World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Why England didn't deserve to win

LONDON - So, penalty heartbreak again. England missed more penalties on Saturday (three out of four) than Germany have missed in all four World Cup penalty shoot-outs in which they've been involved (one out of 18. Who & when was that miss? Answer later.)

What exactly is it England have done to upset the footballing Gods so? Or do fans need to front up to the fact that yet again, despite the hype, the team just weren't good enough. Here's one view. But do you agree?

By Ben Dirs, BBC Sport. This was a joyless World Cup. Joe Cole’s goal against Sweden apart, I can’t think of a single act by an England player that got the veins on my neck bulging or which led to beer raining down on me down the pub.
I’m not in the "winning is the only thing that matters" camp. Primarily, I watch sport, whether it’s darts or football, to revel in the skill and passion of its competitors. England appeared to have very little of either in Germany.
Which is why there won’t be effigies of Wayne Rooney hanging from the roofs of east London pubs this time around. England’s fans, primed for the fall, will sigh and shrug and return to the tedium of everyday life, having never been raised too far above it by this mid-range saloon car of a team.
Like a mug punter at an Essex car lot, I bought into the idea that this England team was the best in a generation before the tournament began.
But as it stuttered and choked its way through the group stages, bits falling off at every turn, it became clear that I'd been sold a Ford Mondeo tarted up to look like a Ferrari.
The skipper only had one gear, the midfield was in dire need of fine-tuning and the strike force’s backend had gone before the World Cup had even started.
So when the end came, the depression wasn’t as acute as in previous tournaments – this time I’d been expecting it.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:24 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • heema wrote:

Completely agree. If with their 11 best players, England were no way near beating an under strength Portugal side for 60 minutes, it is a folly to assume that they would have done so in the next 30 minutes, with or without Rooney. At least, they went out with some dignity. Players are getting plaudits and all sins forgotten for an hour of defending against a pathetic Portugal attack. Ronaldo is now pulbic enemy number one, and spineless players got away with all the blame.

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  • 2.
  • At 01:29 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

I couldn't agree more.

No passion, no verve, no chance.

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  • 3.
  • At 01:37 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Yas wrote:

Hey guys,

I know most of you probably won't be interested in football but I'm so Raging that I have to get this off my chest. I'm absolutely done as an England fan, what a bunch of soppy losers they are. Cowards who are more concerned with what latest hairstyles to sport. Don't be fooled by the tears on the pitch, they were really gutted by the fact that they have lost the potential millions from endorsements and sponsorships from winning the World Cup and the fact they could call themselves "Legends", ha ha ha!

The sorry excuse for a Captain was finished 2 years ago. Now don't get me wrong, back in 2000-2002, Beckham was a good footballer, not great, but led by example, which is a great way to motivate others. But the limp excuse for a footballer we see now should have quit way before this period. Now I'm sure if u watched the WC you'll be asking, wait we got to the Quarter Finals and its not that bad, but look who we played, the term "Also-rans" springs to mind, Pathetic!!!

Now this brings me to my major gripe....Sven Goran-Eriksson. This mercenary saw us coming a mile off. The idiot only knows how to talk in dollars and cents, and my god, he's got enough now to verbally recount, word-for-word War & Peace. A clown of monumental proportions, who if I had my way, would be placed in the stocks to be pelted with rotten veg! I hope we never see this creep again and I wish him all the misfortune for whichever mugs give him a job.

Phew, that was some major rant but I'm so disenchanted that I had to share it lol. Now I just have Newcastle United to support..... JESUS CHRIST!!!!!

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  • 4.
  • At 01:37 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Superjim wrote:

go on then. put us out of our misery - who was it missed a german penno ?
I agree, in the end it felt inevitable, best it happened this way so we have something to focus on!
I'm backing SMcC to make the right changes that need to be made: a UEFA Final with unfancied Boro (no offence, smoggies!) is indication of his pedigree. 4-4-2, or 3-5-2 if we must start with 5 midfielders !

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  • 5.
  • At 01:38 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • M Ryder wrote:

What about Gerrards goal or Rooneys brilliance??
Also, what the hell dos Terry Butcher know about managing a national team, he cant even manage a club team well - & we should listen to him????? He shouldsort out his own house first....

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  • 6.
  • At 01:38 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Phil W wrote:

I think that the simple fact is we aren't good enough. All this "we have the players who can win it..." has some merit but I would question whether that is, in fact the case. One hears a lot of talk about "too many foreigners in the English game" but, personally, I would suggest that the opposite is the problem. i.e. not enough English players go to play abroad. With the exception of Beckham, Woodgate and Hargreaves I'm struggling to name anyone and it's a fact that the game is played and refereed differently away from the Premier League. Finally, I had to chuckle when I saw that Rooney has threatened to "Split Ronaldo in half"...Wayne me ol' mucker....THAT'S EXACTLY WHY YOU ARE A LIABILITY!

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  • 7.
  • At 01:41 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Damian wrote:

Good to see the experts Terry Butcher and Chris Waddle having their say. Um, just what have the pair of you achieved as managers?
Yes Terry, we should all listen to you after your success with Motherwell. All you ever did was bandage your head. And as for Chris Waddle. How come there aren't subtitles when the man talks on tv? Translations for when he's on radio? It's incredible to think that some players who have broken english have subtitles when they speak but this man never does.

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  • 8.
  • At 01:42 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Why the hype? wrote:

What I don't understand is why there was so much hype about the team prior to the world cup?

Why is there so much hype about Tim Henman all the time?

Why is it that every major sporting event that England enters is accompanied by a huge amount of hype followed by a huge amount of disapointment when the team doesn't live up to the hype?

You constantly set yourselves up for disapointment England.

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  • 9.
  • At 01:43 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Paul Stephenson wrote:

Unlike the majority, i thought england had played well on Saturday before and after the sending off. We had the best of the chances and apart fro ma coupl eof Robinson flaps we never looked like conceding. Crouch played brilliantly when he came on and Ashley Cole was back to his phenomenal best and Owen Hargreaves showed the form which has made him such a regular at Bayern Munich.

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  • 10.
  • At 01:43 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • ekow wrote:

A couple of reasons why England fail to progress far in competitions.
...they are crap at penalty shoot outs and their over pampered , hyped- up players like Rooney and Beckham are arrogant enough to throw tantrums .......until these two cankers are dealt with .. i am afraid the story will continue

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  • 11.
  • At 01:44 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

I dunno about darts but my reaction to that article would have to contain a reference to nails being hit on the head. In other words, well said. But you don't say which dodgy salesman sold you the suspect motor. I hate to labour the point but the untrustworthy bloke in the blue suit springs to mind, aided and abetted by some unethical advertising - courtesy of the tabloid press.

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  • 12.
  • At 01:45 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Superjim wrote:

additional, forgot to say:
we didnt start playing until we were a man down. we thought (at my place of work) we needed to go one down, but instead we got a man sent off. not good enough.
Sven once said "The biggest obstacle to success is fear of failure". hmmm. a bit freudian perhaps ? he was certainly afraid of losing the world cup, and it showed in his tactics, and inability to give either crouch, or walcott a cut and dried chance to make a difference. defence was like rock though. something for McClaren to build on!! onwards and upwards! optimism begins in the face of defeat !!

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  • 13.
  • At 01:47 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Gman wrote:

Yes we are all disappointed. yes we are all heartbroken. but should we be surprised? i think its time for a bit of a reality check into what the England team really is. We are a nation in the Fifa Rankings top 10 - Top 10! We have not been in the Top 5 since, well you know when. i feel that 2 semi-finals, one final and numerous quarter finals in the last 40 years backs this up - we are a 2nd Tier team trying to reach the level of Brazil,Germany or Italy who it seems are always there or there abouts. By finishing in the top 8 of the World cup we are where we should be.
Yes we had possibly the best crop of players this country has produced in a long time with the right blend of youth & experience but when it came down to it the majority of them could not perform when it mattered. is this the fault of Sven? i'm not so sure. Chances were created in all games and they were simply not taken - Owen, Rooney & Lampard great players all did not take them and England scraped through the group, beat an average Ecuador and lost out to a Portugal side without 2 of their most influencial players on penalities. on the flip side of that coin is the defence and Keeper who deserve praise for being as solid as any left in the tournament, possibly better. And yet Sven does not get any credit for putting that together - strange.
in conclusion i feel that England should not go into any tournament expecting to win. the fans should show some inteligence and realise there are better teams (maybe not better players) and that the size of an English premiership players wages does not guarantee any trophy. and it never will do.

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  • 14.
  • At 01:48 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Lynden Hall wrote:

Ben, completely agree with you, I had fallen for the spin too, how many times were we told the next game we will show how we can play, after Ecuador I said I cant be bothered with this, I still watched on Saturday, I had this hope deep inside that England will do it, they're in second gear I said to myself, "Come on England we'll show them" still there was no hunger to go out and make a mark "we're here to win it", I have followed England all my life and never have I felt so annoyed by it all, we had a overpaid overrated Manager, along with overpaid under achieving misfits of players, no doubt Rooney's mistake will be covered over by the news papers going out to get Ronaldo. At the end of the day, we were all excited by it all, but we need to have a reality check. My player of the Tournament was Owen Hargreaves, how many miles did he runn on Saturday and he still scored a penalty!

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  • 15.
  • At 01:49 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • ian wrote:

The correct answer re the German penalty misser was Ulli Stieleke in Spain in 82 in the infamous Germany vs France game.

Remember Harald Schumaker and his "Jackie Chan" attack on Patrick Battiston?

As to Steve Mclaren please don't get me started on that subject! Let's just say he has been Sven's no. 2 and where has that got us?

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  • 16.
  • At 01:52 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Oliver wrote:

Answer to the little trivia:

Stielike (played at Real Madrid) has missed a penalty in 1982 versus France.

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  • 17.
  • At 01:53 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • awksquawk wrote:

Problem is we only start playing when under the cosh. Go a man down and facing an uphill struggle we can battle, tackle, fight hard etc...only thing is, is that to win a World Cup it rather helps if you can play football as well! We need to face facts that the overpaid, underworked ponces who are the players in the top eschelons of the Premier League think they are better than they actually are and the fans have swallowed this crap hook line and sinker. Until we realise that just because Lampard is paid £100,000 a week it doesn't make a decent player. Scoring goals week in, week out against Sunderland, Wigan and Bolton does not make him anything other than a very average player by world standards.

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  • 18.
  • At 01:56 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Rob wrote:

The BBC, along with the FA, have hyped England's chances for years and is therefore partly responsible for the nation's unrealistic expectations of a very average set of players.

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  • 19.
  • At 01:58 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Phil W, what you fail to realise is that English players have no need to play abroad, as the Premiership is the greatest league in the world. Obviously La Liga is excellent, but why move your family to foreign soil when you're happy in England.
The 3 players you have mentioned are all questionable, even Hargreaves position in the squad, who had a storming World Cup wasn't definate until the last minute.
Beckham hasn't ran with the ball at his feet for years, and Woodgate, even if fit it dodgy to say the least.
All in all I think we did well, a bit of guts in the dressing room and we could have done something special, although tha has been missing since Sven took charge, which is unfortunate really as I beleive he is a good coach.

As for Rooney, the boy was being drag around for 10 seconds before, watch it real time, you can see that it's just the media ripping him apart for no reason. Thats what we have to live with.

If you had watched Rooney over the course of the season you would have seen a dramatically changed lad from the past, his disipline has been fantasic in the second half of the season and in my opinion his temperament is not an issue anymore.

Good luck to him, not that he needs it.

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  • 20.
  • At 02:02 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • DAVE wrote:

I agree with the comments made. England were hyped up by the media and the management of the team. What has been even worse has been the digraceful treatment of Christiano Ronaldo.

The referee could not have been closer and must have clearly seen what Rooney did. Ronaldo had every right to be upset about it. If it had been Figo crunching John Terry in that area, the England players would have been incandescent with rage. The red card was correct and Rooney has no-one to blame but himself.

