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England hoping to avoid another Black Wednesday

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David Bond | 17:52 UK time, Tuesday, 22 June 2010

World Cup 2010: Port Elizabeth

It is Football Tuesday in South Africa. But all England fans can think about as they arrive in this faded seaside town is the prospect of Black Wednesday.
 
England supporters who have spent thousands of pounds travelling to South Africa are angry about the way their team have played so far at this World Cup.
 
Faced with the prospect of becoming the first England team since 1958 not to make it beyond the group stages, it is clear they want to see more effort and commitment from Fabio Capello's team against Slovenia on Wednesday.
 
On a Budget day in the United Kingdom which has once again brought into sharp focus the economic difficulties the nation still faces, many supporters I spoke to in Port Elizabeth felt England's highly paid players have lost touch with the fans.

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John Terry's complaints about boredom at England's Royal Bafokeng training complex and Wayne Rooney's criticism of supporters who booed the team after the listless 0-0 draw with Algeria have played badly being perceived as arrogance.
 
"I wish I could get paid their money for sitting around a hotel all day and then playing the odd game of football," one supporter told me.
 
It is important to state that the amount of money paid to England players during international duty is not on the same scale as the sums they receive when they play for their clubs.
 
Although their teams are reimbursed by the Football Association from a central pool set aside by Fifa, the players receive a relatively small match fee - which they give to charity anyway - plus a share of commercial revenue generated during the World Cup.
 
But many fans still feel that the players' super-rich lifestyles make it harder for them to understand why the supporters are so unhappy with the way the team have performed here.

Port Elizabeth was founded in 1820 to house British settlers and will feel the most familiar of all the cities England have played in so far in South Africa.
 
With its colonial buildings, churches and seaside pier, it feels like it could be Hastings or Eastbourne rather than the Eastern Cape.
 
Come Wednesday afternoon, however, it could become the latest destination on England's World Cup tour of misery, joining Gelsenkirchen in 2006, Shizuoka in 2002 and St Etienne in 1998.
 

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Capello's decision to publicly rebuke his former captain, Terry, over his remarks in Sunday's extraordinary press conference shows he is not a man for turning. Any hint of player dissent has been snuffed out by the Italian.
 
But his hardline approach has raised two worrying questions.
 
While he clearly couldn't be bounced into changing his ways by the players, did he need to risk alienating Terry by slapping him down so publicly, saying he had made a "big mistake"?
 
And was Terry reflecting wider concerns among all the players when he spoke out about boredom and a desire to see Joe Cole in the team?
 
He may have shown his players - and Terry in particular - who is boss. But what will that show of managerial might be worth if England are flying home on Thursday evening?

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Come on David.

    You've been beating the same downbeat drum since the first match.

    Lets have a bit of enthuisiasm or failing that some great English blind optimism!!!

    :D

  • Comment number 2.

    Does Capello really want England to win? He takes and starts with a striker - Heskey - whose goal scoring record is very poor 1 per 9 games for his latest club and worse in an International shirt.

    He also takes ans starts with a central defender - King - whose fitness is so dubious that he doesn't even kick a ball in the back garden with his son.

    Two selections that make me wonder whether he would be happier losing than winnuing.....

  • Comment number 3.

    Lets hope England get knocked out and people can stop deluding themseleves as to the ability of a very poor team.

    England will never win with a goalkeeper and a defender from a club that barely avoided relegation and unless Capello is brave enough to drop lampard and rooney, who haven't perofrmed, england will struggle.

    Saying that, taking Hesky out the team might help. Then the players wont be tempted to just hoof the ball forward and they might start playing. Of course, that doesn't mean just replace him with the lanky and useless Peter Crouch. Same problem, different players.

  • Comment number 4.

    As long as Capello is there I dont think we will win. It will be too late after we have lost sack him NOW
    He plays all the players out of their natural position.
    Sack Capello, install Beckham as interim manager. He will let the players play in their natural position. This must be good.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    @charlie

    See you say that about Heskey, yet he has been one of the better players in both of the games and if you deny that then you're blinded by pure dislike for the fella. Against algeria he was the only one who was troubling the defenders and pressuring the back 4, he doesn't score many no, but the way that he's played in the past two games, as well as setting up england's only goal shows the reason he's in the team, so he should've scored against USA when he made the break through, but at least he managed to create the chance, our "star" striker rooney has probably had about 2 or 3 efforts most of long range efforts due to frustration.

    As for King it's a case of, i think it was a case of if he was fit i'll play him, it's not like there were many other better options for England at CB, i personally think it's unjust on Dawson not to be playing instead of Carragher or Upson since both of them have been very poor this season whereas he has been exceptional at the back for spurs, and Carragher just looks off the pace at the WC.

    Bent or Zamora were the only other real options, but Bent has never turned it on for England and Zamora ruled himself out for surgery

  • Comment number 7.

    #4

    Sack Capello, install Beckham as interim manager. He will let the players play in their natural position. This must be good.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Install Becks as manager? Have you lost all touch with reality! Appoint a soccer fashionista? Maybe he can teach them his Ben Stiller 'Blue Steel' look (from Zoolander). As a Scot my natural inclination is to say yes please do this, it would be such a laugh it really would!

  • Comment number 8.

    As long as Capello is there I dont think we will win. It will be too late after we have lost sack him NOW
    He plays all the players out of their natural position.
    Sack Capello, install Beckham as interim manager. He will let the players play in their natural position. This must be good.

    ----

    Only Gerrard was played out of his 'natural' position actually, and replacing Capello with Beckham is just ridiculous suggestion. I think you're forgetting that the players are most culpable for England's abysmal results so far, the manager can only do so much when most of his players goes missing in a match.

    Saying that Capello hasn't been inspiring either, his substitutions like SWP and Crouch hasn't made any difference so far, and his half time team talk seems equally uneffective.

    This can all change, we need to get behind the lads, we are not out! The team have players with ability contrary to what some people have said on here (FIFA World Player of the Year 2009: Gerrard 8th, Rooney 10th, Lampard 11th, Terry 12th).

    Let's hope for a passionate and unrestrained performance on Wednesday! And a good win!

  • Comment number 9.

    I think you'll find we're going to win emphatically against Slovenia, c'mon England!!!

  • Comment number 10.

    Aw, come on. As a foreigner (I'm Norwegian) who supports England in the World Cup I am always exasperated by the manic depressive attitude of English media and sometimes its fans. Now it's great, now it's not, etc etc.

    The match against Algeria was shambolic, the one against USA somewhat better but still poor. However now there has been enough complaining - much of which perhaps is warranted but that is beside the point. Tomorrow there is a big match, win that and it might go far indeed. Now is the time to forget about the grumbles and be positive!

    Sod the arrogance, forget the highly paid manager, ignore the stupid "bored" statements - recall them on Thursday if you must but for now, just get behind the team, show a bit of positive attitude and hope. You can always complain on Thursday!

  • Comment number 11.

    Alright, I'm not saying that England have performed amazing, or well, or to a standard that an under 12 side could play, but people are been a bit harsh. Look at it this way; France are out, Spain have 3 points out of a possible 6, so have Portugal, and Italy have only 2 just like England. You cant just criticize England for the way there playing, When we've the same amount of points as the world champions. Capello is one of the best managers we've had. He's stuck to his tactics like a manager should, and I hope it pays off for him. All he has to do is tell the team who's playing more time in advance than what he's been doing, so they can work out different corner plays and freekicks, and I bet we start playing alot better.

