And then it gets worse!

An average display against the Yanks, followed up by a dismal display against Algeria sums up England’s World Cup so far. The Three Lions cowered under the pressure last night, and a nervous, below-par England never looked like beating a poor Algerian side.

The tongue-in-cheek headline of the New York Post following our draw with the USA instantly sprung to mind as the Algerian’s celebrated like they’d won the World Cup. The front page of the New York Post last week read ‘USA wins 1-1′ and to England fans, it felt like a defeat. Even the embarrassment of failing to beat the Yanks can’t contend with that of drawing to the Algerians.

The USA are a team we expect to beat as routine, but even the slightest suggestion a game against Algeria could finish in anything less than a convincing win to England would be laughed at. England are such a class apart from the two countries we’ve played so far, that this really is two defeats as far as I’m concerned.

As the papers analyse the performance of England over the next few days and scrutinise the performances of players and management alike, the England parties nerves will grow as they know Wednesday could be their final game of a disappointing World Cup. Only a win against Slovenia can guarantee England’s qualification to the next round, but with the Slovenian’s only needing a draw, it’s going to be tough.

England fans should brace themselves for a tense 90 minutes as Slovenia park the bus in front of their goal and hoof clear at every opportunity. If England struggle to break through, you can expect the nerves to start showing and another painful display like last night.

Despite our failings, somehow, a win is all we need. One moment of magic from eleven superstars isn’t asking too much, surely?

  • Richard

    Look on the bright side Kewell was just sent off for the socceroos :-)

  • les irwin

    what has gone on with england .i love to watch england and go to as many england games as i can .iam in the supporters club but something is not right .every thing has gone to pot starting with team selection there has been some really strang decisions starting with not naming the team earlier ,he is not playing his best 11 and how did heskey get on that plane .then there is rooney por lad is under too much pressure ,slovenia are a better team than algeria and have more to play for so it could be difficult although i predict a win

  • Craig Millward

    I keep taking a look at the group we are in and can’t believe we are in the mess we are. There really is no other group I’d rather England were playing in and yet we haven’t managed to take any encouragement from the gift that has been handed to us on a plate. This time last year each fixture would have looked like little more than a glorified training match preparing the team for the knockout rounds but we’ve managed to royally screw it up. I’m lost for words – except those above of course!

  • henry vincent lewis

    It really annoys me when the media blames the manager.
    We never got as far as tactics against a Algeria.
    We could not control the ball, or pass to each other.
    Our corners and free kicks were dreadful.
    We had no energy at all!!
    Lampard could have left the pitch and watched the game on telly for all the good he was.
    Rooney walked around as if he was trying to figure out where he was and could not even hold the ball for 2 seconds.
    Terry, who played really well against the USA was a mess.
    Lennon and Wright-Phillips were horrible!
    I have seen England bad on many occasions but this was
    a nightmare.
    If the ref had given us 20 minutes extra time, we would have never scored.
    Heskey was Heskey. We don’t want him!!!!
    Barry, James and Carragher were head and shoulders above the rest.
    As if playing Gerrard (also crap!) behind Rooney would have made any difference!!!
    Thank goodness we got promoted or I would have been really peed off!!

    Henry.

  • TheReaper08

    It was the worst performance I have seen in many many years. Based just on the performances last night I wouldn’t have any of them playing for us in the Championship.

    An absolute shower.

  • Mike

    Well I am not at all surprised
    They should have been playing for the shirt, for England. The boss is a Wop!
    Say no more.

  • Matt BB

    It seemed like our first touch completely left us last night, passing was the issue, and what was most annoying were those moments, about three, where we did actually put something together and f*cked it up. Its got to be nerves and capello is one of the worlds best coaches, he’ll sort this against slovenia. Rooney has been poor and he knows it, i expect a showstopper from him. This is like writing on a leeds game…

    • TheReaper08

      @mattbb I hope so mate, I had real high hopes for this tournament, I really thought we could do something. I have to say I haven’t been overly impressed with any of the teams.