Prior to the start of the world cup Eriksson was lined up as the fall guy. After Saturday it became Ronaldo. Eriksson deserves blame for selecting too few strikers and taking a player he had no intention of playing. These 2 things forced him to change the formation to have one striker up front and we all saw what happened. He is also to blame for playing Beckham when he was out of the game for long periods and has no pace. Lennon made an immediate impact each time he was brought on.

Not good enough and a poor world cup especially considering a highly favourable path all the way to the semi-final. Portugal were very poor but they do have Deco and Costinha to come back.

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  • 21.
  • At 02:04 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • mick faver wrote:

It is so hard to come to terms with as an England fan. It seems that this sort of disappointment is almost our destiny.

The fact is, though, we DO have a set of players capable of winning a major competition. We DON'T have a management team with the skill set to support them. In 2004 we went out of the competition because Sven was incapable of changing his tactics with the changing demands of the game (firstly against France, then against Portugal). He, once again, failed to read the situation in Germany. No strikers, bad formation etc. etc.

Unfortunately this is unlikely to change with Steve MacLaren. With both 'Big Fil' and Martin O'Neil expressing an interest in the position one can only hope that MacLarens tenure is short and painful and we can then purge ourselves of this inadequate 'management team' once and for all.

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  • 22.
  • At 02:08 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Phil W wrote:

Hi Dan,

Well I would question if that is correct. It rather depeneds how you are measuring "the best league in the world". For entertainment certainly, for technical ability and quality? Perhaps but I don't think our players have any experience of refereeing and alternative styles of play due to their reluctance to move abroad. And, of course as you say, why should they? They are paid very nicely thank you very much for staying put...but is money the only motivation?

As for your statement "his temperament is not an issue any more" I'll put that down to the heat...

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  • 23.
  • At 02:09 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Why the Hype wrote:

I think it's partly unrealistic expectation brought about by hype but on the other hand if you constantly tell a player he's the best in the world at what he does he's going to believe it. Not a good attitude to take with you into training.

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  • 24.
  • At 02:09 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • paul wrote:

Best of a generation? No way!
did anyone else see the series of passes that went straight out over the side lines or straight to a portugal player. When they needed to walk the walk all we got was talk. premiership= overpaid and overhyped!

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  • 25.
  • At 02:11 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Dams wrote:

England crashed out of the World Cup mainly because of their inept manager. £25M pounds has gone into Ericsson's bank account from the English FA and they've not come close to getting value for money.
He brought the wrong squad (six players never kicked a ball yet he was screaming out for another striker). He refused to drop Frank Lampard despite the player being off form. That would have allowed Beckham to step inside and release Gerrard and introduce Lennon on the right side where his short appearances looked the most threatening weapon within England's atrillery.
Lampard with 24 efforts on goal forcing nothing more than routine saves should not have been first up at the crucial spot-kicks.
England's football did not merit them getting beyond the last eight and I cannot help but be convinced that a handful of Premiership managers would still be in Germany if they had been in charge and never shirked the big decisions like dropping Lampard.

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  • 26.
  • At 02:12 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

My reaction to our exit was 'disapointed but not surprised'. Mentally and physically, as a team, we were just not good enough to take the opportunity that this tournament presented. There are 2 key reasons behind this.

1. Celebrity Culture: The better (I use the word advisdly) England sides are always the ones with a no nonesense air about them. Erikson has been in thrall to the glamour that follows our top players and found it too difficult to drop them for the good of the team. Instead of picking the players to suit a system , not necesarily the best ones, he did the reverse and tried to squeeze too many individually good players into a side that clearly was not functioning. The results are there to see.

2. Foreign Domination of our top clubs: Before the tournament began, the great Johan Cruyff was asked to give his assessment of Spain's chances. He said that Spain's top clubs are so dominated by foreign players that Spanish players (only 2 in Barcelona's European Cup side) were a minority, ultimately undermining the national side. So it proved. He also said that England was heading the same way and its true. Of our squad, 3 each are in the Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United first teams respectively. Its more than a coincidence that La Liga and the Premiership are the 2 most dominant, cosmopolitan leagues in the world but produce under achieving national sides.

Steve McClaren can address the first reason with some hard nosed selectorial decisions and banning the WAGS from the camp in future tournaments.

Regarding the second reason, with our top 4 clubs coached by a Potuguese, a Scot, a Spaniard and a Frenchman respectively, whose loyalty is understandably not to our national side, McClaren is powerless to act.

We are and will remain a quarter final team.

Lets accept it and start revising our expectations downwards from now on.

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  • 27.
  • At 02:14 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • tom dobbie wrote:

It seems that there are three distinct camps in English football;-

1. The Beckham show - a media mockery.

2. The "we are great tribe" - like supportesrs of George Bush, they never see the terribly obvious wrongs.

3. The grumbling core who can see the king is wearing nothing.

If England ant to be a great football team, then they should create and empower great footballers - not just chant the hype of the media clowns.

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  • 28.
  • At 02:15 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Guy Butterworth wrote:

Complete and utter drivel for the past 3 weeks ,not one player can hold his head up. by far the worst performance of a england team ever , other less talented teams have lost but have at least tried , not one of these nancy boys put one once of effort in to winning, their full of themselves and full of excuse's , and a complete and utter waste of time. Lampard and terry are 2 of the most overrated players we have made the mistake of picking for the england totally tosh. there is no excuse for the lack of success or at lest playing well, and we should all barack them untill they start producing performances' worthy of the england shirt , or change of personnal is envoked.

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  • 29.
  • At 02:15 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Simon Lester wrote:

We can go on and on about luck being against us and Ronaldo blatantly getting Wayne Rooney sent off. We can moan on about the Argentine referee and his bias against us. We can also moan about our lack of luck in the penalties etc etc etc.

But at the end of the day we were not good enough. We are told constantly how brilliant our players are in the lead up to this world cup but they failed, plain and simple. Calling England's footballers mediocre is being kind!

Wayne Rooney is a hot head and every opposing player knows that if you push him enough he will explode and get himself sent off. In my mind every coach who considers playing Wayne Rooney knows in reality, despite his genius, that he has a huge chance of exploding when the pressure is on. This leopard just can’t change it’s spots.

The Frank Lampard we all know and respect didn’t turn up and the normally assured John Terry at the back was often badly out of sorts. Where was the inspirational play from Steven Gerrard? David Beckham should never have been in this squad, he is a spent force in international football. He is only there because the fans love him and money men adore his selling power.

At some point we have to accept that we are not the best in the world. Maybe the quarter finals of the world cup is the best we can manage, in the absence of dodgy Mexican referees or even more dodgy Russian linesmen. Maybe England’s overpaid players are just mediocre at best and the press/agents/clubs inflate their abilities because it suits them. English clubs only do well in Europe because of foreign players and coaches.

Watching England’s sad performance last Saturday has definitely burst the bubble in my view, once and for all time, about the so called superiority of England’s football team. The next time somebody goes on about England winning the world cup, just take a look at the facts, the sad sad history and take it with a very large pinch of salt.

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  • 30.
  • At 02:15 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Louis wrote:

What can I say? England lost but went to the penalty shootout in equal conditions and with the same chances of winning it. What a big pity that a great civilisation as ours is showing a huge bad face to the world outside... lost ok but at least could show a little more of respect to the game and to the other teams. Let me say that England has great players but do not play as a team! Portuguese did it, in good and moments of adversity and not only with England (Holland for example) and that's the work of coach. Move on and next time might be better! Don't blame C.Ronaldo, he was representing his team and country; M.United has not a fair connection.

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  • 31.
  • At 02:16 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • martyn simcox wrote:

Don’t blame Rooney for England crashing out of the world cup. The seeds of failure were sown when the team was selected weeks ago (some might say five years ago).
Taking only four strikers when two were not fully fit, including a seventeen year old who would never make an appearance was complete madness.
With Owen back home, we all knew that a 4-5-1 system with Rooney as the lone striker would not work. Even the opposition knew that if they starved Rooney of the ball his frustrations would soon surface. If we “simple folk” can see the issues, why not the manager who was paid millions of pounds to bring back the world cup?
We need to blame Sven and the FA, no real progress after five years, with all that talent.
England were tactically weak and certain players showed they could not deliver on the world stage at the vital time (why are English players unable to take penalties?!).
On the positive side, the whole of the English back four played very well (Portugal would still be there today trying to score), Owen Hargreaves converted a nation and we finally saw why he was in the squad (including me!) and Joe Cole showed that he is by far the best English player right now.
My 9 year old lad was in tears has he watched his heroes fall and again saw cheats prosper. Thanks to Ronaldo, Henry, Figo etc my job of teaching my son how to play football hard but fair is getting harder and harder after every game we watch.
A large part of this England fans’ football soul died on Saturday afternoon and I only hope that my sons hunger for the game can somehow resurrect that dead zone.
FIFA and their army of “Mordor Orc” referees are certainly taking the beautiful game into the abyss!

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  • 32.
  • At 02:18 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Cormac wrote:

im from belfast and i know that northern ireland arent that good at football because we dont have the players. But from an england point of view that world cup showing was rubbish. They seemed to have no believe or inspiration in them. I dont whether its done to the manager or the attitude of the players. I dont think the fa done themselves any favours by keeping sven on till the end of the world cup but the players werent that good either. They either didnt play at all to their potential or they are simply over rated. I must say the way the media hyped them up to be wouldnt help either.
Thank you

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  • 33.
  • At 02:18 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

As Ronaldo's penalty hit the net my 12year old son wept and kicked the chair in frustration, he asked why I wasn't so upset to which I replied "I have watched this overhyped England for years and still it doesn't improve, get used to it" harsh but fair. I agree with blogger's comment Joe Cole's goal apart wasn't very excited by what I saw. Tactics wrong, players picked were wrong, manager wrong. enough said

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  • 34.
  • At 02:18 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Danie Jones wrote:

Wayne Rooney is a disgrace. He should be mature enough now to realise such behavior as he showed on Saturday just is not acceptable in top level modern football. I have a suggestion or two for Steve Maclaren and the other Premiership managers: Reduce the salaries of these overplayed and undertalented players to the standard level of an average company executive until they can show true talent. Reward the strikers for every goal scored, the goalies for every save and the bad tempered ones for every final whistle acheieved without a card. Then, seeing as Portugal and their current manager seem to be our bogey team, send a few of the younger players out to play with Portuguese teams for a season or two, so they learn how to play the Portuguese way. Then we might be able to beat them third time lucky internationally?

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  • 35.
  • At 02:19 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Cormac wrote:

im from belfast and i know that northern ireland arent that good at football because we dont have the players. But from an england point of view that world cup showing was rubbish. They seemed to have no believe or inspiration in them. I dont whether its done to the manager or the attitude of the players. I dont think the fa done themselves any favours by keeping sven on till the end of the world cup but the players werent that good either. They either didnt play at all to their potential or they are simply over rated. I must say the way the media hyped them up to be wouldnt help either.
Thank you

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  • 36.
  • At 02:20 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Neil Carroll wrote:

Does anyone believe that David Beckham was really injured that badly that he could not carry on last Saturday. I firmly believe that he was not injured as bad as he was putting on. He had no trouble running on to the pitch when Rooney was in trouble. And as for having respect for the ARMBAND. He did'nt show much respect for it when he threw it at Garry Neville when he was coming off the pitch. His promblem (besides Victoria) was he was not fit going to the World Cup. England will be all the better without him. He is the most overratted footballer on the planet.
Neil

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  • 37.
  • At 02:20 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Dave Young wrote:

I have struggled as many have, to find the motivation to get up this morning. Almost 48 hours on and it still hasn't fully hit me, even though after our group-stage performances, I expected we would be lucky to reach this stage of the competition.

It's not all doom and gloom because we have the dawn of McClaren's reign to come and I look forward to positive changes. But for now I will have to mask the disappointment and live in hope that I see England win a major honour in my lifetime.