  • Comment number 12.

    Two dodgy games; the end of the world is upon us. Some support for the team in your articles would be welcome David.

  • Comment number 13.

    Its not the team I would have chosen.
    Its not the system I would have played.

    But we will win. I'm convinced.

    3-0. You heard it hear first!!

  • Comment number 14.

    re #6

    yes Heskey did play as well as anyone else in those two games BUT NOT as a striker and he was picked as a striker. Strikers are there to get goals (in every team apart from England's at the minute) - Heskey's goal scoring record is pathetic - I don't think he deserves a place in the squad as a STRIKER never mind being one of the starting 11.

  • Comment number 15.

    im all for sacking manger get becks in lets just hope someone has the sence to play players in the right places

  • Comment number 16.

    Ah - a flurry of chatter to scatter the mind,
    Not known for his skills of the oratorial kind,
    Capello's rebuke, as we come from behind
    May yet raise his team as they attempt to bind

    Their various temperaments, talents and all,
    When, come Wednesday, they re-boot to shoot with the ball;
    Will they scatter opponents and grab us in thrall?
    Will we rise from our previous lethargy tall?

    Will we tell one another, " I knew all along -
    Nothing, but nothing could posibly go wrong."
    As one reared-up and beered-up and bleary-eyed throng
    Bursts into spontaneous, glorious song:

    "Enger-land, Enger-land,
    We knew you had it in you,
    You damn near made us feel blue,
    But we - yes we remained true,
    Well - I did any way..."

    (Continue along this vein for several hundred more verses please.)

  • Comment number 17.

    Whatever happened to The Sun's front page the day after the draw, the fact that your group was

    *E*ngland
    *A*lgeria
    *S*lovenia
    *Y*anks?

    The best British group since the Beatles, it said. People thought it would be a walk-over. England was going to win the cup and could beat the teams in their group with a reserve squad.

    How times change. When will the English supporters/media stop being so arrogant?

  • Comment number 18.

    ....and the world will end in 2012!!!

    Any more harbingers of doom we want to discuss or can we start being positive and getting behind England.

    This is what it is to be a fan, you have ups and downs as results go for and against you but you never give up your support and players never give up the cause.

    Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
    Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage...
    Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
    Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
    To his full height. On, on, you noblest English...
    For there is none of you so mean and base,
    That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
    I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
    Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
    Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
    Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

  • Comment number 19.

    @17

    As you correctly point out- the "EASY" jibe was the work of the idiotic Sun newspaper. Why are you tarring the rest of us with the same brush?

    I would say most England fans are fairly pragmatic and realistic as far as our national team is concerned. Only a fool would suggest that we are all like the Sun journalists.

  • Comment number 20.

    Spot on Bardia K. The same arrogance is still there. Just read Merson or Hansen, both of whom have written that if England can just beat Slovenia tomorrow they will top the group and have an easy walk to the quarterfinals! Why would anyone think any team in this tournament would be easy for England on current form?

    England has done absolutely nothing in World Football for 44 years and has been to precisely one major final in its entire history. For all the outrageously dismissive comments about the USA in the group, their Confed Cup run to the final, beating European Champion Spain in the semis and outplaying World No. 1 Brazil for 45 minutes was more than England have done during the lifetimes of most England fans. The Premiership is quality and has the best and most free-spending fans in the world; the English players on the pitch, though, have been exposed as being distinctly average time and time again.

  • Comment number 21.

    High on his own self-importance and without a thought for "The Team", Terry made his play and seriously misjudged Capello. Terry won't be England Captain again under Capello, (even more so now), and he knows it. His only chance to be so is to cast doubt and undermine the Manager, hopefully speeding his exit. His comments had nothing to do with the England team, and everything to do with his greater earning ability as Captain.

  • Comment number 22.

    A player runs his mouth in public about team tactics and his coach slaps him down. Imagine that! A coach who actually takes his job seriously and is not intimidated by self-appointed oracles. What a colossal surprise!

    In a saner age, Terry's outburst would have bought him a ticket home but these are the days of players who are paid gazillions of dollars for their services and who have, as a result, concluded that they can do pretty much anything which their sweet little hearts desire. Most coaches now walk in fear of these demi-gods knowing that if push comes to shove, it will be the coach, not the star player who gets the axe from the team owner or the national federation.

    I loathe beyond words these overpaid, hair-gelled gigolos who think the sun shines out of their own rear ends. Capello is a class act but he is leading a motley crew. He's done outstandingly well to get England this far but the ropey outfit he's trying to knock into shape is beyond redemption. A coach's job at this level really has very little to do with tactics and game formation. It's really all about bringing together a group of oversize egos and getting them to pull in one direction for a common cause. A coach needs to be a psychologist above all else. A tactician and selector come a distant second for if the players desire, they will ignore his instructions anyway and do their own thing. What's he going to do? Drop them? Sure he is.......... and replace them with who, exactly?

    That's right, nobody. There is nobody else.

    The players know it and so does the coach.

    Capello must be breathing a sigh of relief that the French fiasco has dwarfed the miserable campaign which is unfolding for England.

  • Comment number 23.

    Anyone thinking of sacking Capello is being ridiculous. We have a world class coach who hasn't put a foot wrong since he started.

    The issue it seems is that Capello didn't quite realise how thick most of the team are and their inability to occupy themselves. Stop reading Hello and read a book!

  • Comment number 24.

    WashingtonBlue, I'd hang fire if I was you, not like your lot are in much better shape than us and as I live in Atlanta, I know from many of the Soccer community down here that this was expected to be a group you would progress through (2nd to England was the general opinion).

    As for England it has been excruciating viewing so far, but tomorrow will be better - Lord knows it has to be. It's fair to say that the frustrations are there for all to see, coaches, players and fans alike, let's hope the two aforementioned harness that frustration and put Slovenia to the sword. I for one believe this is the beginning, not the end. Call it blind loyalty or what you will, I just refuse to give up, let's hope the team come with the same attitude tomorrow!! We all owe it to ourselves to get behind the lads whoever Capello picks and give an hour and a half of good old fashioned support.

    England to win 2-1 tomorrow and advance top of the group.

    COME ON ENGLAND!!

  • Comment number 25.

    @aintreehammer

    I believe you gotta have some faith...
    Also they are wearing the red strip (we have never lost in that strip)
    Also at least we are not French.

  • Comment number 26.

    News: S.A Press association have released fixture details ahead of schedule causing hysteria amongst organizers and teams
    Brazil are to meet Argentina in Johannesburg stadium Soccer City at 7:30pm
    Spain are to meet Portugal in Cape town at the Green point Stadium 3:30pm
    England are to meet France in Durban International Airport just after breakfast..... ha-ha! LOL.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm pretty sure we have a lot of non-England Supporters commenting on this blog as it would appear it is being filled with England Bashing comments.

    I disagree with the comments saying that all England supporters are arrogant and expect to win the World Cup. Don't tar us all with the same brush. You might as well go on to say that all English Supporters are violent, drunken, skinheads. Get a Life!!

    I'm an avid England Supporter and I am far from arrogant regarding our chances. I started following the World Cup with the expectation that we would reach the Semi-Finals at best. And by no means thinking that our Group was a walkover.

    And for the comment regarding The Sun, if you are from England you will realise that The Sun is good for only one thing and that is something that eventually gets flushed down the toilet.

