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Spastics on Plastic...

Wednesday, 17 October 2007












Maybe I am in the minority here, but from what I saw of England against Russia, they were particularly poor. Full of graft and hard work but lacking any creativity and ability to hold on to the ball, a criticism we have leveled at England for far too many years now. For a team like England and all the talent they have, to be in this position, in a relatively "easy" qualification group is insane. Lets rewind back to January 2007, when the draw took place, this was Sven's reaction to the draw and probably the reaction of all of us at the time.

"I think England should be happy with that draw. I'm convinced they will pass through rather easily."

Now let's fast forward back to the present.

Steve McClaren is handed the job, and then suddenly things go downhill, and i bet it makes you want Sven back. Its like when you dump your girlfriend because she nags too much, but then you get a new one who refuses to go down on you. I know which one I would prefer to have. Anyway, lets get back to the issue at hand. England lost 2-1 to Russia away from home, which now leaves them in a very precarious position, and like a teenage boy getting his first hand job, their fate is no longer in their hands.

So, whose to blame?

1 - The plastic pitch?

Surely any professional football player should be able to play on any surface. When you get paid over 50 grand a week, you should be able to play on concrete, sand and water let alone an artificial pitch.

2 - Paul Robinson aka Paul Roflinson?

Maybe he should have pushed the ball wider for the second goal, but I think its getting a bit boring discussing how bad he is, let's just remove him from the team as soon as possible, before he really costs England......Oh wait.

3 - The players

Lets be totally honest here, some of England's big name stars simply haven't shown up in this qualifying campaign. From Rooney to Lampard to Gerrard, they simply haven't performed like world class players should.

4 - The manager

McClown is simply a man who bottles it more than Coca Cola. Apply a bit of pressure and he crumbles like a digestive bicuit that's been drowned in tea. To be totally honest, who can really give him credit for including Barry and Richards, when it was a decision forced upon him due to injury. His substitutions in the game were hilarious. Bringing on Downing, a player who hasnt played for england in months and putting him at left back, a position he has probably never played before, simply reeks of pure stupidity. Would I ask my grandma to be my wingman? Exactly. Hiddink makes changes that win Russia the game, McClaren makes changes that make you question your own sanity.

5- The Russian players

Who would have thought that a player with a name like Arshavin (pronounced Arse shaving) would possess so much quality.

6- The referee

Many will blame the referee, it was a poor decision to give a penalty. In the second half England simply could not keep the ball, and it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Russia got an equalizer. These decisions do even themselves though, remember the Russian disallowed goal at Wembley?

Regardless of what excuses you can use, there is no denying that England have not been good enough in the big games in this qualifying campaign, and that draw at home to Macedonia could really cost England now. Until an England side learn how to play keep ball, I really cant see much success coming in the near future.

Here are my player ratings for the match.

Robinson - Piss poor positioning, he has the handling of a 12 yr old Nissan Micra on ice. Very Poor - 4

Lescott - Simply wasnt ready to play at left back, and with this performance and that haircut, he should have been left back in the UK. - 5

Ferdinand - Very solid as usual, but he had some scary moments. He will miss the Croatia game, which is a blow. - 7

Campbell. - Superb and was probably England's best player, making some very important blocks to keep Russia at bay. - 8

Richards - Strong and as solid as always. - 7

SWP - Shaun Wright is a good player, but he is nowhere near as good as the BBC likes to make you think, and his delivery isn't exactly parcel force. - 6

Gerrard - Not at his best, and on current form shouldn't really have the armband. Missed a good opportunity too. - 6

Barry -Still brilliant, and really looks like one of the few midfield players who should be one of the first names on the team sheet. - 8

Joe Cole - I don't approve of him diving like a gymnast, but no one can deny that his hard work was not brilliant, he has clearly added graft to all his skill. - 7

Rooney - Simply brilliant goal, but i will have to minus points for that awful awful swan dive just after the penalty decision. - 6.5

Owen - Didn't really get much service, and the Russian defender who allowed him to get that header to assist Rooney really should be ashamed of himself, hes only like 5 "6. - 6

So England's chances for qualification basically come down to Russia going to Israel and getting a result, if they do that then it will be the first time England have failed to qualify for a tournament since 1994. I am not a conspiracy theorist but the Avram and Roman connection may not bode well for England.




2 Responses to "Spastics on Plastic..."

Super Sven Says:

England are shite, plain and simple. It all comes from the grass roots, they simply haven't got the technical ability to be successful.

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