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  • 38.
  • At 02:21 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

I went to watch England v Portugal in the pub and it was a horrible experience. 2 hours of beered up thugs shouting obsenities and stereotypical slurs at the TV screen. A pervading sence of threat and thuggery. Compare that to when I watched Angola v Mexico is a Mexican bar in London. A great carnival atmosphere with everyone there to have fun and enjoy the experience. I'm glad England are out. We're a bunch of thugs that bring nothing but hate to everythig we do (look at Rooney). PS. Leaving to live elsewhere soon !

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  • 39.
  • At 02:24 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Sven-Goran Eriksson wrote:

I admit I am a rubbish manager for the following reason's:
ROBINSON - Who else is there??
NEVILLE - Unfit, waste of time
COLE - not enough games pre-world cup
TERRY - 1 man band
FERDINAND - I'll just turn up and take me wages!
BECKHAM - Unfit
ROONEY - Unfit - Injured
OWEN - Unfit - Injured
J COLE - No support - out of position
WALCOTT - Need i say more - Ive still never seen him play!
CROUCH - Desperate
HARGREAVES - Best Player - Canadian

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  • 40.
  • At 02:25 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Dino wrote:

So, who & when was the last German to miss a penalty at a World Cup??

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  • 41.
  • At 02:26 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ian wrote:

A number of interesting and worthy comments. For me the World cup is no longer the spectacle it once was. Too much emphasis is put on diving and conning the referee.
Take a leaf out of Rugby League and Union everyone can see the action replayed on a big screen so it's not difficult to make decisions with a 4th or 5th official watching instant replays. Don't add extra time stop the clock for injuries that are deemed serious. If a team kicks the ball out for treatment to be given to an opposing player, the game starts from where that player kicked the ball out. Too much is made of a player feigning injury, the game stopping and the ball put into or as near as possible for the game to restart with a throw in and no advantage to the team attacking.
I agree with the comment watch the real time of Rooney being kicked and pulled back then judge was it deliberate - I think not. As for Ronaldo I hope it's his last game at Man Utd but after a spell of not making the team list.
As for England not enough commitment and poor decisions.
I'm off to watch Rugby and enjoy it before that becomes a non contact sport!

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  • 42.
  • At 02:30 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Greg S wrote:

Of course they didn't deserve to win. In fact, I can't think of a team that does deserve to win. If there is any justice, the tournament will be dissolved and the World Cup will be award to someone more deserving: me, for example.

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  • 43.
  • At 02:31 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Colin Knightley wrote:

I think all Englishmen would like to see their team play as France did against Brazil. Now they really struggled in the group stages and in their qualifying group. But got it right when it mattered.

I can't see any improvement happening under this new management. Unless they get Alan Shearer as front man and motivator to install passion and will to win in the team. He surely will sort out the penalty problem.
He also knows what goals scorers want in support play and organise a midfield to accomplish that.
Klinsmann has got Germany playing very well and you wouln't bet against them winning the trophy.
Shearer could do the same for England.

We are all fed up with mediocrity. We want champaign football NOW!
God knows we have the players to do all this.

We want a Natonal team to be proud of, one that sets the standard for others to follow.
I think we long suffering fans deserve at least that.

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  • 44.
  • At 02:31 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Cam wrote:

If English fans now need to understand why Scots and other nations detest thier arrogance and refuse to be supportive this surely is the clearest example yet; before the match england were through and beating Germany in the final, again. Post match recriminations and 'I told you so's followed, with positions reversed faster than Italian politicos. Until there is some objective journalism on TV and English supporters find thier 'place' in the world rankings, we scots will continue to pour scorn on English "under achievement" and baseless bluster...

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  • 45.
  • At 02:33 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Les Corrigan wrote:

It always starts the same, the English media crank up the expectation -England will go forth and conquer.
And it ends the same too, with the media wondering why.

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  • 46.
  • At 02:34 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Jake wrote:

I agree with just about everything that blogger says.

England played poorly through out the tournament. The squad seemed to lack any kind of conviction about what they were doing. You could almost see the confusion on the players faces when they were playing.

For all the talk of tactics and formations the England players looked like they had simply lost there enjoyment for playing football. At least in Italia '90 and Euro '96 there seemed to be a swagger and verve in some of England's performences, there was absolutely none of that this time round. That is why the Spanish or the Ghanaians will not be as disappointed with their World Cup campaigns as we are. They left their mark on the tournamemt by playing good football and won many admirers in the process. When was the last time and England team did that?

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  • 47.
  • At 02:35 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Peter Speetjens wrote:

The problem with British football, and not just with the football, are the towering expectations that are created time and time again. Same in tennis. Every time Henman hit a good ball, he was tipped as the next Wimbledon winner. The same is happening now to Andy Murray. As Henman, so Murray is a talented player who can beat anyone on his day, yet he doesn't have the caliber of Federer, Nadal or even Nalbandian. And I'm afraid, that as in the case of Henman, the false (for partly ungrounded) and screaming headlines will only be a burden for Murray to actually claim the crown.
This same Henmania, or Henmedia, rules British football. So we were told: England has but worldclass players, it has a golden generation, and the Premier League is the strongest in the world.
To start with the last point. Yes, the Premier League is strong, but I don't think the British Top 5 will have an easy ride in the leagues of Spain, Italy, and even Germany or France. World class and golden generation? Sure there are several excellent players, but how many British players would star in my pre-tournament top-11 players? Not many, I'm afraid. Perhaps A. Cole as a left back, Gerard as an alround midfielder and possibly Rooney as a striker. That's it. Lampard? I prefer Deco, Kaka, Juninho, Ballack, Zidane to name but a few. Cole? I prefer Robben, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho to name but a few. Ferdinand? Give me Thuram, Carvalho, Nesta any time.
I think, a more balanced view on Britain's football history (no awards since 1966), as well as an in-depth look on what is happening in football outside the island, would be a healthy, if perhaps sobering experience for Britain. The problem is that it probably doesn't produce screaming headlines ...

Peter Speetjens
Rotterdam

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  • 48.
  • At 02:35 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • really wrote:

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

sorry i have gone slightly insane.

guess what we will all be doing in 2 years time for the Euros?, the exact same thing! England are the best, we are the best, our fans are the greatest ... despite there being trouble AGAIN by England fans, which amazingly the Germans were generous enough to play down.

we are not the best, our fans still have hooligans, our players are over paid and under achieving. I think with a good manager we can get the best out of the quality players we have ... is Steve McLaren that decent manager?

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  • 49.
  • At 02:36 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Jeremy Biggin wrote:

England were poor throughout as were many other teams. France started badly but in their last two games oused quality. Brazil's stars were not shining.

There's no such job as a full time England manager/coach - part time, picked for the next 2 games - e.g.Allerdyce/Curbishly/Warnock with the "prize" being to manage the team in the "finals"

Any selected player should have strength in BOTH feet and should be able to pass or shoot with left or right.

Too many foreign players in the English leagues...it's going the same way as cricket

Why not an England X1 in the premiership?

How long will it be before the World Cup is played between national teams selected from players who play in that nation's leagues irrespective of country of origin?!

Rooney should be sidelined, no excuse for temperament of that nature...he won't change

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  • 50.
  • At 02:37 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

For me the blame for our failure is the FA.

I believe tha the FA is an old-boys network of football-associated has-beens. They sit there, sometimes sharing girlfriends whilst receiving substantial pay packets.
When some bright spark came up with the idea of getting England to with the Worldcup Sven's name was put forward, money was thrown at him and that was pretty much it.
I believe it is goingf to take more than money to get us into the WC finals. We need to completely re-think our approach:

1. No fixed captain.
Change the captain to different players as is necessary. This will encourage flexibility in the team.

2. Loosen up play.
Many teams allow players to move around a lot more. The Netherlands championed this approach in the early 70's.

3. Attitude.
Get in decent sports psychologists. Get rid of theis looser attitude we have addopted. Other teams, with less able players have done just as well or better than us.

4. The FA.
Sort this mess out. They are old and stuffy and in the past. We need a new radical approach that makes winning the WC a priority.
They also need to look at giving more young English talent a chance.

We need to work harder than any other team to win, that sounds unfair and its true. We have developed a loser attititude which is halving the ability of our players.

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  • 51.
  • At 02:37 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • paul brennan wrote:

Yes I know we lost again but the important thing for me is to find out what that cool dance/techno music track is that plays over the preview footage of what's to come in the highlights show. can anyone help?

Ronaldo's in real trouble the next time he's in Manchester. the england fan'll roast him for what he did the Rooney! So will fans at all other grounds this season.

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  • 52.
  • At 02:40 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Paul Clarke wrote:

This has been the strangest World Cup. We didn't have the excitement of Bryan Robson's early goals against France, of Lineker's hat-trick against Portugal, of Platt's last-minute winner against Belgium, or of Owen's wonder-goal against Argentina. In fact nothing to cheer at all.

The truth is that these players aren't as good as the hype. How many have shone in the Champion's League? Only Gerrard, maybe Beckham 7 years ago. These are not world class players, yet still the press calls them our "golden generation".

We had a different "golden generation" in Portugal 2 years ago, and still another in Japan. How many golden generations can you squeeze into a 4 year period? Of course, by "golden generation", the press are talking about David Beckham, whom most pundits wanted to drop in this tournament.

One day, people will stop buying newspapers. Maybe then we'll win something.

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  • 53.
  • At 02:41 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Joao Nunes da Silva wrote:

LONDON-I think there were 2 players that make all the difference last Saturday.

One in a good way and one in a bad way

Rooney lost it! And now he's all over the press crying for retribution. For what? For having committed a foul that got him sent off and let’s wait and see, might even get him some extra punishment from FIFA or for making England game so much harder? England fans should blame Rooney that made the foul not like all seem to be doing now, blaming Ronaldo for Rooney's childish reaction.
But there’s no way that is going to happen as there's no way Rooney will apologize to the Country and fans (which is what he should be doing really).
I bet all English players and supporters would have loved to see him get away with it.
Not this time … Justice was made and he was sent off.

On the other hand Ricardo, the real hero of this game, got a hand in all 4 penalties (poorly) scored by England having saved 3 of them.
That made the difference. Not whatever Ronaldo might have said to the ref.

If I was playing football with 21 friends for a “tin” cup and one of them stepped on another’s “soft parts” I would have been very annoyed and would make sure he would get sent off for his conduct.
The one we’re talking about is solid gold and it’s called the World Cup remember…
That’s what Ronaldo did. And I bet that every single player in the England squad would have made the same and every single supporter would have wanted them to.

Another thing people seem to forget or don’t want to see…
Ronney stepped on Carvalho which is a Chelsea player remember?
Was there a bit of animosity from Rooney in that attitude?
Perhaps he was thinking of some old “disputes” while playing against Chelsea. No? I'm sure that's not the case... Rooney is not ill tempered to do such a thing…

People have a very short sight sometimes… You want to blame somebody?
Blame everyone from the FA that picked Eriksson, all the way to the players that actually lost the game on penalties

It wasn’t the Referee and it sure wasn’t the Portuguese lack of fair play.


Thanks
Joao.

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  • 54.
  • At 02:41 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

>How long will it be before the World Cup is played between national teams selected from players who play in that nation's leagues irrespective of country of origin?!


Why bother playing. Why not just sell the trophy to the highest bidder?

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  • 55.
  • At 02:42 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • sannomaru wrote:

Don't be so negative (I know that may sound hard having just crashed out of the World Cup!)

People seem to forget how much luck comes into it. England ARE a good team. Look how many other good teams are out, and only one of the four good teams left will actually win it. Any one of those could win it, and so could we have on a different day, a different match.

We played badly and qualified (despite injuries to key players) just as we did in '66. Rooney's red card couldn't have been planned for - you might argue that Eriksson should have brought more strikers, but would that really have helped? Would Defoe have come on and turned the game? I doubt it.

Am I the only one who thinks we played well against Portugal and looked likely winners before Rooney was sent off, and looked more likely to score than Portugal even with ten men?

That's the World Cup - cruel & unpredictable, with 1 winner and 31 disappointed teams.