    The so-called Arrogance of English Fan's is created by the Media Machine.

    I'm hopefully of England's chances tomorrow, but if we do scrape a win then it won't be deserved. But we can build from there....

  • Comment number 28.

    So much doom and gloom. come on lads lets get behind the boys, Come on England

  • Comment number 29.

    @ #14, charlie.

    If you think that a striker's ONLY objective in a match is to score goals, then learn about the game. Heskey hasn't ever been employed as an Advanced Forward or an out and out striker, who try to get into the kinds of positions you will have seen (assuming you watched it) Torres get into last night. Heskey is employed as a 'Target Man' meaning his role in the game is to hold the ball up and use his strength and other abilities to bring other members of the team into the game, hence why it was 'so important' for him to start alongside Rooney as he 'got the best out of him'. Don't have a go at one of our better players this tournament just because he doesn't score goals: England have only scored 1 this tournament and he provided the assist - an assist is as good as a goal, by the way - meaning he DOES deserve his starting place as he does his ROLE very well, it isn't his fault the person he's supposed to be helping (Rooney) has been something less than a shadow of himself. Stop winging about the manager's decision to include him when at the end of the day Capello knows exactly what he's doing and apart from bringing on SWP as a sub instead of perhaps actually using Joe Cole on the left has done exactly what he did in qualifying; look where that got us.

    Also, referring to the general negativity of the thread: England drew 2 games. Fair enough, neither performance was satisfactory, but that doesn't mean you should all be going 'sack Capello' or something similar. Stop doing the classic English thing of absolutely destroying your players' morales just because they haven't done exactly what was expected of them. Fair enough, they are overpaid, they probably don't realise what people would give to be in their shoes and they should have done better, but quite frankly I'm sick and tired of the English media hyping up every single World Cup as "England's best chance of glory since '66" and then berating players when they don't get as far as they COULD do: of course with the talent we have within the squad we COULD win it, but then you could argue the talent within the French squad is easily enough to do well; look at them. Also, look at the Italy squad - World Champions 4 times (feel free to correct me on that) and they've barely lit up the World with their performances, either.
    These players are only human, they're playing on the greatest footballing stage in the world - there's bound to be pressure. Doesn't help that all the while the media is far too overly critical.

    I'm willing to bet that IF England win tomorrow, Capello will be hailed a 'saviour' and so on. In reality, we just underperformed in two games. Our World Cup ISN'T over, so stop acting like it is, please.

  • Comment number 30.

    bardia k,

    england couldn't have hoped for a cushier draw. that is an easy group for any team with the hunger to want to progress. however, the excuses are coming out even before playing the slovenians.

    the england team has no hunger, it doesn't hurt them to play so poorly and why would it? with 150k a week, mansions, luxury cars and super models to go back to?

    they get their rewards win lose or draw so why put themselves out?

  • Comment number 31.

    I agree with our Norwegian friend; show England some support! Having said that:

    (a) The odd mistake has been made, e.g. seems like Capello should listen to his playing staff more; people in general surely perform better in their jobs if their opinions are valued and occasionally acted upon, with the boss making the final decisions. This is even more important with egotistical Prima donnas!

    (b) Heskey has done the job asked of him, acting as the pivot. Those around him haven't shown their true talents!

    (c) Maybe the players need something to do in the afternoon. I’d like reading; could see Rooney doing that – yeah, right! Maybe the lads should visit the townships, the third world country around them in the afternoon, give something back to society and feel how lucky they are!!

  • Comment number 32.

    I dont get the whole' The supporters paid a lot of money' thing.

    they chose to pay a lot of money.

    If they chose that on the basis that England would perform well then more fool them, because history is very, very plainly in favour of several abject performances and going out on penalties to the first decent team they play.


    Indeed, if people believe the media hype that England could ever win it (mainly so the same media could crucify them when they failed to win) then its questionable they should be allowed to spend that sort of money unsupervised in the first place.


  • Comment number 33.

    I believe that scenario is very likely: England first with 5 points, then Algeria with 4, Slovenia with 4 and USA with 2 points only.
    I think people are too harsh on Capello and this English team- why stoning your national squad before the last and decisive game. This outburst is not good for the mentality of English squad- may just help to bring them down.
    So leave your critics after the last game, go England, go!!!

  • Comment number 34.

    Becks to let players pick their own positions? Is this the Becks that Fergie got shot of because he thought he knew best and should be playing in central midfield and proceeded to do the same in Spain with the ultimate Player-Power Posse. No matter his superb one-dimensional ability, Becks was never blessed with brains. Just look at the Dutch a few years back, the French now and "coming soon" England's players thinking they're the only ones who know what to do. All ends in tears. Even Scotland last year collapsed under arrogant players who "knew better" and they had nothing to be arrogant about. England need Capello if even just to maintain some self respect.

  • Comment number 35.

    I think people are confusing "Arrogance" with English Optimism.

  • Comment number 36.

    @20 - Hansen is SCOTTISH. So how can he carry English arrogance you fool? And Merson is an idiot anyone knows that.

    Some of the comments and negativity are ridiculous, drop Rooney, good grief. One of the most feared players in world football. 30-odd goals for United. Yes drop him, that sounds like a plan.

    Capello wants to lose, of course, this is why we won 9/10 qualifying games. He wants to lose, this is clear.

    2 games so far, not good enough, no complaints. However - we have a team more then capable of beating Slovenia, and we are more then capable of winning well enough to top the group. Doesnt mean we will, but, we are hardly the only team in this competition not to fire so far - GET A GRIP. France are out with ONE point. Germany could go out, Italy have 2 points, Spain lost against the mighty Swiss.

    An ultra-pessimistic view does not make it a realistic one, and observations that the quality of the English team being "poor" are well wide of the mark and nothing short of delusional. Its a good side, not a great side, a good side - that has had 2 poor games. A good win the next game and everything will seem a lot rosier.

  • Comment number 37.

    All the talking from the camp has more to do with the press's need for information & content than it does the players or managers need to be heard by the nation. Quite simply, the press pay people to speak out, provide the platform and add their own increasingly skewered views as an overlay.

    As an example, our Mr. Bond here does seem to be lining up a "I told you so" for some point in the future, with some references and analogies that portray such pessimistic view of the England camp that I am surprised its allowed on the corporations site. The link between budget day in the UK and "value for money" of players just made me laugh. This kind of language used is certainly not used in the broadcast side of the corporations coverage - so why allow it here?

    But that is just an aside. The players, who are lets face it, are a mixed bunch in ability to string 2 sensible words together, are a godsend to the media. They say dumb things under pressure which is hardly a surprise. They are footballers and not media guru's, no matter how much they are coached or practised. I don't want to hear their opinion's - I just want them to play passionate football for our country.

  • Comment number 38.

    Come come, what is all the panic about. This man Capello was named Coach Of The Year for SPOTY 2009 - despite not actually winning anything other than a qualification group. Given the numerous coaches that did actually win something in 2009 (even some that won 2 World Cups in their sport), Capello must clearly walk on water and is bound to coach us to victory in this World Cup.

  • Comment number 39.

    At No_Mad - the players have been out in the townships, been enough photos of it.

    They need more normal time after a game for a day or so, but anyway now we need them all to be busting a gut to win it.

    I would honestly play Cole on left, leave Gerrard centre mid with Lampard. Barry behind. I.e. Drop Lennon, who's been shocking. And play Rooney with Defoe up front. Defoe looked sharp when he came on, and I fancy him to score.