  • Scratching Shed

    @TheReaper08 Strange, isn’t it? I don’t recall a World Cup ever being so underwhelming. The teams you expect to perform and excite have failed almost completely. That’s probably the only consoling point for England, in that, the teams ranked alongside us are suffering just as much.

    • TheReaper08

      I don’t think the Europeans are coping with the altitude, Holland have been the most effective but even they are not totally convincing, England and France are cack, Germany flatter to deceive (as I pointed out after they played that pub side Australia), Italy laboured and eveyone’s favourites Spain were beaten.

      For me the biggest disappointment and with no case for the defence is the African sides, they have looked really really poor, what has happened to Nigeria and Cameroon ?

      • Craig Millward

        @TheReaper08 I’ve not seen many of the matches so far due to family bereavement and travel but I thought only one of the venues was at altitude. Am I wrong?

        • Scratching Shed

          @Craig @TheReaper08 No, you’ve got a good point Craig. The second match was in Cape Town, which is at sea level. I went there myself a few years ago. Amazing city, and most definitely not at altitude.

          First game was at altitude though. It was in Rustenburg which is 1100m above sea level, so maybe Reaper’s point is that the players are struggling with switching altitudes? It does mess with your head a bit to be fair.

          • TheReaper08

            Also there are varying weather at the different altitudes which isn’t helping, one minute it’s boiling hot and next it’s the bleak mid winter.

            I also read the other day that if you train at altitude for sport at altitude then the monet you drop back to normal level all your hard work is undone. For instance the experts reckon it was counter productive going to Austria for altitude training only to return to Wembley for a friendly, evefrything you have trained for is then undone.

          • Scratching Shed

            A change of altitude definitely messes with your system. Tiredness was the biggest effect I noticed personally, and that would seem to be true of the England squad. They didn’t close down, the passing looked strained and the movement we usually see was non-existent.

  • Marc Butterworth

    I for one have been saying all along that we would not get out of the group. The fact of the matter is that the england team is made up of clurless overpaid over rated prima donna’s. We have been going backwards as a national team for 10 years now. Too many players are selected because of who they are instead of what they can do. Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard. When was the last time these players really put in a great shift as an england player?

    We are now no more than an average national team. We have dropped to the level of teams like Switzerland, USA, Serbia and Algeria. That is our level so get used to it.

    Utter gardbage. That’s what we are and that is what we will be for some time to come….. Utter Garbage..

  • alex

    Firstly Gerrard and Rooney are sulking because Capello wont let Rooney go alone up front with five in midfeild and because hes determined to play Gerrard (our best midfeilder out of position. Im also tired of this obession england managers have with Lampard. Hes a complete waste of time for England, Gerrard belongs in his position with Cole on the left. Finally sulking isnt acceptable and is just an example of what weak willed patheticly pampered premadonnas we have playing for us. The England of the 80s would have done what Capello wanted and fought like lions even if they didnt agree with it. The Boss was the Boss and this is the fucking world cup fffsakes !!!!! unbeleivable…… Even a below par leeds united would of beaten Algeria !!! And you may find its this pampered attitude that is the cause of the entire world cup malaise…. maybe players just dont value representing their countries as much as they used to. I expect england to raise there game v slovenia, stagger to a 1-0 win and then a slow death as we exit the finals in disgrace

    • Craig Millward

      I agree with you about the attitude of the players Chareose but is there any evidence for your opening observations? I’ve not really been following the WC until now for reasons above.

  • Matt BB

    Gerrard, lampard, rooney,j cole would all walk into the lineup of inter milan, barcelona and real madrid so lets not get down on them.. They need belief and that comes from us as well as them, yes they were sh1te last night but we’ve all had bad days at work, they’ll sort it out. This was a jolt for them.