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  • 56.
  • At 02:43 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Matt C wrote:

As a welshman I am a neutral in this world cup and did not care if England won or lost. But i am a Man Utd fan and i am disgusted that Rooney was sent off. It was a bookable offense without a doubt but why would a fellow United teamate run over and blag the ref to send him off? Yes this wasnt club football but you must have a bit of respect for a club teamate. I am confident now that Ronaldo is on his way out, if he stays he will be a linchpin for all the English players, especially Rooney, and also he still has his feud with Ruud. £20m good business, lets buy a good, mature right midfielder, Joaquim, Ribery, maybe Lennon.

Back to England and again they loose on penalties, how many times over how many years has this happened to you? You would think they would learn, especially after Euro 2004. Cant say too much though as im well aware my country fail to make the big stage, and so cant fully grasp the joy and excitement of watching your country play in the biggest competition in the world, The World Cup.

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  • 57.
  • At 02:43 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • sannomaru wrote:

Don't be so negative (I know that may sound hard having just crashed out of the World Cup!)

People seem to forget how much luck comes into it. England ARE a good team. Look how many other good teams are out, and only one of the four good teams left will actually win it. Any one of those could win it, and so could we have on a different day, a different match.

We played badly and qualified (despite injuries to key players) just as we did in '66. Rooney's red card couldn't have been planned for - you might argue that Eriksson should have brought more strikers, but would that really have helped? Would Defoe have come on and turned the game? I doubt it.

Am I the only one who thinks we played well against Portugal and looked likely winners before Rooney was sent off, and looked more likely to score than Portugal even with ten men?

That's the World Cup - cruel & unpredictable, with 1 winner and 31 disappointed teams.

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  • 58.
  • At 02:44 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Terry wrote:

I could not understand why only 4 strikers were taken to germany. owen has not been fit enough, rooney was very doubtful and walcott had not played enough at top level and in any case was too young. Defoe and Bent were far better options. Although a West Ham supporter, Dean Ashton and dare I say even Teddy Sheringham would have done better.
Also the system of playing rooney on his own up front was a disaster.What team plays 4 5 1.
Svens appointment has proved a joke and I dont think McClarens any better.

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  • 59.
  • At 02:44 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Avin wrote:

Lets face it. Sven picked our world cup players and formations the same way as if he was picking his National Lottery ticket numbers. Lets hope Mclaren does start playing the guessing game as well.

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  • 60.
  • At 02:45 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • claire stocks, blog editor wrote:

The last German to miss a penalty was Uli Stielike in the famous semi-final against France in 1982 , as Ian stated correctly in comment 15.

You can watch highlights (UK broadband only) here.

(West Germany still won the shoot-out, but went on to ) lose the final 3-1 to Italy.

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  • 61.
  • At 02:47 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Peter Byrne wrote:

The comments from Ben are fair

From outside of England it has been clear for months that the english midfield lacked a Roy Keane or Peter Reid type of player. Hargreaves partly solved the problem but not totally.
English supporters, and maybe management were blind to the lack of a tough tackler and playmaker.
It was obvious Englands midfield could be over-run or neutralised. Beckham & Gerard had not produced for England, Lampard , unluckily off form.
Dont forget a real team includes many parts, not just fancy go forward midfielders

Look at the great midfield players of the past such as Stiles, Hunter, Reid, Ince, Robson etc..
Get some of these types into your side and see the difference.

Of course appoint Terry as captain.

Regds,

Peter Byrne

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  • 62.
  • At 02:49 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • steve spinks wrote:

Good riddance to Beckham as captain. Did he make one tackle during the tournament and ended up crying.

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  • 63.
  • At 02:50 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • zorro wrote:

Oh what a tangled web we weave as England supporters and UK media. we build are teams up with expectations of Glory and usually (but not allways) are somewhat bewildered by the final outcome.This was an England side full of quality players and certainly capable on their day of beating any team and yet was allways missing one major factor...confidence. The words were spoken by the team, but was not translated in their play on the field.
Every major team that is through to semi's was heavily criticised by their own fans and media prior to the Tournament and most of these countries are all previous winners of the Cup.
England players need to believe they can win, not be told they can by media hype and public pressure....Then we will win the World Cup.

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  • 64.
  • At 02:51 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Aussie wrote:

It's clear to us neutrals that Rooney:

Should be allowed to throw a tantrum every time he doesn't get his own way;

Should be allowed to verbally abuse premiership referees etc,etc

because, when things go wrong, it's obviously all Ronaldo's, or the referee's, or Ericsson's, or somebody else's fault.

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  • 65.
  • At 02:52 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Superjim wrote:

that was well clever, Dan. very witty.
tell me - you not got the family brain cell this morning ?

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  • 66.
  • At 02:56 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Danie Jones wrote:

Another note - mention of Alan Shearer. NOW there's a player who played well and knows how to behave too. He's one of the last of the gentleman players. He speaks well and played clean. Can public opinion appoint him and Gary Lineker (another Mr Nice Guy) to teach the England team manners, please? In my humble opinion, the likes of Wayne Rooney and David Beckham are certainly not good role models for the young players of today. Beckham may be (or possibly have been before he started believing his own hype) a good man-manager but his speech is atrocious and he can barely explain what he does in undertsandable English. As for that thug Rooney, if he'd tangled with a fellow drinker in the way he and Ronaldo did, both would be looking at a charge of at least GBH by now.

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  • 67.
  • At 02:56 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Lewis wrote:

Let me start by saying I would have loved to see England win the W.C. but I also realise the fact that we are sadly not good enough.
I have watched the Rooney incident quite a few times, the referee was standing waiting for Carvallio to get up, he was not even going to give Rooney a card (let alone red), until Ronaldo came over & stuck his ore in, Rooney quite rightly let him know if had F.A. to do with him, I must say the push must have really hurt him, I bet he was black & blue with bruises the next day!!!!!
It was ok for him to put (not exactly a headbut) his head on Rooneys & whisper (I'd love to know) whatever he did, & Luis Figo to headbut a player as well, oh but apparently he was punished at the time by the referee who DID SEE IT, they should both be severely punished by FIFA, but then again not being English helps!!.....but i'm not bitter!

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  • 68.
  • At 02:58 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • mike norman wrote:

i still think we have great players, but we need a manager that get the blood pumping and stick to the 4-4-2 which the players know and play week in and week out.


No silly systems, no technical rubbish - blood and thunder and 4-4-2
we will be fine.

Question is .... Will McLaren just carry on as before ???

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  • 69.
  • At 02:58 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • andrew mcloughlin wrote:

A few observations on world cup so far:
1.England's level of skill is insufficient to beat intl. mediocrity.
2.FIFA should act to punish cheats-use tv replays.
3.All teams have their share of"feigners, simulators"
4.We will soon be back in the "sky bubble",when most of England's players will become world beaters once again.
5.Pundits-I stopped listening to them when a. hansen thought Carrick was man of match against Ecuador!-use fewer ex footballers who struggle with coherence.
6.A prediction- Mclaren will not be able to naturalise Yakubu or Maccarone and bring them on with 10 mins to go to switch tactics when its gone wrong.
7.Its a team game-which Germany are once again proving.
8.Tv/radio/press media build up then report on the failure-not unique,even in western europe.

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  • 70.
  • At 03:00 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ross Stephenson wrote:

Couldn't agree more, you can't be disappointed if you've no expectations to start with, goood old Sven!!!!!

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  • 71.
  • At 03:02 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Will Golby wrote:

England were simply not good enough - look at the player stats by position and none of them made the impact they should.

In a Premiership burtsing with overseas talent we have homegrown players good enough to make a name for themselves at our top clubs but none of them performed close to their potential in this tournament.

This is down to poor training and bad management and I can't help feeling that the FA is about to serve us more of the same with Steve McClaren.

What worries me is that in a bid to find answers we are all too quick to lash out at the players instead of the management. Few people have done as much for English football as David Beckham and I still wonder why a man who has been such a hero on so many occassions is so quickly cast as a villain. He is one of the best servants of English football we have ever produced and he has simply been badly managed by the English coaching staff.

Rooney's behaviour was deserving of a red card no matter what influence Ronaldo had on the situation. But I do not blame him. England was not playing as a team that had any clear direction and that must have been frustrating for all the players.

We can talk about number of friendlies played versus other nations and the influence on imported talent on the ability of homegrown players to make an impact on the national game but when all is said and done this team's problem was a lack of preparation - they simply did not have a strategy for playing against the teams they faced and were unable to fill that void on the pitch. The performaces were just that - empty.

The FA's influence on English football seems at times to be as damaging as that of the RFU on English Rugby. It is clear that we need a coach who can instill passion, confidence and belief in the team. But we also need someone who can give the team a better sense of purpose for each match they face.

I do not believe McClaren has these skills. True, he was at Man.U. during a particularly bright spell but that team was set on its course before he joined and few of Ferguson's assistant coaches have done anything since leaving Man. U. to suggest that it was them and not Ferguson who was the main driver behind the team's success.

At Middlesborough McClaren has been mediocre and Southgate's commentary has even suggested that his influence in successes has not been as great as McClaren would have us believe.

Finally, McClaren has been an influential part of the current managerial set-up. The set-up I believe was the route cause of England's dire performance in this World Cup. I would happily swap a Quarter Final place for a group stage exit just to have seen us play one game without any inhibitions. McClaren is not a passionate man, nor is he a great leader or moulder of men - if he were we surely would have seen something of his influence on the pitch over the last few weeks? Afterall this was his opportunity to show us what we were getting.

I don't know why the FA rushed this mangerial posting with the World Cup looming. It was obvious that no one of the experience and integrity we seek would be able to, or willing to make such a commitment - except Martin O'Neill.

My hope is that the FA will reflect on this World Cup and McClaren's part in it and they will reconsider the rushed appointment they made. Yes, it would be a PR disaster to sack a manager before he even appointed his new captain but as an England fan I cannot stand the thought of another 10 years of poor England performances before we have a team that is as enjoyable to watch as the team Venables brought together for Euro '96.

In the meantime, I have have loved David Beckham for the goals and assists that have seen us through when England has been struggling to come up with the goods and I will not make him the scape goat for the fact that he and his team were not managed or trained in readiness for this World Cup.

Let's forget about English passion when choosing a manager and start using our heads and not our hearts. Some will say this is too boring but I disagree - Germany use their heads and prepare thoroughly - no one can accuse them of being dull this World Cup and they might just even win it. Then you look at us and our 'passion' and yet we were the most inhibited and nagtive team of the competition. Confidence comes from knwoing what you are doing, from being ready.

Not that you could classify McClaren as a passionate man in fact the only FA requirement he seemed to meet was being English.

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  • 72.
  • At 03:03 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • andrew mcloughlin wrote:

Last but not least:
When will we get a team/coaches that the present supporters deserve- when we wake up to reality-mediocre teams tend not to win the world cup.

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  • 73.
  • At 03:03 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Brian Thomson wrote:

> Comment 62: People seem to forget how much luck comes into it. England ARE a good team.

I can agree that you need a bit of luck but not the way you see it. England had luck, and plenty of it.

Lucky to qualify for the World Cup in first place from a very easy group, lucky to be handed the easiest group in the World Cup itself "The group of dreams", lucky to win against Paraguay and T&T, lucky to play Ecuador (possibly the easist last 16 match), lucky to win against Ecuador after them hitting the bar, lucky to have Rooney available at all, lucky to be relatively injury/suspension free (look at Portugal's suspensions for that game), lucky to survive until penalties, lucky to play every game as a 'pseudo-home' game with 30,000 fans or more.

If you had given most other teams that sort of luck then they'd be in the semis. England blew it because they are NOT a good team. They have reasonable individuals, overrated by the press and the fans who play in an overrated league.

But you cannot compare them to the passion and flowing football that we've seen from the likes of Germany, Argentina and even Ghana, yes Ghana!

England deserve to be going home now, the only surprise to me is that they didn't go earlier. But that was down to luck, and plenty of it.

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  • 74.
  • At 03:05 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • ana campos wrote:

England failed and Ricardo, the Portuguese keeper was able to defend the penalties. It is time for the English press learn to respect other Nations and their football teams. England was not the first team to go home. The english media should show the pride on their team, supporting them when they need. This is the reason why the English people are not appreciated abroad.