    We can't rely on Rooney so much, he gets man-marked. Defoe or Cole could actually score, unlike Heskey. Wouldn't mind Crouch either, he can definitely score for England.

  • Comment number 40.

    David (or are you really Ed Milliband?)...Regardless of whether Terry was "reflecting wider concerns" he was wrong to speak out publicly in the way he did - that seems to be the general consensus among most people.

    Whether there is substance to Terry's claims or not the fact he has gone public with his criticisms is only likely to create, or compound further, any tensions. The suggestion that he seems to have little support from within the team may prove yet more divisive, given some of his comments regarding players. I only hope this is not the start of a fiasco on the scale of that played out by france.

    Terry, it seems, is out of touch with more than just the supporters...

  • Comment number 41.

    @29. SportsAreMyLife

    Spot on!

  • Comment number 42.

    Time to think about the post-elimination period.

    Abolish PL.

    Set up a devlopment programme for the young generation.

    Re-model financing of the major clubs.

    I mean Italy don't have to do anything like that. Italy has always had a greater pool of talent. More than any other European nation. I am saying this as a German. (Not England are our arch-opponents - they cannot live up to our history , but Italy are, cf. WC 2006).

    But look at what Germany has done. They were miserably down in 1998 (their reaching the final in 2002 - in which they lost but still were
    great opposition only blurred that. But they developped a long-term programme to rear a fresh new generation of talents (their teachers having been the Dutch!). So what happened? Last year Germany were Euro champs in the three U's (U 21: finishing England off by 4 : 0). And now this bears fruit. Of course we can still fail in round 1. Anything can happen at this stage. But Germany can be confident to have one of the most promising player generations around.
    Bottom line: England go and do likewise. Then we can take you seriously as rivals again. Not before.
    I am afraid this sounds more arrogant than it was meant to be.
    New bottom line - very very simple: Learn from others - just as we did.

  • Comment number 43.

    The booing and the moaning by fans is ridiculous, and the talk of 'money' is irrelevant and smacks of childish jealousy. Sure it was a bad performance, but there have only been two draws and the team are still in the WC, why not wait until they actually get knocked out? The jeers started during the game, like when Lampard missed a shot on goal... how is this going to help the team? No wonder some players decide to turn their backs on the national team. After all, the likes of Crouch and Hargreaves used to get jeered just for coming onto the field.

    The talk of "I paid my money so I have a right to boo" is pathetic. That money is spent on a drunken few weeks in a beautiful country, but the fans were voicing off about beating Algeria "4 or 5 nil" and then spat the dummy when the 'glory' they were hunting didn't arrive. This isn't the 1950s, even supposedly weaker teams have good coaching these days and know how to defend... look at Greece for example.

    Luckily Italy didn't have 'fans' like this in 1982 when they ground out three draws in the group stages - and went on to win the WC.

  • Comment number 44.

    David, another some what depressing blog, but am getting used to depressing media stories concerning England at any big championship......it always happens, the media want some thing to report so look to make things up...Terry had opinion, maybe he was wrong to air it in the media, but Capello has come back and said, shut up allof you (including press) I am the manager and I will do it my way, and to be fair he has the credentials to say and do that...whatever the media, press fans pundits say, Capello will pick the team he feels will get the result and advance to the next stage...I for one will be watching the game tomorrow and praying and hoping that we win....sweet dreams!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    "While he clearly couldn't be bounced into changing his ways by the players, did he need to risk alienating Terry by slapping him down so publicly, saying he had made a "big mistake"?

    And was Terry reflecting wider concerns among all the players when he spoke out about boredom and a desire to see Joe Cole in the team?"

    Come on David have you decided to stir up a fuss about nothing again? You're boring everyone trying to stir up anything you possibly can.

    Terry made a mistake because he spoke out to the press before speaking to Capello. That was what I took from what Capello said. I am bothered about this? No. It is a small issue that can only cause a problem if some idiots who give little of worth to society stir it all up in the press.

    The team are suffering mentally with the pressure and that is all. We knowof the potential of these players. Capello is trying to conquer this and so far has not done so. If we go out we can say that it was down to fear. A fear that Capello didn't dispel.

    Do you support England David? If you do, then please try and report positively as being negative never helps does it? Also, please respond to your criticism now and again.

  • Comment number 46.

    "@20 - Hansen is SCOTTISH"
    --------------------------

    Speaking as a Scotsman, I say you lot can keep him! I can't stand the guy.

    I won't start slagging off England too much (how can I when you see the state of Scotland's national team over the last decade), but it is strangely entertaining watching England big themselves up before a tournament, only to go out with a whimper. It's like a slow motion car crash.

    Chin up guys. At least going out at the group stages will save the stress of going out in a penalty shootout ;)

  • Comment number 47.

    Why is John Terry making this big statement for Joe Coles inclusion in the team now?? Didn't hear too many noises made at their home club this year about JCs lack of games. I actually agree that he should play but they go to the competition as one squad with one manager and his decisions must be final and followed. If it all goes pair shaped they can make even more money by publishing their post world cup biographys to reveal all the behind scene tiffs to the world!. The french are already writing theirs on the plane home now. Lessons to be learned?

  • Comment number 48.

    LostmekecksintheGmex - They obviously haven't been to the townships enough for it to have an impact on them! Also, all I remember is Dawson and (I think) Upson in photoshoot in township; didn't see the rest of the squad. However, I like the idea of playing Gerard back in the middle; never had a decent chance to prove himself in the middle. Also, my cousine lost his shirt in the Gmex!

  • Comment number 49.

    Although England supporter I hate to say it I predict that we will loose 2 - 0 poss 2 - 1 and shamefully admit things were wrong before the world cup kicked off. we won in 1966 says john motson and co, so that gives us the automatic right to brag does it, please please dont insult that 66 team with the likes of todays premiership prima dollies

    The events of the last couple of days have just enhanced what is a boring dull performance by our national squad. Terry the usual thug who is supposidly mr nice guy despite charging for tours around Chelsea FC, still thinks he's captain says it all

    Our team selection, well its not rocket science is it........First, team goalie........wears number 1 on the shirt, just happens to be the goalie of the portsmouth team who was relegated for letting in so many goals, other players in other areas to where better players and proven are at that are left at home.......darren bent for one, other members drafted in have not played due to injury and it says it all when players from premiership who have retired from international football have been asked to play........paul scholes a typical example.

    Because of that alone what staggers me beyond belief both through the media and also Capello himself is this....and not one word has even been mentioned about it....even in here............Havent we got an England under 21 squad?????

    Surely but surely if we have players that are not capable of playing either thru injury or otherwise, we call one or two players from the under 21's, that wud give them international first team opportunities, build up a younger more selective team, if not for this world cup but for years ahead............premiership teams do it, look at the likes of beckham and scoles, even championship teams do it......so why the hell doesnt our national squad do it.

  • Comment number 50.

    What's with all the b****y poetry!

  • Comment number 51.

    You're kidding right??? I wouldn't spend ANY money to watch england play at home they are far too over rated and treated like mega stars and what do they do for any charity? NOTHING!

  • Comment number 52.

    A feature of this World Cup has been the ultra negative, fictitious, and boring reporting of the BBC sports reporters, namely Mr Bond and Mr Roan. They are fit for the tabloid with their transparent attempts to manipulate thinking in a sensational and irresponsible way.
    Surely, the hierarchy at the BBC should be examining closely this kind of reporting which is hardly what we tax payers should expect and should pay for.
    Another symptomatic example of the decline of the BBC. Compare Mr Bond and Mr Roan's behaviour with the upright, honest, and genuine behaviour of Fabio Capello.

