effort??!!

  • Matt BB

    At that level you’re supposed to be dealing with professionals at the top of their game, it isnt a huge ask for gerrard to play on the left linking up with wayne rooney. I think there was some rigidity in our tactics, but you need a game plan, and it seemed to me that every other team just got on with what they were told to do. Maybe I am being soft on capello, and as a manager its his job to get the players to be motivated.. not sure but i have to say that the chief portion of blame sits with the players not him.

  • TheReaper08

    @henryv Better players than Gerrard have been asked to play out wide in the past and done a proffessional and dare I say it very good job, Zidane, Henry ?

    @mattbb I don’t think you are being soft on Capello, mos of us had high hopes. Fact is no matter how hard you rub you can’t polish a turd. Until the attitude and application is addressed we won’t be achieveing anything for another 44 years !

    • Scratching Shed

      @TheReaper08 To be fair, Henry was naturally a winger. Wenger moved him to centre-forward when he signed him, so it was no major leap for Scary.

      • TheReaper08

        @TSS That was just two prominent examples, for the record we are talking about where players consider there best position, if you asked Henry his best position he would tell you he is a centre forward.

        If you give me a while I give you a whole list of consumate proffessionals that have done a good & proffessional job for the country not playing what they consider to be there best position.

        • Scratching Shed

          @TheReaper08 No need, I agree with what you’re saying. I was just pointing out that Henry is naturally a winger (hence the pace), whereas Gerrard only seems suited to central midfield. I’m bored of accommodating Lampard at Gerrard’s expense. Lampard is rubbish for England.

          • TheReaper08

            @TSS I am sick of accomodating all of them. We have two years to get some young hungry international players ready for the Euro’s.

          • pete

            @TheReaper08 At this World Cup alone, I count Phillip Lahm, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lukas Podolski.

            It still baffles me that Xavi and Iniesta get shifted around to accomodate Busquets and Alonso.

    • Matt BB

      it has to be that with the england squad, plenty of other players have had as gruelling a season as them, and youd have thought the cold weather would have given us an advantage.. Why on earth do they all think they’ve earnt their money off of the back of being tactical geniuses, and not simply for booting the ball into the stands, or sticking it between the posts? They are good sportsmen, but as so many smart a*se staff find out being a manager isnt as easy as it looks when it comes to their turn.

      Four Four Two works when players speak to each other, and stick to their position and gameplan, which we just didnt do, where was Barry when Klose ripped forward, he should have been all over him to the extent that Terry didnt have to try and wrestle with him – and wasnt that horrfiying! I think Lubo could have stopped him! Likewise if Upson had covered the near post for their second, then Glen Johnson would have had time to cover podolski, i seem to remember saying our flat footed central defenders were a liability on this blog..

      Time for something new, I dont thnk capello going is the answer at all, I think giving him some proper support is. 2 weeks to find out if he has a job – thats about as disrespectful as it gets.

  • henry vincent lewis

    Every manager who has been knocked out of the world cup will be questioning their decisions, tactics and player choice.
    Mr Capello will be doing the same and he may get the push, as may a few others, because they carry the can!
    But it is the players who make the failure possible/assured.
    Look at our own beloved Leeds and the managers that have come and gone. The players stop playing well and start losing and the manger gets the boot.
    What would Simon’s position have been if we had failed again?

  • Matt BB

    its true, the manager does carry the can, and thats in pretty much any job.. Having said that the staff have to do as their told in most real jobs, so you have a fighting chance.

    I too would like to see us start from the bottom up and play a strong XI of good players, Rooney is probably the only one out there who has the potential to be a world beater, but he was unfit, on that basis its time to bring in a good boatload of young players, as said before, Young, Agbonlahor, Johnson, Downing, Bentley, and to be honest if it puts gerrard lampard and terrys noses out of joint – good.

  • alex

    lol Rooney wasnt unfit…..he was just sulking!!!

    And this ” the teams tired ” excuse they have come up with ???? Loads of foreign premiership players are doing fine in the world cup. Its just our bunch who were already thinking about soaking up the sun on their luxury yachts before they stepped out on the turf against Germany….

    Eddie Grey is probably right on the kids too, there isnt strength in depth currently so dont expect miracles.

  • alex