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  • 75.
  • At 03:06 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • ana campos wrote:

England failed and Ricardo, the Portuguese keeper was able to defend the penalties. It is time for the English press learn to respect other Nations and their football teams. England was not the first team to go home. The english media should show the pride on their team, supporting them when they need. This is the reason why the English people are not appreciated abroad.

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  • 76.
  • At 03:07 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Francis wrote:

Ben's right that it was a joyless spectacle watching England in this tournament. I differ in that I genuinely would prefer to England play wretchedly and win. I'm getting to an age when I can't afford to be choosy. I want to see them win something while I'm young enough to enjoy it. However, in lieu of that, some élan and (I hate to use this expression) passion, much like that exhibited week in week out in the premiership would have been nice.

I'm reminded of Euro '96 when albeit disappointed at not winning the thing, most England supporters could not find it in their hearts to have anything but pride at the team's display.

English football will never scale the technical heights of the South American game, but it is the most watched version of the sport. This is due to its breathtaking speed and passion. It's beautiful in its own way. If England went out to Portugal after having played breakneck, devil-may-care, exhilarating football, I ,for one, would have been delighted.

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  • 77.
  • At 03:09 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • sobsong wrote:

Please, please, please do not make Gerrard captain of England. What is all the hype about him anyway? He can't pass properly - look at his first half displays people ...passes overhit, hit too hard and the woeful penalty attempt = no bottle. Terry is you man.

Also our new 'boss' ought to look at the german method of playing as a team, Hargreaves has been taught well. Also go for youth NOW - get rid of the deadwood now - it didn't perform over the past few weeks and it will not in the future.

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  • 78.
  • At 03:11 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Liam Anderson wrote:

From a Scotsman & with no hint of gloating (how can I with our recent record!) All of the England games were mince to watch, no attacking flair, no individual brilliance (JCs goal apart although O thought the keeper could have done better) just shear drudgery! The tournament is better without the likes of England & Ukraine. The mentality seems to be "lets not lose a goal then when the other team tires go for it"
In all honesty I wish that half of the England players had been born north of Hadrians wall but the way they are hyped up is unbelievable! There has been a lot of hysteria about the Scots not wanting England to win because we hate everything English. This is absolute nonsense! What really irritates us is your media! To hear Ian Wright say at the start of the tournament "I don't care about anyone else I just care about England" whan is being paid to give unbiased analysis just sums it all up! I also have to say that purely for their comments after Saturday's game both Wright & Shearer should never be allowed to sit on a football panel again! Comments like "I'd land one on him" (Shearer) & "Ronaldo needs sorted out" (Wright)have no place on a football programme. So when some thug does sort Ronaldo out will he get away with it because "Ian Wright said thats what should be done"? Wright is an embarrassment end of...!
Rant over.

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  • 79.
  • At 03:11 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Peco wrote:

As a Scot, I could not really care either way if England won the world cup but as a football fan I cant believe the hype surrounding Ronaldo.

Can someone tell me how it is Ronaldo's fault that Rooney stamped on Carvalho? Surely there is only one person to blame there!

Alright, Rooney is a very special talent but sometimes he just over steps the mark and I find it even more baffling to hear Eriksson also getting the blame. Granted, he should have went with different tactics and played someone beside Rooney but anyone who has played football at any level knows, when you stamp on a player, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Finally, the sooner the fans realise that the England team is not as good as they think, the better for all concerned, including the players.

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  • 80.
  • At 03:12 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Tim Nicholson wrote:

I disagree, I don't think England do need a Keane type of midfielder. England do not have the type of player who can unlock defences with an outrageous piece of skill or through ball, or have the ability to leave two or three players on their backsides....Gerard and co are great players but they don't and can't do the unexpected that you need to unlock the best defences in the latter stages of the world cup. We need a Zidane or a Deco or Totti (you know what I mean!). The last time we had someone of that sought of quality was Gazza in 1990 - and we were so close then.

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  • 81.
  • At 03:15 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Dan wrote:

That was very clever Superjim, very witty.
Tell me, do you always speak from that end of your body?

Great stuff Superjim.

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  • 82.
  • At 03:17 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Louis wrote:

What can I say? England lost but went to the penalty shootout in equal conditions and with the same chances of winning it. And their football throughout the tournament has been convincing? What a big pity that a great civilisation is showing a huge bad face to the world outside... lost ok but at least could show a little more of respect to the game and to the other teams. Let me say that England has great players but do not play as a team! Portuguese did it, in good and moments of adversity and not only with England (Holland for example) and that's the work of coach. Rooney is a good player but still imature. What he means by breaking Ronaldo? A player from the United and with the visibility that he has should have more sense. English squad does not know how to loose and blame all around but their football in this tournament has never been convincing. Move on and next time might be better! Don't blame C.Ronaldo, he is representing his team and country. Do you really think that if a portuguese player would do the same thing as Rooney did English side would accept it in a pacific way?! Oh, give me a break. Other problem is that English players think that their (huge) wages make them stars and that they do not have to run and work like the others (wages and names do not guarantee results). British squad does not have experience in other championships, they are used to England's and Premiership style and do not have international experience (apart of a couple of them). All that is important. Sven is a good coach but not for a national team and he never knew how to adapt the game to the real needs.

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  • 83.
  • At 03:18 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Rui Gomes wrote:

what a disgrceful thing for Alan Shearer tom say that Wayne Roony should assault Cristiano Ronaldo when they get back to pre-season training.
what Cristiano Ronaldo did is what every footballer in the Continent does. it's calles win and if someone like Wayne Rooney, who is a fantastic fottbaler, loses his head its no one's fault but his.
Alan Shearer is a legend and many young footballers wll take his word as gospel. what a hypocrit. surely his memory is not that bad as it was not long ago that he got Roy Keane sent off by goading him near the touchline at St. James Park.
so apologise on air, if you have the guts, or forget about bein involved with England. you're no better than the hatchet men that taint the beatiful game

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  • 84.
  • At 03:18 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • george doors wrote:

you english need a reality check. take a leaf out of us scots. we thought we'd win the world cup in 1978
now we dont expect anything ( cos were crap)

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  • 85.
  • At 03:18 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Liam Anderson wrote:

From a Scotsman & with no hint of gloating (how can I with our recent record!) All of the England games were mince to watch, no attacking flair, no individual brilliance (JCs goal apart although O thought the keeper could have done better) just shear drudgery! The tournament is better without the likes of England & Ukraine. The mentality seems to be "lets not lose a goal then when the other team tires go for it"
In all honesty I wish that half of the England players had been born north of Hadrians wall but the way they are hyped up is unbelievable! There has been a lot of hysteria about the Scots not wanting England to win because we hate everything English. This is absolute nonsense! What really irritates us is your media! To hear Ian Wright say at the start of the tournament "I don't care about anyone else I just care about England" whan is being paid to give unbiased analysis just sums it all up! I also have to say that purely for their comments after Saturday's game both Wright & Shearer should never be allowed to sit on a football panel again! Comments like "I'd land one on him" (Shearer) & "Ronaldo needs sorted out" (Wright)have no place on a football programme. So when some thug does sort Ronaldo out will he get away with it because "Ian Wright said thats what should be done"? Wright is an embarrassment end of...!
Rant over.

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  • 86.
  • At 03:20 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Dazsmells wrote:

Small point this, but I have to agree with Mr Ryder, regarding Terry Butcher. I've stopped reading his articles now, but what I did read was poorly written, generally spiteful, and thoroughly unconvincing. Why have the BBC - normally such good judges of pundits/reporters - resorted to this twerp. He has achieved precisely nothing in football, either as a player or a manager. Get rid.

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  • 87.
  • At 03:20 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

The big problem fo me is Ericksson's loyalty to players who have 'done it' in the past.

The only game where we played as a team was the Ecuador game. They neutralised the threat from the wings completely and if Lampard had turned up, we'd have had a few more goals. Hargreaves was doing a great job at right back and Carrick was actually (the first time for eons) making forward passes on the deck, rather hoofing-it like Ferdinand.

So what does Ericksson do for the next game? Sacrifice Carrick so that Gary Neville can take up his guaranteed-if-fit position along with Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard et al.

When John Terry was taken off against Sweden, the proper choice was Carragher (who's had a great season again), but no, we had to have Campbell. Again someone who's done it the past but has been almost clown-like every time he's come on recently. No wonder the rest of the defence went to pieces.

Every single person I know thought that the system against Portugal was overly defensive, and by half time it was absolutely clear we needed more firepower up front, but we are made to wait for Rooney to stamp on someone's gonads and get sent off before SGE does something.

Then it's 'backs-to-the-wall' time and plucky England do their plucky stuff and lose.

And all that crying on the field. What was that all about? The idea that England had any chance at penalties was a joke.

They all knew they were going out before the first penalty was taken. Lampard, Gerrard had it written in bold capitals all over their faces.

I've been sticking by the team and the manager uptil Saturday, but now it's over I say good riddance to SGE.

Only wish it was Martin O'Neill taking over.

P.

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  • 88.
  • At 03:21 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Rui Gomes wrote:

what a disgrceful thing for Alan Shearer tom say that Wayne Roony should assault Cristiano Ronaldo when they get back to pre-season training.
what Cristiano Ronaldo did is what every footballer in the Continent does. it's calles win and if someone like Wayne Rooney, who is a fantastic fottbaler, loses his head its no one's fault but his.
Alan Shearer is a legend and many young footballers wll take his word as gospel. what a hypocrit. surely his memory is not that bad as it was not long ago that he got Roy Keane sent off by goading him near the touchline at St. James Park.
so apologise on air, if you have the guts, or forget about bein involved with England. you're no better than the hatchet men that taint the beatiful game

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  • 89.
  • At 03:22 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Rob wrote:

I can't think why anyone is surprised we got knocked out - I'm amazed we got as far as we did. With the exception of Hargreaves we have played without passion or committment and inevitably our skill levels were nowhere near good enough. Radical changes needed - we want people who play for pride not for self publicity !!

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  • 90.
  • At 03:28 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Daniel Gomes wrote:

what a disgrceful thing for Alan Shearer tom say that Wayne Roony should assault Cristiano Ronaldo when they get back to pre-season training.
what Cristiano Ronaldo did is what every footballer in the Continent does. it's calles win and if someone like Wayne Rooney, who is a fantastic fottbaler, loses his head its no one's fault but his.
Alan Shearer is a legend and many young footballers wll take his word as gospel. what a hypocrit. surely his memory is not that bad as it was not long ago that he got Roy Keane sent off by goading him near the touchline at St. James Park.
so apologise on air, if you have the guts, or forget about bein involved with England. you're no better than the hatchet men that taint the beatiful game

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  • 91.
  • At 03:29 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Nick wrote:

Re comment 72 - just ask Leicester fans and players if Alan Shearer knows how to behave.

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  • 92.
  • At 03:30 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

It's interesting to see that on one hand basically everybody agrees that Owen Hargreaves was the best English player and to then read Dan's (#20, 21, ...) comment that the English league is the greatest and therefore the players don't have to play outside England. Well, where's Hargreaves playing? Exactly. Bayern München. Germany. Maybe that's where he learned to score at penalty kicks... :-)

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  • 93.
  • At 03:31 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ronnie Clews wrote:

As an Expat living in Germany, the frustration at seeing England crash out of a major competition again is more than just soul destroying. You have to listen to the comments and needling to understand how much everyone here wanted us out. Dodgy Referee decisions and diving opposition apart, England always set themselves up as potential winners only to fail miserably time after time. Our attitude to the game is too honest. We are not prepared to "win at all costs" and that coupled with a squad full of players either injured, inexperienced, over-rated or just simply knackered from one of the longest domestic and international seasons of football played anywhere, has once again ensured that expectations were not lived up to. If we want to get anywhere, we need less hype and more planning. The FA has got to change the way our national team prepares for major competitions, allowing more time for the squad to R&R and the manager to get the right mind set going in the team - and no WAGS!!. The Press and the Media have also got to stop "Peaking and Troughing" as if every match or injury was the day of the 2nd coming. Given the right preparation we could have gone all the way this time. Without it we just keep on dremaing!