  • Comment number 53.

    So, let's see. Steve McLaren and his chummy approach is bad, so he had to go, and now it looks like the authoritarian approach is to blame also for England's poor performances. Hang on. Why not blame the over-rated, over-paid prima donna players? The players do not pick the team, and players do not decide when to hold clear the air talks.

    Why so many hacks have suddenly started blaming Capello is beyond me.

  • Comment number 54.

    Roxy wrote: "what do they do for any charity? NOTHING!"

    I'm sure they could always do more, but perhaps you aren't aware that all the money they receive for playing for England during this tournament is being donated to charity.

  • Comment number 55.

    Well said, both BasilBrushzenberger & ITMakesense1, and many others. The reporting coming from the tournament is generally negative and contradictory. One minute, Capello's methods are disciplining the squad and the results are great; then it switches to being too authoritarian.

    Get a grip. Report and support rather than stir up stories that does no-one any good. Typical ex-newspaper journalist - tell the story that sells the rather than the truth! If there's nothing to tell, tell nothing!

  • Comment number 56.

    @49, degsyb01

    "First, team goalie........wears number 1 on the shirt, just happens to be the goalie of the portsmouth team who was relegated for letting in so many goals"

    --------------------------------------

    Actually, you should probably get your facts right before making this comment. Portsmouth weren't relegated because they conceded the most goals, they were relegated for two reasons: their inability to SCORE goals, and the fact they went into administration leading to 9 points being taken off. In actual fact, they conceded 66. Considering that the other two teams who were relegated both conceded more as did as Bolton (who finished 14th, by the way) you could easily argue that Portsmouth actually did WELL not to concede more.

    Also, in response to this comment: David James is not your average keeper. He has had spells at clubs like Liverpool and Man City (I think, in relation to the latter), and is often considered underrated. Granted, he is a little inconsistent, but he is still (arguably) the best stopper for England right now - Rob Green, playing with a much better defence in front of him, conceded the same amount - and has proved this season with a rather shoddy defence in front of him he can still do fairly well.

    Again, in general reference to the rest of your post: Darren Bent did have a good season for Sunderland, true. But, he has been played before at international level and seemingly couldn't handle the pressure and bottled it.
    Don't slate Paul Scholes. Capello (in my opinion) had every right to be asking him out of international retirement: he had a very good end-of-season for United and thus was an in-form player; form is crucial before a World Cup, just in case you weren't aware.
    Also, yes, we do have an U21 squad. However, to put the pressure of playing in a full World Cup on one of their shoulders is rather harsh, especially when IF the first team stays fit they're unlikely to get much of a game at all - look at Walcott back in '06. Honestly, I'd rather Capello gambled on Barry and King's fitness than calling up U21's who have very little full-international experience when they will be playing against the most talented players in the world.

    @53, BasilBrushzenberger.

    "Why so many hacks have suddenly started blaming Capello is beyond me."

    Completely agree. It isn't Capello's fault that England's players haven't been performing: he's picked a side that, on paper, could easily go deep into the tournament. We have Wayne Rooney who's scored 30+ goals for United this season, Lampard who is Chelsea's leading scoring midfielder (I think), Gerrard who quite often in the past has carried the entire Liverpool team himself and other talented players too.

    All this talk of English being 'arrogant' is rubbish. We have the talent needed to win the competition, so don't try and claim that we don't. Sadly we seem to have a media who are all too willing to build up the team to extraordinary proportions, only to then call them dismal and abuse them just because they under-perform occasionally.
    Quite frankly, I agree with Rooney, too. It's no fun at all to play in front of people who are booing you. Yes, they played badly; yes, people paid a LOT of money to go out there; but at the end of the day the England team are only human, they aren't going to be perfect every game, and if you can't deal with the possibility that they'll under-perform, don't bother paying to go out there. IF you WANT to go out there, SUPPORT them.

  • Comment number 57.

    Capello did do well during the qualifying stages but just before the WC began he seemed to panic. Trying to get players out of retirement, what was all that about? If you are going to be successful you haver to choose players who are on the way up in their careers not players on the way down or near the end (or already finished!) like Heskey, Carragher, James or Scholes. After previously saying he would choose players who are fit and in form he totally backtracked when picking the team, why? We are in a mess because we do not have enough quality players in Africa. Have you seen the Argentina front players? Messi, Tevez, Aguerro, Higuain, Millito, who do England have apart from Rooney.......Heskey and Crouch! Do me a favour!

  • Comment number 58.

    45. At 8:52pm on 22 Jun 2010, TMDoll wrote:
    "Do you support England David? If you do, then please try and report positively as being negative never helps does it? Also, please respond to your criticism now and again."

    EXACTLY.

    Yet another completely needlessly negative blog from David Bond. Someone buy the guy a sandwich board!

  • Comment number 59.

    At least a million words have said
    That England's chances now are dead.
    yet not one word that I have read
    Has made me think of this instead:
    That 'being English' means we've bled
    And prayed each night we've gone to bed,
    That all the other teams are fed
    Something that to the toilet led,
    And by default our English bred
    Will win the Cup ("please finish," Ed)

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    David Bond - stop writing this drivel. I am getting sick and tired of the press trying to scupper our chances world cup after world cup. Should we win tomorrow (and I am confident we will) then please do not dare to share your ill-informed and lazy journalism with us.

  • Comment number 62.

    For crying out loud - can't you be upbeat just once and support the team. This is the last time I ever post on one of your blogs Bond.

    Our media makes my stomach churn!!!!

    Come on England!!!

  • Comment number 63.

    There`s so much negativity amongst the English support that it defies words. England have, admittedly, had a poor start to this campaign BUT a win in their last group match will see them right back on track.
    There is no way on this earth that England will not win by 2 clear goals against Slovenia ( and this is coming from a Scot) to book their place in the last 16. The down side is that the media will start the hype all over again and tout England to reach the final "and after that who knows"?.
    Many of my English friends ( even us Scots have friends from south of the border) agree with me that if the media took a step back it would take a lot of pressure and limelight off the team and allow them to concentrate on football.
    I feel that all of the stories coming through the media have been sensationalised to make the maximum impact back home without caring about the detrimental effect it might have on the team in general.
    As somone rightly said " Why let the real truth stand in the way of a good story". This unfortunately seems to be the journalists motto.
    England will go through - Remember you heard it from a Scotsman first.

  • Comment number 64.

    England in a nutshell - big themselves up as to how great they are and embarass themselves as per usual. I'm waiting to see what excuse they come up with for failure this time. Probably the managers fault..again.

    I just want them to finally admit they aren't good enough. Technically woeful

  • Comment number 65.

    Given the nature of the game I think it's highly unlikley that one can draw conclusions about the future based on two performances when all the previous performances have been better. I think we're all probably indulging in choosing those pieces of information that support only our own opinion. A sad pastime that seems to blight most of the western world in any given subject.

    A longer term view might be to consider what has actually worked for England and for the squad at club level and do more of whatever that is. Doing more of what has been successful has been demonstrably proven to increase success much more than trying to fix whatever doesn't seem to work.

