I have accepted the fact that England are rubbish, it may not be constructive but it’s not far from the truth.
When you look at our other World cups and Euro failures there is a pattern that exists over the past twenty years, at the 2010 WC in South Africa we were horrible to watch but managed to get out of the group much like a slug begging to be put out of its misery, we played small nations struggled then played Germany and got smashed 4 -2, It could have been much worse.
If you look at the Euros in 2012 we also played bad football, I think we were voted the worse team in the tournament and went out to Italy who controlled the game completely and we defended for 80 minutes like a nation new to big competitions, we went out on penalties as the Italians could not thread a ball past the two buses we had in goal.
So back to the present and I have to say I felt like a part of me had died when England got dumped out of this years World Cup, there was something missing, or should I say two things missing from the England team, I think you either have to have one or the other, if you have both you win the World Cup, if you have one you make it to the Quarter final stage at least, these two things ? 1, To have World class players in your team, ideally at least three players, at present, England have zero, that 2nd thing would be to play as a team, and have a real team ethic, England from my time have not shown a team good ethic since Glenn Hoddles 1998 side, some would argue that the spirit was built by Terry Venables and taken on by Glenn Hoddle, either way, the teams of 1996 and 1998 had some great players but more than anything it was the team that managed to take on the world with confidence, each player played with a sense of trust in his team mates.
The present team of 2014 showed a glimmer of entertaining play against the Italians, but when the answers were being asked at the crunch time in the game, a lot of our players were looking around to see who was willing to take the game by the scruff of the neck, I would argue that Rooney, Gerrard & Cahill tried to do this but they were simply not good enough or did not have that level of class to do so, matched with a team lacking in experience the resulting pitiful World Cup exit was not that hard to predict, the three players mentioned are good team players, not World class players, if you added Pirlo, Suarez and Van Persie to the England team you would fancy our chances, in a perfect world, I guess we would all be very bored, so instead we are stuck in reality.
Alonso was quoted yesterday as saying the Spanish World champions reign ended because the players were no longer hungry, I think there are elements of this with the England team, even though based on their half a century of losing you would think they would be starving, instead I look at Costa Rica who have players who move as one, and battle and fight for each other, all of England’s players are earning a fortune, they all drive top of the range sports cars, live in mansions, and never have to solve or deal with banal issues that most of us do.
I think there is an element of our players being cuddled in the most entertaining league in the world, it may be the most entertaining but it is probably third or fourth in the quality stakes, so while Gerrard and co look like superstars in the Premier league, when they meet real quality teams they soon realise they are not as good as they thought they were.
All of the top four in a our league have foreign players as their key men, our English players simply play supporting roles in the show that is the Premier league, this World Cup has made our guys look like TV extras, I can enjoy the World Cup now, but it will take me a good while to believe in a England team again.