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  • 94.
  • At 03:32 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ronnie Clews wrote:

As an Expat living in Germany, the frustration at seeing England crash out of a major competition again is more than just soul destroying. You have to listen to the comments and needling to understand how much everyone here wanted us out. Dodgy Referee decisions and diving opposition apart, England always set themselves up as potential winners only to fail miserably time after time. Our attitude to the game is too honest. We are not prepared to "win at all costs" and that coupled with a squad full of players either injured, inexperienced, over-rated or just simply knackered from one of the longest domestic and international seasons of football played anywhere, has once again ensured that expectations were not lived up to. If we want to get anywhere, we need less hype and more planning. The FA has got to change the way our national team prepares for major competitions, allowing more time for the squad to R&R and the manager to get the right mind set going in the team - and no WAGS!!. The Press and the Media have also got to stop "Peaking and Troughing" as if every match or injury was the day of the 2nd coming. Given the right preparation we could have gone all the way this time. Without it we just keep on dreaming!

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  • 95.
  • At 03:33 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Atom Ant wrote:

I agree with post #75. (Especially about the 'Sky bubble' and pundits. I had to sit and listen to Hansen slate an excellent Hargreaves at half-time against Portugal. Then, after the 120, he claimed Hargreaves was the best player on the pitch.)

I also agree with what Alan Pardew was saying about England being a team that was 'gripped by the fear of losing'. And it showed. (Germany are the one team at this tournament who look like they don't give a jot about losing, just as long as they give it a shot. Good luck to them, I say.)

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  • 96.
  • At 03:34 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Tony wrote:

How can you say the Joe Cole goal against Sweden was the only bright spark of the tournament? If you remember the Sweden match was meaningless as England had already qualified anyway. Surely the Beckham goal against Ecuador was the highlight of a mediocre team performance considering that magic free-kick sealed England's progression to the Quarter Finals single handedly.

I think people need to realise that England will always be a tier 2 team, the fact they have never got further than a quarter final in 16 years speaks volumes to that theory.

I blame the media partly for saturating the hype and losing all sight of realism. Had we gone into the tournament with a sense of normality and realism a quarter-final result would've been seen as "respectable" instead of a "disaster."

Let us not forget that the only teams to have fared better than England are Germany, Portugal, Italy and France.

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I'm really surprised at the attitude to the players. This was the most talented group to come out of England for at least 15 years, probably longer. Sven believed there were loads of talented players around and he put his money where his mouth was: he selected 72 of them during his reign.
Abd that's the problem. No continuity, of either tactics or selection. The players didn't know from week to week where they'd be playing, who with and in what formation. No wonder they never looked settled: they weren't. They were shackled, not settled.
Lampard looked like he'd got stage fright, which he wouldn't have had if he'd been playing pretty much the sme place in much the same team for the past two years. Beckham would have been better in a defensive midfield role, because he's not as fast as he used to be - but his ball-winning and defenssive work was excellent.
Generally, we saw a team of outstanding talents whose great potential was never exploited because they literally didn't know what they were doing. And did the manager? The selection of Theo Walcott - very promising but not there yet - ahead of Jamaine Dafoe, when the fitness of two talismanic strikers was in doubt was idiotic.
Sven was right to say 'don't blame Rooney' - not least because whether Rooney actually committed a foul - afetr having been fouled himself four or five times immediately before the ref blew up - is very much open to debate. But why did Sven say it? To divert attention from himself, I suspect. It wasn't rooney's fault: it was Sven's. He made a mess of this championship. He made a mess of the England team. With all that talent at his disposal, he cocked up, big time. He should move on wherever he's going as soon as possible. Goodbye and good riddance.

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  • 98.
  • At 03:37 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • David W wrote:

The England team had some world class players and on paper had a great chance of doing well. I do find it totally bizarre that players have to be 'motivated' to play well and win a game. This is the world cup for heavens sake, every footballers dream stage and one where confidence for the England team should be high given the suposed calibre of players in the team. There were too many average performances from 'star' players who should of been at their peak and desperate to prove their billing. The players who failed were the ones expected to shine, whilst the players lined up in supporting roles were the only glimmer of hope (Hargreaves, J.Cole, Crouch and Lennon.) Argentina and Spain, although out too, at least put in some very impressive performances and inspired their fans but Brazil, like England, failed to meet expectations, rarely got out of second gear and in fact did not deserve to be be in contention for the final and glory on MERIT. France and Italy have improved as the competition has progressed and we were always being told that England would too - but sadly it never came.

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  • 99.
  • At 03:38 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Danny Brilliant wrote:

England were mediocre. Sven is as good a manager as the team were players. Rooney learnt a cruel lesson but he will be wiser for it. David should certainly concentrate on his modelling while he has a few years left. They have all done very well moneywise out of this adventure. Good for them all.

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  • 100.
  • At 03:39 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Richard Hurley wrote:

Phil W - completely agree and let's just be clear about this.

The premiership may be the best league in the world but other nations now benefit from knowing how the English play the game. As a result, dealing with/defending against the tempo, velocity etc is less of a problem.

With so few players in foreign leagues, we have little hope of being able to deal with or take on the Italians, French, Germans, Spanish and Portuguese at their own games (e.g. playing the game as though grass grew on the ground rather than hoofing it upfield in the hope of a mistake/some tenacity/an occasional flash of brilliance).

It is all very well living in isolation about how our leagues etc are the best, but the fact is that this is a global game and the sooner we (both players and fans) stop being so provincial in our attitudes the better.

As for Rooney and Ronaldo, well - Wayne you had to go. Doesn't stop me thinking Ronaldo is an eejit. Showboating does not make you a great player: how often did we see Cruyff, Pele, Maradona, Gullit etc stepover well at the expense of doing the rudimentaries well also?

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  • 101.
  • At 03:41 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • streaky wrote:

The issue here is fans versus Engish people.. A fan won't go into a World Cup knowing his team will win, they'll be hoping, where as an English person (i.e. Non-football fan) will assume we're going to win and moan when we don't, and probably read poor-quality newsprint, and basically spend the next 2 weeks spouting whatever is written on the back page of the sun.

Me, I'm looking forward to 2008, I *know* we're gonna win that ;)

P.S. Gerrard for captain!

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  • 102.
  • At 03:43 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

England need to change their mentality from "penalties are a lottery" to the simple philosophy "the team who scores the most goes through". Practice practice practice. Get a qualified referee as part of the squad and make them take penalties every day during the world cup as if it were the real thing not avoiding the finest detail such as having the players in the centre circle. Carragher not realising he had to wait for the whistle epitomises Englands philosophy.

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  • 103.
  • At 03:45 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Greg wrote:

Surely I don't know as much about English football as the most bloggers here, yet I'd like to contribute to this discussion from a German point of view.

Before the tournament started, I was very confident England would play a major role in determining the new WC winners. You got a good defence and a very reputable midfield with players like Lampard, Gerrard and Beckham beeing able to make a difference. The lack of decent *and* healthy strikers was the only flaw I could see.

But after the first couple of games it was quite apparent England could not live up to the high expectations at home as the squad could not dominate the weaker teams and struggled again in the match vs Sweden. When the first real test came, England showed a good performance, but it was not enough to beat an enfeebled Portugal.

Why is that? By looking at the players beeing a part of the sqad, you can easily tell it's not a lack of quality. And I disagree with the argument there're too little Englishmen playing abroad because that counts for Germany as well.

I think that, on the one hand, Englands' expectations were too ambitious. Everyone - the manager, the players, the fans and the press - repeated the slogan "We *will* win the WC" at every opportunity, although there're like 8 other teams that actually could win the WC. Lifting the trophy is too difficult a goal that you could plan it or take it for granted. Notwithstanding, everything else than winning the WC seems to be viewed as failure, although reaching the quarter-finals is already a great success.

On the other hand, I was under the impression the sqad never really believed in its strength. After every game, the players kept promising a better performance for the next match, but - to me - it sounded like hollow phrasemongering. In addition, SGE let them play a very defensive and halfhearted system that was hardly convenient to lift the players' faith. During the final shootout against Portugal you could tell the English lack of confidence by looking at the players' body language.

Four yeary ago, I enjoyed the magnificent English victory over Argentina, and if it hadn't been for a brilliant Brazil, your side would have made it to the finals giving our guys another beating.

Somehow the spirit of that team has vanished long ago, sadly. Hopefully, your new manager will bring a turn for the better.

Greets from Cologne!

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  • 104.
  • At 03:46 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • John Polska wrote:

I can only agree with the vast majority of what people have written. My great concern is that McClaren might be another "yes" man for the English FA. I was rather troubled when I heard that Martin O'Neill (who has stated that he DID want the position) was rejected after replying "only if he's playing well enough, then yes" to the question "would you choose David Beckham as captain?". I hope I have been misinformed....does anyone know if there's any truth to this? I think we should have chosen a different type of manager when we had the chance, and he ought to have been installed as soon as the decision was made - or else, keep Sven's resignation quiet until after the World Cup. It's another English FA shambles. I feel so frustrated that we shan't be on telly on wednesday evening.......

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  • 105.
  • At 03:51 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Tony Momoh wrote:

Just a note the players in this country are to over hyped from beckham and co.
Its just a shame the public don't see :(

why is the premiership so entertaining please tell me?
its the likes of henry / robben / van nisteroy / cech / garcia / fabregas / drogba / crespo / yakubu and much more that give's views value for money.

I imagine it was the reverse watching rooney / beckham / lampard / gerrad / rio / e.t.c they are not value for money sorry to say but true.

The problem here is one you 2 scenarios, first you have henry /garcia plus the rest that were hungry to achieve something due to certain surroundings they struggled all there lives growing up in tough neighbour hoods seeing love ones mugged / degraded in soceity i mean think of what a the ghettos are like in france / spain / argentina / holland.

Secondly you beckham / lampard they have struggled but what struggle when everything is based on hype in the UK .They dont have ghettos in this country if they did the willigness to succeed will be apparent not just based on earning but belief/survival and gutts.

I think there wages should be capped first of all and everything should be based on performance related pay you tell me if they wont get it sorted. To much money living lives people in the UK aspire too. Its a shame to say but true are looking at working class people but not scholars.


The desire to be a winner is not down to money but down to desire and belief as a human being forget the ego,search within you.

Look at wenger / mourinho / freggy / bentiez e.t.c that's all I have to say

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  • 106.
  • At 03:52 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Craig Morris wrote:

I think the press and media have to take some of the blame for England's failures. Yes, we won the world cup and it was a fantastic achievement - but that was 40 years ago. So why rake it up every 4 years since then? It doesn't matter if Geoff Hurst's goal was over the line or that we lent the '66 match winning ball to a museum in Germany. It's simply a history lesson with nothing to be learnt from it. The best thing we can do is to forget the past and look to the future. That means no more Alan Ball (sorry Alan) as a TV pundit or 'where are they now' specials, or the media filling air-time and column inches with 40 years of hurt. Instead of trying for the tournament fair play award, we need to focus on winning. And it's the press and media that play a large part in setting the tone of the nation - and the expectations of the team.

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  • 107.
  • At 03:54 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • One of those scotch wrote:

England were possibly the most boring team in the world cup, completely flat, no penetration, no flair (except maybe lennon). You looked like scotland under berti vogts, though with better players/defence, nobody seemed to actually have a clue how exactly they were going to score. In the last 210 minutes of football, you didnt score a single goal in open play - 3 and a half hours and this supposed "golden generation" could only muster a free kick (which should have been saved) from a has-been.
Once again, overhyped, overrated and a media build up that makes anybody who's not english want them to crash and burn. Only problem was that you were so unbelievably crap - much worse than previous years - that nobody up here ever really feared that you could win it, and the fear is half the fun.
England always need their damn scapegoat. This time its ronaldo for complaining to the ref that his teammate had his balls stamped on. Reverse the situation and imagine your reaction to roooney asking for a red card for a ronaldo stamp... get over yourselves

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  • 108.
  • At 03:54 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Richard Hurley wrote:

Oh - and maybe, next time, England should be a little bit more like France (post group stage) or Italy: e.g. play like the games are your last games *ever* and have a resolutely group based approach - players and coaches sticking together rather than worrying about whether there was a hair gel/soft drink photoshoot to go to!