    After all this is over, stick with Capello and let him choose the players that he thinks he can work with. I'm no fan of Heskey and my heart sinks when I see him on a team sheet but I'm not the manager. He's paid to do a job and should be supported in doing that job. It's all very easy from an armchair.

    We need to stop looking at the national team as a short term venture. How many of the really successful teams (nationally and at club level) have had the same manager for a long period of time? Consistent leadership brings success. (yes it is also something of a self supporting argument). Their systems of play don't change much and they groom new players to selectively take over positions one at a time rather than by making wholesale changes.

    If this world cup doesn't work out, chalk it up to experience and try again. What would be crazy would be to lose all of the knowledge and experienced gained by the manager and start all over again to get back to the same place in 4 year's time. Until that happens the only other manager who'll take on the job will do it mainly for the money so it's better to show some loyalty and patience. I think it's good to have a strong manager in charge. He maybe isn't perfect but who is. But he will learn and deliver if allowed to.

    Nothing would please me more than England success. But a close second would be that our ability to remember 1966 is as good as our ablity to learn from last Friday and move on without an instant 'off with his head'.

    Support is more than 'Sing when you're winning'

  • Comment number 66.

    Unfortunately , I see a French scenario in this one.

    They just miss something in the team.Spirit?Hunger for victory?I don't know what,but they don't have it right now...

    I hope I'm wrong...

  • Comment number 67.

    Who put belief back into the England team after the debacle of the last EU qualifiers ?CAPELLO!.
    Who got the team playing real football all through the WC qualifiers?CAPELLO!
    Who kicks the ball around on the pitch?Capello,NO,the PLAYERS.So why am I so angry at all the nay sayers and pessimists who are giving Capello the blame for the players poor on field form and cannot believe that the team will go out on Wednesday and play like they know they can and win.What ever happens LEAVE CAPELLO ALONE.

  • Comment number 68.

    It's about time "player power" took a knock. Too many managers before Capello have had their position and authority undermined by players who have come to believe they are the ones who steer the ship. As the great Brian Clough once said when asked how he dealt with players getting above their station, "well we sit down and talk about it for 20 minutes and then we decide I was right". As far as I'm concerned, for that Capello is the flag bearer for turning the tide on "player power".

    Yes Capello might be stubborn, but for him to be the major focus of people's displeasure is excessive and mis-guided. Tactics only do so much. It's about time the players pass to each other, control the ball better, move off the ball and get their tackles in when they are needed. Capello can't do those things and no tactics in the world can overcome the deficiencies in basic technique when it's put to the test.

  • Comment number 69.

    watching Rooney I would say hes afraid to get hurt so he loses money not playing for Man u, On a 50/50 ball Rooney makes about 10% effort to win it.

    Time these over paid wallys got a swift kick in the backside. Bench Rooney and let some one play who as the eye of the tiger.

  • Comment number 70.

    In the absence of a jury of sound minds (not on England's performace to date -TWO games only people!! Both draws!!) I feel I need to defend Mr Bond.
    I've read his blogs and I can't spot this England-bashing that some of you are suggesting. He's droll to the point of dullness in the journalistic sense ("you said you were defending him?") but that, I believe is sports journalism for you. There's no one more florrid than me when i speak or write with passion about something, but then, I've only got my own opinion to worry about when I'm writing. But Mr Bond is the BBC's representative and must adopt a more neutral tone. (England being only part of Britain.) Like many journalists he reports the facts and peppers it with other people's opinions in the form of quotes. From what I've observed, any negative views are third-hand observations of the fans themselves. If you want him to write like Jane Austen describing Mr Darcy's breetches every time Rooney wipes the snot from his nose and practises his next petulant attitude then you're out of luck. The negativity is in this blog itself not his two pence worth, and that seems to have led to a systemic whinge-fest from frustrated fans who, having run out of negative things to say about their own national team..are merely widening their target. Hold a mirror up here people! (And by the way, Mr Bond..that's a fiver you owe me....)

  • Comment number 71.

    @67, friendlyonewhocares.

    Too right.

    I honestly cannot believe the FA should expect him to resign should England not progress past the group stages, especially after showing such faith in him just a few weeks previously by extending his contract.

    @64, bigmoedu.

    Correction on your statement, the English PRESS build up the team.
    Also, if you actually honestly think that the English team 'aren't good enough' you really should examine some of the facts, and then realise WHY the press builds them up before every World Cup:

    (a) English Premier League - OFTEN (not always) considered one of the most exciting leagues of football in the world, and again OFTEN considered to be the home of the most talented footballers too (a few exceptions are obvious) - hence the distinct English club domination of the Champions League over the past few years (again, this year being excluded). Before you counter with the fact that a lot of players at these clubs are foreign; WAYNE ROONEY. Man Utd's TOP GOALSCORER this season. JERMAINE DEFOE. TOTTENHAM'S TOP GOALSCORER this season. FRANK LAMPARD. League's LEADING assist-provider this season.

    Don't try and state that the English national team is devoid of talent and that it isn't good enough. They ARE good enough, they simply under-perform on the national stage. Spain used to be the same - do I hear you slating them, claiming they aren't good enough? No, I don't.

    (b) The English Press is, quite frankly, annoying. In every single sport, the press are overly critical, over-expecting and often do NOTHING to help matters.
    Classic example would be last year's Formula 1 season: Jenson Button wins 6 of the first 7 races, is called 'brilliant' by the English press - end of the season and he hasn't won any more races, he's called 'lucky to win the championship'. The same applies to football, the Press will happily big the team up (perhaps too much) and then expects the team to live up to the high standards that have been set. Granted, we may be short of the quality required to win the competition, but as I have already mentioned, if the Press simply stopped claiming that every World Cup is "England's best chance of World Cup glory since '66" then maybe there would be less expectation on a team which is quite clearly under too much pressure to perform.

  • Comment number 72.

    Hmmm...comment 2...I think Capello wants England to win more than Mr Bond and his media colleagues do. That's the very reason he had to deal with "player power"...everyone knows that's the road to ruin. The only reason the press boys say different is because they goaded him into saying those things. In their wisdom, the pub experts with pens thought they know better than Capello, one of the most decorated managers in modern football, who they despise because he's shut them out, and won't name his team until kick-off, starving them of material. And now things have taken a turn for the worse they're smelling blood. Wonderful journalism! You'll put so much pressure on your players that they'll turn in another woeful performance, and then you'll get your wish to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. I'm not even English, but I'll be cheering them on tomorrow in the hope that Capello (who has earned far more respect than he's currently getting) can stuff all those words back down the journos throats. Forza Fabio!

  • Comment number 73.

    I think it's highly paid journos who spend all day in luxury hotels at the license payers expense, writing purposely negative 'stories' in the absence of finding something interesting to write about, who are out of touch.

    Are you persisting with these negative, lightweight and totally uninformative blogs because someones making you or is it because you really can't think of anything else and it's too late to change your tune now?

  • Comment number 74.

    England fans are vile and arrogant.

    Watching your over-paid, under-motivated clowns crash out tomorrow is going to be hilarious! Your team and your fans are an absolute disgrace to the World Cup.

  • Comment number 75.

    The tension is certainly mounting here for the passionate England fans - has Wayne Rooney learned the words to the National Anthem, and will he be able to bring himself to sing them at five to three tomorrow. This is unbearable even before a ball is kicked!

  • Comment number 76.

    @74, BlueBird69.