    • Scratching Shed

      @mattbb That’s the most frustrating thing about England. Most of the players on the pitch have been successful at club level and could walk into most of the better teams in Europe. Algeria’s best players meanwhile, play for the English equivalent to Rushden & Diamonds

    • Marc Butterworth

      Personally mattbb, I am fucking sick of pampering these over paid, over ego’d flops. If playing for their country is not enough to get them motivated, or getting paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a year is not enough then they should fuck off and get another job. I get paid a fraction of what they get paid, and I dont require my boss on his knees telling me how fabulous I am, to be able to do my job. Fuck them, they played shit and deserved to get boo’d. Rooney should be made to apologise to the fans for what he said and should be docked 2 months pay.

      I am fucking sick of supporting these underperforming, self loving dickheads. Fuck them all…

      There, rant over…. Come on England.

    • Craig Millward

      They need the kind of jolt that would render the whole team unconscious.

  • alex

    The difference between a great international sportman and an average one is mentality….. Pele, Vanbasten, Maldini all did it when it counted. Rooney ?? he just sulked lol

    Id drop him personaly, id drop most of the team until they learnt to respect playing for their country but the fickle english press and fans would soon moan if you lost. Maybe we are a victim of ourselves aswell…..

    They are too arrogant. The likes of Stuart Pearce even Gazza would have played anywhere in any formation and given everything….the only thing that mattered was winning and glory……….

  • Matt BB

    Give our manager some credit hehas plenty of experience of prima donnas, if he cracks now and gives into their egos and lets them slip back into their old bad habits his prior work will have been worthless, i think the players need to get together and think through their priorities. They shojld have swept aside america and algeria but they failed to do so the answer is teamwork, but capello needs to drop heskey and play gerrard and rooney up front moreover..

  • henry vincent lewis

    Well said Matt!!
    The press and TV pundits and the radio( Talksport in particular) could not wait to put the boot in.
    This manager was picked because he was successful and could handle ‘big’ (RICH) players.
    They have been together a long time now winning nearly all their games.
    All of a sudden, because the team have lost their bottle, it is the managers fault.
    He should be nicer to them and put his arms around them and this will help them to control the ball!!!!
    I don’t think so.
    They are saying we should appoint Harry Rednapp as he gets on well with his players!!
    We have had a string of managers who got on great with their players:-
    Greenwood: Keegan: Hoddle: Robson: Sven the bonker: Venables etc.
    We did NOT WIN anything with them and the team played crap!!!
    Sir Alf makes Mr Capello look like Ken Dodd when it comes to toughness and unbendability.
    He stuck to his guns and ruled the players with an iron fist AND WE WON THE WORLD CUP!!!
    I don’t think he smiled even after we had won it!!
    The media are the scum of the earth, but they say you get the media you deserve!!
    They manipulate us and tell lie after lie!!
    The squad are all millionaires many times over, and controlling them is virtually impossible.
    If we had won our two games the squad would all be happy campers. It’s as simple as that!!

    • Craig Millward

      Well said Henry. Nothing to add to that fine summary.

  • TheReaper08

    Can I just say what a magnificent performance by New Zealand today, proper World Cup magic and all this despite playing the defending champions and the referee for 90 minutes.

  • Colin

    I think TalkSport et al have every reason to have a go at that England performance. It wasn’t bad because England made mistakes, it’s because they lacked passion.

    England should pick players through their performances – that’s why Milner, Lampard, Terry, Ashley Cole should be in there – you know what you’re going to get from them.

    Gary Neville, Sheringham, Shearer, Ince, Batty, Platt, Adams – maybe they were great players, maybe not, but what you knew is exactly what you were going to get from them and they did consistently.

    Okay, Heskey has played really really well I think, but he shouldn’t be there. SWP, Rio, Ledley King – they shouldn’t have gone – they haven’t done enough consistently this season. And I really doubt that Joe Cole is the saviour for England also. 1 good goal against Man Utd and he’s in the 23? Darren Bent gets 25 goals this season and doesn’t get into the 23?? And I don’t get all this Gerrard is great/play him with Rooney business either – 12 goals, hmmm WOW. Frank Lampard got 27 this season when not playing in his best position.