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  • 109.
  • At 03:56 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Whoever wrote that Beckham faked his injury is talking rubbish. He is out of action for 6 weeks, also shown by the fact he was visibly upset to not be able to take any further participation in the match after he was subbed. So he protested at the Rooney red card during the match, oh so that of course means he was faking his injury then...

You will always see people have a go at Beckham, but who else in this tournament for England provided 2 crucial goal assists and 1 crucial goal to get the team to the QFs? No yellow cards, defensive help and general stability. If it was anyone else they'd be immortalised in gold. As Pele said last week, England need him and he has nothing to prove.

And it is highly pathetic to say "good riddance" to him when not many captains have helped the side get to three major tournaments and 3 quarter finals in a row. And that guidance came just last week with the Ecuador goal. And people have the nerve to call him a bad role model? At least he has redeemed himself time and time again over the 6 years.

England will miss his right foot more than people will ever credit for at this moment in time...

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  • 110.
  • At 03:59 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • synklair wrote:

Some of the worst football i watched this world cup was watching England. We would have only won the world cup despite Sven not because of him.
For Sven to pick the pick a player based upon a happy slapping mms he received from Wenger shows how tacticly inept the man truly was.
Wright- Philips was told he didn't play enough games for Chelsea ( not that i would have took him anyway.) so he wont pick picked for England but Walcott..... There's irony in there somewhere.
No could escape the hype and not got caught up in it, but in reality most of us were embarassed by watching sunday league football from 'so-called ' world class players, who seemed all the way through this competition uncomfortable with the formation and instructions they were given. I always thought you play to your teams strengths and Sven has no idea how to do that.
I do think that Lampard or Terry are over-rated, as Makelle and Gallas do all the donkey work for them and it showed.
A couple of bonuses, the defence,also Hargreaves, Carrick, Joe Cole, Lennon, the talent is there!! and with King, Anton Ferdinand, Nolan, Defoe, Bent just to name a few we have the players to win but not the manager, i hope that SM will make the changes needed, make big decisions, but alas i dont think this will happen.
My final point make Steven Gerrard England captain top class player, top class captain, leads by example.

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  • 111.
  • At 04:00 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Kath H wrote:

England was never going to win. Why don't the rest of you ever expect to come away having lost? There can only ever be one winner and with the present team it is never going to be England. It is not the fault of the players nor even the manager. It is because we do not have enough English players playing in the Premiership. We need to change the rules on overseas players so that we can nurture home grown talent. It will also prevent the fiasco of Premiership team mates scrapping on the pitch!!

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  • 112.
  • At 04:01 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • simon wrote:

I believe this team was good enough to go all the way, the only problem was that Sven made bad decisions "big decisions".

Lampard should of been dropped, as a Chelsea fan it hurts me to say that but he just did not turn up. Perhaps a spell on the bench would of woke him up, but of course that was too much for Sven, unlike the Italian coach who dropped Totti and brought him on late in the game against Australia and he made a impact, basic common sense.
Beckham should of also been dropped, I think it was clear enough to the rest of the world after his initial display that Lennon was going to cause all types of problems for the opposing teams of the world cup, again Sven would not take the hard decisions, why? He had nothing to lose, he was on his way out anyway. Perhaps he still has to remain buddies with Beckham, as the next Real Madrid coach.
Why is it that after seeing two years of Lampard and Gerrard together for England and everyone knowing that it does not work,why does Sven continue with such folly?
The basic fact is the manager got it wrong he had a great team and never let them off the leash, the caution that he showed by not taking more strikers should off been a warning sign for everybody, Sven was going to be very negative in his approach to the world cup games, and this approach never gathered any confidence in the team.
They looked like a bunch rabbits caught in the headlights of a oncoming truck.

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  • 113.
  • At 04:04 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Putting aside the hype over whether England were good enough, whether Rooney should have been sent off, whether Ronaldo influenced the decision, where do you English see your team going now? How will they develop, improve, how will Mcclaren change things and make his era different from Sven's? Who do you want out? Who should come in? These are the questions the English FA should be asking you because the fans are the only people who make sense

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  • 114.
  • At 04:10 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Rick wrote:

GroovyDave,no doubt a scot.Im sick of them pouring scorn over England.Hopefully Scotland will get a decent side sometime in the next 50yrs so the Scots can concentrate on their own comedy team.

Saying tht,England were poor throughout the tournament and although i would have loved them to progress,they didn't really deserve to with the performances.

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  • 115.
  • At 04:13 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • sicknote wrote:

There has been so much spin about how good this team is. I'm not English but got fed up of Sven saying that the best was yet to come from this team. What best is that? In the past 10 years I can remember 2 great performances from an English team - 4-1 v Holland at Euro 96 and the 5-1 result in Munich a few years ago. Sven has used that as his benchmark performance ever since. Unfortunately they havent come close and didnt look like getting remotely close during this tournament. The team needed goalscorers up front to progress and didnt have any. They also needed a back 4 who played like a back 4, and Frank Lampard Jnr shouldve gone to specsavers before the tournament- he might have had at least 1 shot on target if he had

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  • 116.
  • At 04:13 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Rod wrote:

So, England are home with tails between their legs after a dismal failure yet again. It was all so predictable :

Incessant hype for months about the 'golden generation' winning the World Cup, right down to the details of the victory parade

A clearly unfit Michael Owen picks up another injury.

The red mist descends on Rooney for more thuggishness and a red card.

Theo Walcott - minutes on pitch = 0, nice holiday = 1

England fail to beat Sweden. Again.

England fail to beat Portugal. Again.

England bottle it at penalties. Again.

The English media write off the hosts as no-hopers - 'the worst German team in living memory'. Germany outperform England. Again.

The English media blame everybody (the ref, FIFA, cheating foreigners, the CIA, aliens...) rather than the failings of themselves and their own team.

England immediately installed as favourites for Euro 2008 (by the English).


For once, can't England just go into a competition realising that they are just an average team, and giving the other teams the respect they deserve? Then again, don't bother changing...it's so much fun for the rest of us.

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  • 117.
  • At 04:15 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • DaveH wrote:

One of those scotch sounds like he had more than one of those scotch.. He is right though - we were crap. Scotland have been through this, so they know what it's like - oh, sorry, I forgot.. they never actually got this far in any tournament - still, they know what it's like to lose alright, and they're right, we just weren't good enough.
I've been pleasantly surprised by the comments fron Scots and Welsh contributors - I expected much more gloating. The good thing is that, in the main, they realise that it isn't English football fans that created the hype, it was the press. The sad thing is that a lot of us wanted to believe it. It actually looked logical with the players available. The problem is that Sven didn't use them properly, or they didn't perform, or we just plain weren't good enough.. we lost... Ahh well, there's always next time!
Let's hope some more of the home nations make it through qualifying - let's hope WE make it through qualifying. It would be nice not to be carrying the flag alone - to be fair it'd be nice to see the Scots because you can always rely on them to have a go, even if they go down, they go down fighting. Nobody can say the English didn't go down fighting though - and there'll be some bruised Portugese plums to prove it!

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  • 118.
  • At 04:16 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • tom wrote:

I think cristiano is a disgrace. I think that he should not be allowed to play football in this country again. And what a performance from the heroic Owen Hargreaves, who received so much criticism, but showed everyone what a player he can actually be...He was outstanding and did not deserve to be on the losing team

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  • 119.
  • At 04:16 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Geoff Buckingham wrote:

Englands next Captain.

F.A.
Do the sensible and thing for once skip a generation and for the next England Captain and appoint Michael Carrick NOW !! let him grow into teh role to lead us into teh next world Cup.

The hasbeens have failed us dont even think about Terry or Gerrard.

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  • 120.
  • At 04:17 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Andy Burton wrote:

Any true football supporter could have told you that England were never good enough, but like you many people have believed in the Press hype instead of realising that the 'best two' midfielders in the Premiership have not performed consistently well for England -who? The two who manage to score from 30+ yards every week but not from 12yards for England.
All this tosh about Sven's tactics makes me laugh too...you mean to tell me that these so called superstars cannot think for themselves once they cross the white line?

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  • 121.
  • At 04:17 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • steve fos wrote:

England do have good players, but they have to be given the confidence to go out onto the pitch and use this ability. Our players confidence was undermined by Sven, by playing them out of position and in a formation which they were not happy with. Hargreaves was excellent on Saturday, but is naive as a holding player. England played better after Rooney went off because they adopted a 4-4-1 formation which they were all more comfortable with. Rooney's sending off was only a result of his frustration at being a lone striker!

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  • 122.
  • At 04:19 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • meb wrote:

Can anyone enlighten me on this theory..

There are two certainties in life..

Death and
England losing on penalties

..heheheheh

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  • 123.
  • At 04:20 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Honest Al wrote:

1. Leave the kids (Rooney & Ronaldo) alone; both did things that are acceptable & normal in hot pursuit of a goal.
2. If Ronaldo wants to play for Man Utd next season, fine; if he doesn't, fine. The nay-sayers are no better than the Brits who took-the-p when the Ities sacked from Serie A the S Korean who knocked them out of the WC last time.
3. When this country gets itself a proper name , it might assemble a proper team. "England" is not a national entity, & the "United Kingdom" is a ruritanian nonsense.
4. Until then, I DON'T want Germany, France or Portugal to win the WC.

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  • 124.
  • At 04:21 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

Lennon could have been the new hero if he'd scored the open goal that presented itself to him against Portugal. At the moment he's not fit to lace Becks boots. Lots of mazey running which looks spectacular but very little in the way of a final ball. One for the future though.

Beckham has been a fantastic captain. I wish him and his family well. Our goal tally in Germany would have been halved without him. It would be nice if the press and pundits would get off his back for a while. What did Taylor/Butcher/Lawrenson EVER win at International level. Not a lot! Taylor worst substitution ever when he took off Lineker, Butcher famous for bleeding a lot in Italy and Lawrenson famous for shaving off his moustache.

If they wanted to pick on a midfield player then surely Lampard must have knocked £10 million off his value, he was awful - couldn't hit a cow's backside with a banjo. Owen Hargreaves set the benchmark and deserves all the plaudits.

Roll on 2008. England forever!

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  • 125.
  • At 04:24 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Rooney's red was harsh, I don't see where else he could put his foot without risking injuring himself with an awkward fall, but what was Carvalho doing tackling from behind with both feet forward anyway, isn't that a foul and yellow card straight off?

I don't think we'd have won in any case, so this isn't a hard luck story. But I'm not blaming Sven, strange as his decisions might be, because in truth this wasn't, isn't, and never looked like being a golden generation, that's just the SKY-fuelled premiership hype machine talking. They need your subscriptions, so ratchet up the billing for every player, but have we really players to match those Bobby Robson had? Barnes, Beardsley, Waddle, Steven, Robson, Walker, Butcher, Wright, Shilton, Pearce, Parker, Hateley - 20 years ago Clive Allen could score 49 goals in a season and barely win a cap, 10 years ago Robbie Fowler was experiencing similar. Hateley left Milan for Monaco, scored right through the '86 qualifiers and was usurped by Lineker for the finals, with Cottee, Dixon and others missing out entirely. Now we blast Sven for not taking the likes of Darren Bent or single-figure Defoe? We just don't have the depth we used to.

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  • 126.
  • At 04:24 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Dunks wrote:

Well, it's all over now, and McClaren has to take stock of what went wrong and ask himself how we could take a clutch of some of the brightest stars in world football and make them look so average.
Gerrard has to be captain. Terry has helped guide Chelsea to a couple of Premiership titles, but Liverpool won the European Cup after Gerrard took it upon himself to get back into the game against Milan. Very few players have the ability to do that - and he grows with the captaincy.
Please, Steve - pick Stevie.