    Right. That makes so much sense. Oh, wait, except it doesn't. I won't bother guessing which nation you are from, but if you think England are a disgrace you should probably start looking at the likes of France.
    Also, before throwing out careless insults I'd suggest you take your hatred of our nation elsewhere, not on a forum which is going to be dominated by English. If your intention was to aggravate those of us who are English (myself included), grow up.

  • Comment number 77.

    Sorry - one last post. Let me just sum up this particularly scintillating blog, I mean, it is so insightful and opens up a whole new view of England's World Cup Campaign:

    Here goes:

    Some England fans are unhappy. John Terry said some things he probably shouldn't. The manager puts him in his place and shows who is in charge.

    Hmm. Wish I could go on an all expenses trip to South Africa, watch the football for nowt and write this drivel.

    That's me done.

    England to win - the media to be deported.

  • Comment number 78.

    surprise surprise. The press making up the end of the world because England have had a few lacklustre peformances. We are NOT out and we are NOT the only national team in this position. For the standard of Germany's opening performance they still lost to Serbia. Italy are in the same place as us. France are probably at home by now!

    If I had to face the sort of tripe that these cancerous lesions acting as journalists put out in the newspapers and on various websites every day then I don't think I'd wanna get past the group stages either! I can imagine it as a 'we can go home now and everyone will forget about it by the start of the new season or we can get to the quarter/semi/final and be built up even further to fall even further'! regardless of the money, why would you volunteer yourself to face this sort of vitriol? its meant to be a privilege to put that shirt on but we're never allowed to properly celebrate anything achieved - the press always want to put a negative spin on every bloody game!

    funny how there was never a crisis or complaint about Capello's methods when we were winning? players not training or rolling over and losing to really poor teams is a crisis, we're still in this and we're not the first team that hasnt found its feet yet!

    get behind them, lets make them feel like winning is worth something! c'mon England!

  • Comment number 79.

    I really really want england to lose tomorrow. Please lose and come home in disgrace.

    Everyone else on here has been free to give their opinion and now I am giving mine.

    I'm sick of all the usual rubbish that you are all coming out with about the players being over paid etc - I dont care how much they get paid.

    I will be very happy indeed because I truly believe that england are bad for the tournament. I love football, I am a purist, I want to see classy one touch stuff with cool finishing.

    Elano for example - that guy reeks of class!

    That is why I want england to go out. I want the VERY BEST TEAMS in the KO stages. How many times have we witnessed england trudge through to the Q/F's unconvincingly and go out on penalties.

    Its dire to watch - And this current crop of 2nd rate players will offer nothing to anyone who likes the beautiful game! Nothing.

    I dont want to hear anything about me being 'Typically Scottish', Yes I have always hated england and that will never change but it is my love of football that wants england out!

    OUT OUT OUT.

  • Comment number 80.

    Definitely the last comment:

    BlueBird - you are one sad individual who probably still lives with his mother and bathes once a week!

    Goodnight.

  • Comment number 81.

    Something has been nagging at me for a while re why John Terry spoke out and just now it has suddenly hit me.

    The so-called Golden Generation are virtually all playing in their last World Cup and unless England get at least to the semis they will be seen as failures. Rich men who achieved nothing at the top level internationally.

    Just look at the age of the players in the current squad.

    http://www.thefa.com/England/Team

    Of our "star" players Ashley Cole and John Terry will be 33 come the next World Cup. Gerrard will be 34 and Lampard 36. Of our best players currently in the squad only Rooney it could be argued will still be at his peak.

    A failure to win tomorrow and following the French on an early flight home really rather ruins the image of a team of stars doesn't it.

  • Comment number 82.

    BlueBird69
    At least we get to the World Cup ;) enough said.

    ENGLAND 'TIL I DIE.

  • Comment number 83.

    Those people on here saying we should 'get a grip', we have only drawn two games, we are 'still in it', Spain have lost to the Swiss, Germany might still go out, etc. are right - and yet they are wrong. They are right in the sense that those points are facts - they are wrong, however, in the implicit insinuation that England are going to progress tomorrow. Every single bit of footballing common sense says we are going out tomorrow. Why? Well, for one thing, it is obvious that we can't play football (at least at the moment) - and I have heard that this helps at the world cup (excuse my bitter irony). You might argue that we were 'unlucky' in the first game against the USA but, hey, it was the first game and the USA are a good team, etc. Fair enough. But what we witnessed in the Algeria game was the worst football I can EVER remember seeing in the 40-odd years I have been following England. Let's be clear here. We are not talking about bad luck, or the oppostion playing for a draw, or teams shutting up shop against us - making it hard for us to score (as was the case in the comparisons above), we are talking an embarrassing lack of every kind of footballing skill necessary at this level. I mean everything, from positional sense, to goalkeeping skills, to movement off the ball, to being ABLE to control the ball (Wayne Rooney, best striker in the world, lol), to attitude on and off the pitch (Wayne Rooney, best striker in the world, lol), to - well, you get the picture. I really can't think of one redeeming feature of the Algeria game, except, I guess, that we didn't concede (but Algeria didn't really try to score, did they?). In the past, we've been able to blame the 'lucky Germans', or penalties, or the 'hand of God', or Steve McClown, etc. but this time.......there is nothing left to blame apart from ourselves........and I find that hard to take.

    Of course, England might win tomorrow (though I doubt it) and we might even win the world cup (which I VERY much doubt) but my question would be: do they deserve to? A team whose players cannot pass a ball two yards, a team whose 'star' player effs and blinds into cameras, a team whose players complain of being bored, a team with Heskey and Crouch up front? I am an England fan through and through and will be supporting England with all my heart tomorrow. But you can't honestly look in your heart and claim they deserve it.

  • Comment number 84.

    As a neutral, I have a couple of questions for Capello.

    Why take 2 unfit centre halfs, an unfit midfielder, an unfit striker, and a useless striker? Rio has hardly played, and King's problems are well known. Barry is clearly out of sorts, and Rooney looks fat and slow. As for Heskey, well, words fail me. Useless does not begin to describe him.

    Second question - If you are going to persist with 4-4-2, why not play Crouch and Defoe??? At least they recognise each other!!!!!!!!!!!

    You play the best team in the group tomorrow, results wise - see you at Heathrow on Friday.

  • Comment number 85.

    Interesting to see so many comments aimed against Capello. It really shows how fickle and short-sighted English fans and pundits are.
    3 years ago under Maclaren England dropped out of the European championship- they failed to qualify.
    Using mostly the same group of players England qualified unbeaten for the World Cup.

    Fabio Capello took a bunch of losers and gave the nation hope and now, because the overpaid pima-donnas, believing all the public and media hype about how they are the worlds best, put in two poor performances, and everyone wants to crucify Fabio!

    The England Managers job - no one with sound mind should ever take it!

  • Comment number 86.

    As a Scotsman i find your negativity bizarre, particularly as I know a win tomorrow and you'll be the best team in the world again. I firmly believe an early goal tomorrow will raise the confidence and you'll win 3-0. Then it's a probable second round with Ghana/Serbia, with Uruguay or South Korea awaiting in the quarter-final.

    It looks likely Spain and Brazil might play each other early so the number of top teams left will reduce. You can still win it.

  • Comment number 87.

    cliveeta

    "The England Managers job - no one with sound mind should ever take it"!

    I agree totally. But I'd do it, and I'd do a Maradonna!! Watching Argentina is a breath of fresh air - the players adore him, and he loves them too. Love him or hate him, he's got it right. I backed Spain, but I really hope Argentina win this - I just wanna see his celebration!!