    Is it me or have the FA just paid Capello £6m a year to pick the same players that Steve McClaren did???

    • Scratching Shed

      @timm The problem I have with TalkSport and all the other media organisations slating England at the minute is how quickly they jump over the fence. They go from worshipping the manager to calling him a fool in minutes. One minute the discipline is what the squad need, the next they need compassion. It’s ridiculous, and the English media are as much to blame as anyone. They create this defeatist mentality.

      • Craig Millward

        @TSS Without a doubt, our opportunistic media (the tabloid elements at least) have fostered a culture of blame and over-reaction.

        I’ve seen the process unfolding in my own father who has gone from being an intelligent observer of the world to an angry and bigoted critic of everyone who doesn’t fit his own narrow categories. It has been a mixture of Talksport and a particular tabloid newspaper (not the one that immediately springs to mind) that has narrowed his worldview into little more than simplistic generalisations and we can no longer have a reasonable conversation about anything that matters. Very sad.

  • neil

    i think things need to be put into perspective.even though we should be beating these teams,no one is easy anymore.all of the lesser nations have improved signifcantly in recent years and i think because of our own high expectations we dont recognise how these teams have improved or give them the respect they deserve.as a great footballing nation we should of won the world cup more than once but no one has a right to win it,it has to be earnt,apart from argentina in 86 who cheated there way to the cup and also the same when they won it in 78,every other nation has probably deserved to win it.on our recent performance’s,i could live with loseing every game and coming bottom of the group if all the players looked like they were playing with pride and passion.to me it looks like they are playing to get rid of the manager or am i just being synical?anyway on a brighter note,not all is loast,i can remeber back in 86 when we were just as bad in our first 2 games and had to beat poland who on form were expected to beat us,we hammerd them 3 nil and played brilliantly,so chins up,all is not lost just yet !!

    • Craig Millward

      I can’t believe they are playing to get rid of the manager – not after such a positive qualifying campaign.

  • henry vincent lewis

    I agree with you Colin that Talksport have a right to criticise England’s performance. That is fact!
    What they shouldnot do is make things up/speculate about the manager and players.
    They were discussing replacing the manager with Harry Rednapp last week. The best manager we have had for a long time. Whatever the subject they have two presenters who each take an opposite ‘view’ so we will ring up in agreement or anger. You cannot agree with both.
    They are more about ‘entertainment’ than truth. We can only discuss what we KNOW. What we can SEE.
    I.E. the team performance.
    The other thing that comes into play now is ‘hindsight’.
    We should have played this player. We should have picked these players for the squad etc!!!
    The teams Capello put out were more than capable to win those games.
    The performance was dreadful.
    Once they step over the white line they are on their own.

    All is not lost yet!!

    • Craig Millward

      Anyone who uses hindsight as the basis for any argument is an egotistical coward. They know that no one can prove them wrong and, in their own eyes at least, they come to firmly believe they could do better.

      • TheReaper08

        How right you are Craig, Mr I.N.Hindsight is the greatest football manager that ever lived !

        I am starting to suspect that the power players have at club level is slowly starting to slip into international games. Look at the French babies, just because you don’t like the guy in charge doesn’t give you an excuse to stop playing, for my money the England players simply haven’t performed.

        If you took one player, two players out and replaced them with J,Cole, M.Carrick, M.Dawson et al you would still have 9 other players that didn’t look remotely interested.

        • Craig Millward

          @TheReaper08 What I’m about to write might appear treasonous but hear me out.

          I am coming to believe that the best thing for English football might be for us to be humiliated (once again) on Wednesday night and the players to return home utterly dejected and subject to the derision they deserve. My reasons:

          1) We aren’t going to get much further anyway – the players all look tired and out of sorts
          2) English players desperately need a reality check – they may be rich celebrities within their little bubble but it is not the real world
          3) The FA will be forced to address the utter farce it has created by selling itself to the Sky-god and losing its soul in the process
          4) More cash may be diverted to the grass roots of the English game instead of the pockets of the lazy bastards who falsely equate wealth with talent
          5) I’ll be able to enjoy the rest of the World Cup as a neutral

          • Craig Millward

            I’ll still be secretly hoping we win on Wednesday afternoon though!