  • Comment number 88.

    AScottishGooner: Given that you are a 'football purist' who only appreciates 'classy one touch stuff with cool finishing', then I assume that you don't want Scotland to qualify for future World Cups either (not that it's usually an issue), given the dross they produce. If not, you're a hypocrite I'm afraid.

    I also like watching Spain, Brazil, Argentina but there aren't 8 teams like that to fill the QFs, and the likes of Germany and Italy seem to do ok grinding out results...

  • Comment number 89.

    I think that, again, the blame is being attributed to the wrong people;

    Overpaid footballers - May be the case, but don't blame them. I can't think of anybody that I know that would turn down £100k+ per week

    Capello - Can't believe I have to write this, but don't you think that after slating every manager since Bobby Robson, perhaps we should look at the players instead of the manager for the way that they play. So Gerard is playing on the left instead of central (with plenty of freedom to roam by the way) - surely as one of the best players in the world he should be able to cope (see Messi on the right last night as an example)

    Anybody related to the England set-up (re. England fans travelling and spending so much money) - mmmmm..... I note that the same people making this comment are also slating England for never doing anything at major championships. With this historical reference point (assuming you consider quarters and semis as 'not doing anything') surely artificial expectations are down to the fans themselves

    The press - It's their job and it works (I love the idea that people get upset because newspapers 'only want to sell more copies!" errmmm - yes, that's the point!!) Guess what, if people stopped reading drivel and people stopped responding to negative blogs on websites, journalists would start looking at what people were reading and responding to, and do that instead!

    Having said all that, if England do end up flying home in the next few days, I'm blaming it all on my wife!!!

  • Comment number 90.

    Wake up and smell the overrated and overpaid yet under-performing team people! The WonderBoy of English football hasn't scored internationally since Euro 2004, can't say his counterparts are that much better either. At club level they're (relatively) good and entertaining to watch, internationally they are mediocre. The Media here would have you believe that the English squad could take on and beat the likes of Brazil or Argentia. How about Algeria...oh wait, they tried that. Do yourselves a favour and get a grip.

  • Comment number 91.

    The 'EASY' headline mentioned a few times upthread was pure Sun, pure tongue-in-cheek - something that particular newspaper does extremely well, but nothing that anyone should take too seriously.

    However...the fact remains, this *is* starting to look like an opportunity missed. England won't find themselves drawn into so generous a tournament group as this anytime in the near future, mark my word. Presented with what should have been (at least) a 6-pointer, the team have made a fat pig's ear of these first two games, damaging nobody's chances but their own. It's hard to see where any inspiration is going to come from now, since - despite some very loud public claims to the contrary - there is clearly a big dressing-room rift with the manager, and possibly even between some of the players.

    Perhaps it's for the better when we find ourselves in so-called 'groups of death', such as 2002 when we were pulled out alongside Argentina, Nigeria and Sweden. The team then raised their game - as least they did when it mattered, against Argentina.

    What concerns me is that nobody but nobody is talking about Slovenia, a hard-working, well-organised unit that is also looking for a result tomorrow, and one that England - in their current predicament - are unlikely to walk all over. The best we can hope for (IMO) is to luck ourselves to victory tomorrow. Which could, of course, happen...

  • Comment number 92.

    But what will that show of managerial might be worth if England are flying home on Thursday evening?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well they wont be all flying home on thursday evening will they .. no doubt like the French players, they will fly out of SA on holiday for a few weeks, then slope back into the UK via the backdoor, hopefully unnoticed .
    They should be forced to walk back home across the Sahara giving them time to reflect on their failure, and attitude ..

    And on another point .. with Capello standing to net a £10 million pay off from the FA for his contract (because although he might be an 'honest man', he is unlikely to be honourable enough to resign when that kind of payoff is available for being sacked ); and with the government outlining austerity measures for the rest of us, it stinks that footballers , under-performing or not, are still lauding it around on vulgar salaries .
    This is the time for the whole game to be re-assessed . Benchmarks of salaries should be set, and they should be comparable with the income of every day folk .

  • Comment number 93.

    We are English.. for better or worse we have to support our team. Not get on their backs for losing.

    Just enjoy the ride... we are still the best team in the world!!!

  • Comment number 94.

    It has been a crushingly poor display so far and I think it will get worse. From the two friendlies onwards there hasn't been a single spark of life and I perceive little prospect of it changing.

  • Comment number 95.

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but honestly speaking English players mind set is the worst. They think they are better than most players because they are over paid by their respective clubs. Ironically, most of them perform much more passionately to their clubs than their country. It used to be, at some point, a huge pride to play for country and wearing the white and red shirt. Today all is taken for granted and players don't even respect each other.

    There are lots of things to learn from the last game against Algeria. The Algerian players were fighting for each other, fighting for the shirt they were wearing. They understand the value of playing for their country; even if they lost the previous seven games, they still gave England a game of a life time. They passed the ball quickly and their defending was organized. But most of all they were passionate about playing for their country. I do hope now, that the English players will look at the video and show as much passion to their country as they show to their clubs.

    Speaking of Terry's action, it's simply unspeakable and unprofessional. Capello is paid six figure salary to be a manager and pick fit players. There will never be a manager that can or will satisfy every single player because unfortunately only 11 players can start. As Capello said it himself, Terry made a huge mistake speaking publicly and underestimating the contribution of other players to the team, and by that he showed disrespect to fellow players. Personally I would like to see England winning with Terry on the bench for tomorrow's game but the later is highly unlikely.

    However, I do not think that Slovenia will be push over. I think they will park the bus in front of the goal and probably counter attack. England's players have to give 110% if they are going to progress to the next stage. As everyone else I'm waiting anxiously for tomorrow’s game and I hope it will be a good one!

  • Comment number 96.

    All this talk about people who have paid £4K etc to go to South Africa and therefore feel entitled to good performances is utterly tedious. Maybe these are the same people who can now afford to sit and boo at numerous Premier League grounds now that so many real fans have been priced out. It's not the theatre and you aren't paying stupid money for guaranteed performances. This is sport, get over it. You're in a privileged position to be there at all.

  • Comment number 97.

    I am in S.Africa and this is spot on, we all want more and we deserve it! The team needs to get a lift, we have a huge Beckham shaped hole in our team spirit!

    On the plus side the antics of fans out here have been brilliant - we are living it up - hear about our antics here: http://bit.ly/cCzIVt

  • Comment number 98.

    Note for Bardia K

    Your answer is in your first line

    "Whatever happened to The Sun's front page..... "

    Yes, that's right, The Sun. Please don't tar a lot of England fans (who rather saw this as a group full of possible banana skins), with the same brush as that you are using for the "journalists" at the Sun, who probably wrote that on the back of a beer mat on the way home from the pub.

  • Comment number 99.

    Just who is trying to pick the England team, John Terry or the jounalists?

    John Terry did not raise the subject of Joe Cole, he was asked by a jounalist.

    John Terry made three points about Joe Cole.

    1. JC had been in good form for Chelsea since returning from injury.
    2. He was one of two players in the England squad that could unlock things.
    3. He would do a great job for England if selected.

    How does 'IF selected' equate to John Terry trying to pick the team?



  • Comment number 100.

    @ 75 Leighton Anthony: He's been spending his free 7 hours trying but as he reads the words his lips start moving and he can't do two things once. He's trying though.

 

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