          • Colin

            I don’t care what any of the England team say, there has to be something wrong in the camp. Rooney was top scorer in the qualifying campaign and I think looks second best to Heskey! At least Heskey tried, I want to see Rooney treading that fine line between greatness and getting himself sent off. I saw a picture of the team lining up for the photo before the game – Ashley Cole, David James and Carragher had a smile on their face. The rest looked like they were about to be physically sick.

            From the kick-off, Frank couldn’t get a 10 foot pass on target to Gerrard. Those players have had pressure before – so I don’t buy that. But it just looked like they were mainly scared to make a mistake. I saw David James using the f word so many times when trying to find a player to pass to. I think Carragher and Ashley Cole showed they were of the opinion of ‘sod it, i don’t care if I make a mistake, let’s just do this’ but the others looked scared. They bottled it.

            Bloody hell – I’m a leeds and england fan and england look like they’re going through the same drop in form that leeds did after the man utd game.

  • pete

    OK, without the benefit ouf hindsight here…

    Upson in for suspended Carragher. Good choice for experience. He has that, Dawson doesn’t. IMO Dawson is the better defender, but you can’t tell somebody what it’s like to play international football, you have to experience it, which Upson has.

    Defoe surely should get a chance? He’s a greedy little so and so, when he gets a sight of goal, he’ll go for goal. England need goals, not build-up play.

  • Colin

    2 games gone and we’re down to our 5th choice centre back (behind Rio, Terry, Ledley, Carragher) but I’m sure that Upson can do a job and I’m a bit annoyed that Capello put him so far down the pecking order after being a regular in the qualifying campaign.

    My concern is what team he puts out on wednesday – if he picks Joe Cole, then he’ll have to put him on the left or behind Rooney. If on the left, that means that he’ll drop Lennon and play Gerrard on the right. If up front then, he drops Heskey, but Cole hasn’t played behind Rooney before and yet again it leaves no place for Crouch or Defoe.

    I agree Pete that England need goals but this is what worries me about Capello – he is a very defensive manager by trade. If he wanted goals he should have taken Bent. Because he’s defensive I think he’ll stick with Barry and that means 4-4-2. And I reckon he’ll stick with the same team apart from Upson for Carragher. Which annoys me because at the moment neither Heskey or Rooney look like scoring a goal. I wouldn’t mind seeing Crouch and Defoe up there together for the next game – surely they could get a goal against Slovenia, but he won’t do it. http://www.annoyed.com

  • TheReaper08

    I would bin John Terrry, he is a nasty piece of work and as stated above does absolutely nothing for team harmony. You tried leading your mutiny JT you treacherous little vermin, it didn’t work so it’s time to fall on your sword. We look so out of sorts I would play Upson & Dawson and hope to bring some pride back into the shirt.

    • Craig Millward

      Have I missed something – or am I not reading the right papers? What has Terry done?

      • Scratching Shed

        @Craig Have you read any paper today? It was front page of them all mate!

  • Craig Millward

    Forget that – I have just read the new post from TSS.

  • Incontinentia Buckets

    Our problem has been (mainly !) in Midfield. Poor, ponderous and predicatable passes. Too much fear of losing possession up the field and exposing our glacial centre-backs. Soooooooo : 4-2-3-1. Barry and (yes) Carrick protecting Slow and Slower but simultaneously releasing JohnsonPT and Cashley to go over the half way line. JokeHole, Gerrard and Lennon with little/no defensive responsibilities whatsoever and Rooney up front to, err, score. Harsh on Heskey, ’bout bloody time on Lampard. Throw The Great Kahli (Crouch) and Mini-Me (Defoe) on up front for the last 20 minutes and put some snow on it if we’re desperate. Easy, now where’s my 6million ?