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  • 127.
  • At 04:25 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • r phillips wrote:

shame england's mental flaws were exposed yet again... still, was nice to see a world class player win the match. get over it you muppets!

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  • 128.
  • At 04:25 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • PedroB wrote:

Thought the article was a bit hard on Ford Mondeos myself!

Lets face it, England have some of the best players available, but on performances were definitely among the poorer, less inspired teams to progress throught to the quarters. I've heard the expression before and it seems to apply to Sven and the team, "Good Horse, Bad Jockey".
If he thought they were as good a team as is left in, he shouldn't be commenting on, let alone running, a football team. Hope Mclaren does a better job.

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  • 129.
  • At 04:26 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • janus wrote:

The reason England doesn't deserve to win is that they tolerate (and the media and former players apparently encourage) the hooligan/yob culture that embarasses civilised Englishman the world over.
Yes it can be "entertaining" to hear Shearer's shameful comments (isn't inciting violence in public a criminal offence?) or read the tabloid's daily dose of propaganda for the lower classes (which incidentally ensures they will always remain low class), but it contributes to the culture of violence and intolerance that permeates football, specially with some fans (ie. England). For that reason I don’t take my kids to the matches anymore. I was at the match in Gelsenkirchen and was saddened by the look of fear and confusion on the face of many portuguese children faced with threatening and abusive behaviour from many english “fans”. Shame on you England for tolerating these goons and shame on you FIFA for allowing these goons to sit mixed in with the Portuguese fans at the stadium. I personally witnessed violence and threatening behaviour which the stewards preferred to ignore (no doubt in fear for their own safety). The Germans have been keeping this type of behaviour out of the news outlets, surely so as to not encourage more, but you can't hide it from the people present in the stadiums and the city centre. I will never go to an England match again, ever.
And you talk so much about fair play. Hypocrites.

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  • 130.
  • At 04:27 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Andrew Smith wrote:

Thank you for stating so eloquently what many of us have been saying for years. Far too many people believe England to be way better than they really are and are therefore constantly disappointed when they make their inevitable exit.

The fact is, England benefit from their seeded status, gifting them minnows against which to play their early games. This allows them to progress from the first round despite playing stale, unimaginative and uninspiring football. Eventually they face some 'real' opposition and as we've seen repeatedly, are unable to overcome them. However, they did indeed progress to the later rounds, which earns them seeded status for the next tournament and the cycle continues.

What we have is a 2nd rate national side masquerading as a 1st rate one. The sooner the BBC, the press and the supporters accept that, the better off we'll all be.

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  • 131.
  • At 04:27 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • JMB wrote:

I think it is apalling that England progressed as far as they did given their pathetic performance. Mexico going out early while England advanced made a mockery of the World Cup. Mexico displayed talent that England can only dream of.

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  • 132.
  • At 04:28 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • brian murphy wrote:

You cant blame Sky or the BBC for over hyping the premier league...at the end of the day they have to over hype it because theyve invested huge sums of money for broadcast rights..meaning they have to create huge hype in order to get people to watch it!!!its up to the english public to make their own minds up!!!!just cos somebody on tv says this player is great or that team is great...watch the bloody game yourself and make up your own mind!!watch other leagues to help give you some comparison...the best game i saw all last year was werder bremen v bayern munich where bremen won 3-0 playing an all out attacking style (against one of the best teams in europe with whom a cetain english star happened to be playing but people in england still think he could be the target of premiership clubs!!!!!!!!why?????)!!!just because you dont see other leagues on tv does not mean they are crap.....return to the perspective of the premier league!!!!!in the last 20 years 3 english teams have reached the final of the european cup/champions league,2 have won......now compare that with serie A, la Liga, the Bundesliga, or even the french championship and it will tell its own story!!!!and the last point to add to that is how many english players represented foreign teams in these finals compared with french, german, italian, portuguse, spanish and even eastern european or south american players
a severe reality check is needed by the whole english public!!!!because at the end of the day the media is only represntitive of those who listen to it....if you do not agree with them find an alternative they wont be long catering to the demands of the public on who there profits depend!!!!

last point best soccer coverage of last year was james richardsons gazzetta coverage of serie A on bravo(even with some idiotic pundits)

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  • 133.
  • At 04:28 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Alan wrote:

They looked like a bunch rabbits caught in the headlights of a oncoming truck.
I completely agree. In fact the prevailing thought in the english side at its most optimistic was "we might be able to win here"
How many times have we seen England balk in front of the big guns like Germany and Brazil, rather than go out and play football.
Most of this is intheir heads. They need to be inspired! After every half time break the boys played WORSE! Sven just can't inspire.
We should take a page out of the Brazilians book and play with the desire not just to win but to score as many goals as possible - to totally annihilate the opposition (remember 5-1 against Germany - what joy!).
As for the hype that this was the best team ever - what rubbish - Sherringham, Shearer, Adams, Pearce, Seaman, or 1990 when we came 4th with Shilton, Gazza, Lineker, Waddle Platt Wright. No this was a long way from the best team that England have fielded in the last few world cups. And as everyone has said - we took no strikers with us this time. Sven screwed our chances, not the players!

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  • 134.
  • At 04:29 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ben wrote:

It's time to acknowledge that Sepp Blatter is right to call for the reduction of the Premier League to 18 clubs.
England played less internationals (9) than any other nation. Germany played 27. The two bottom clubs in the Premiership are always yoyo clubs and really just dilute the overall standard of the league. Sunderland are a prime example of this.

So for English club football and international football, listen to Fifa and not the Old Boys network of the FA.

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  • 135.
  • At 04:29 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

What another over zelous promise... All talk no action, well excluding the negative side. Without our bad luck we'd have no luck at all! Maybe next time I'll cheer for every other team we play and the disappointment will be dealt in their hand for a change.

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  • 136.
  • At 04:33 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Outraged wrote:

Only just now I fully understood what Shearer and that other bloke I can't remember his name said about Rooney sticking one on Ronaldo (english slang is sometimes beyond me). In a normal country, such comments would have been considered dishonorable and, I dare say, infamous. They would have been sacked from whatever jobs they held as commentators for inciting violence and hatred. FIFA has sacked and punished for much less. I put what they said at the same level of those racist chants by spanish fans.

But not amazingly the majority of the English fans and even BBC seemed to consider those statements perfectly normal and justified. Sure, blame Ronaldo for your own incompetence.

Do you have any idea how you all look pathetic at the eyes of the world? Crying and lamenting for a defeat that it was written right under your noses from the very beginning? You deliberately chose to ignore the mistakes of your managers, the unfitness of most of your players, the wrong tactics adopted on the pitch. Many times you voiced your discontent but you still believed that it would be possible. Scolari displays confidence because he knows how to do his job. Sven displayed confidence because he was desperate to please a crowd that would feed him to the lions if they weren't pleased enough.

It has been wonderful to see the enormous respect and good grace of the french media toward the portuguese team. They are not blinded by prejudice and outright stupidity. If those BBC pundits are going to remain for Euro 2008, then BBC news is out of my bookmarks for good.

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  • 137.
  • At 04:35 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

Completely disagree. Thought the team that went out each game gave everything they had. Now get behind them. obviously not an England fan. Every time England goes out they get this. You wouldn't be saying this if England had won it but played rubbish!!!

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  • 138.
  • At 04:35 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

Nice to see all the non-English particularly Scots on here enjoying our downfall. Perhaps we can do the same the next time they reach a World Cup Quarter Final.....and then I woke up from a strange dream, what was I thinking.

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  • 139.
  • At 04:38 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Jen wrote:

This is got to be the funniest thing I have read in a long time...all full of fans doing the usual, blame the ref, blame the weather, blame the opposition. Don't you all ever stop and think that MAYBE there was a reason that you didn't go any further this year, and that maybe that reason is that you are just not good enough? England are NOT in the same league as Italy, Brazil, Germany...the only people who think that are the English people and the media. Your media ALWAYS overhype every tournament you enter, and that is where people get this belief. Ask a foreigner who they expected to win the cup, and you can be sure they won't say England. England aren't rubbish, but you are NO WHERE near as good as you think - and for that you will ALWAYS be disappointed. You won the World Cup 40 years ago - big deal! The world of football has moved on since then. As for the Premiership being the "best in the world" - well it really does depend on your point of view - but I can think of many who prefer La Liga or even Serie A. And as another commentator stated - who is it that makes the Premiership the best anyway - all the foreigners! If you all want to avoid disappointment in the future, stop expecting more than you are capable of - and maybe then people will have a higher opinion of your team and your fans. Blaming everyone but the team is just pathetic. There is NO WAY Ronaldo GOT Rooney sent off...Rooney stamped on a guys privates - he deserved the card and more. And somehow I don't think anyone notices the connection of team-mates of other clubs, unless it happens to be a premiership team. Get it through your heads, England is NOT the centre of the universe, you are NOT world beaters (consistently) and as the other commentator said you had PLENTY OF LUCK this time, because really, you were lucky to get through the group stages.

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  • 140.
  • At 04:38 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Alan wrote:

139.

At 04:29 PM on 03 Jul 2006,

Ben wrote:
It's time to acknowledge that Sepp Blatter is right to call for the reduction of the Premier League to 18 clubs.
England played less internationals (9) than any other nation.

I had no idea: It's no wonder we can't play as a team if the team never really plays together!

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  • 141.
  • At 04:38 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • richard wrote:

Why is everyone going on about whether England played well or not. At the end of the day Germany are through on penalties, England are knocked out. There lies the problem, the penalties not the 2 hours prior to the shoot out.

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  • 142.
  • At 04:49 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Joao Nunes da Silva wrote:

Bottom line is England tried, and then tried again, but they didn't play enough to win to Portugal.

Get over it

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  • 143.
  • At 04:49 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • stevefos wrote:

Jen, hav you actually watched Italy play in this tournament? They were almost as bad as the English and and the French only played well against Brazil. We might not be world beaters this time but do not criticise us for being true supporters who HOPE our team comes good. I am very proud to support England and will continue to remember the great times like thrashing Germany in Munich and Holland in Euro 96 untill we come good again!

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  • 144.
  • At 04:51 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Asif wrote:

At only one point in five games did I jump off my seat in excitement. The Joe Cole Goal.

Most comments on here are absolutely right. We were pathetic, Eriksson is crap, top class players who cant play as a team, we didnt use the right formation and the biggest problem was the squad.

The prat chose Walcott who's never played in the premiership over so many decent strikers and didnt take SWP (who had played) cos he didnt play enough, but he did play as opppose to little Theo.

The squad was the first step and sign of intent. Campbell, after what Zamora did to him, I was scared to watch him play. Yes he used to be our rock but now thats all he is. The defence was solid apart from him, and thank God cos thats what we relied. The midfield squad was ok but our options were never used. Carrick should've played if Lampard or Gerrard werent on top form. SWP should've started if Beckham wasnt playing well with Lennon as back up. Joe Cole should've been used more, he is the only player except Rooney who can give the opposition a headache. With Downing as backup great, we couldve had a strong midfeld who can pass with lightning wingers down either flank. Where was Jenas ? Parker would've been a stronger player.

Upfront a completely different story, one man short again. Crouch 'the option' was Englands greatest striker ? What a joke. Yes he scored. And ok with Rooney injured first then Owen leaving he was OK. But how could we forget Defoe or Bent & the man who I think is our next Shearer, Dean Ashton ? I would've even have prefered if he'd taken a gamble on Marlon Harewood (pace, strength, power) as oppose to Crouch (missing headers & long ball).

Good luck Mclaren, do whats right for the country, and don't be scared of the players or the media.

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  • 145.
  • At 04:52 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • AJ wrote:


If English players had even a tenth of the passion that England supporters have, things might have been different.

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  • 146.
  • At 04:52 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Mr Stix wrote:

"We will play better". "We will play to our potential"...... next time...
Finally time to realise that WAS Englands potential and no matter how much blame is placed with Sven it won't change the simple fact that they aren't good enough and never were. The sooner people like Ian Wright, Garry Lineker and Co. stop saying they are "world class" when they are not even "good" the better.

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  • 147.
  • At 04:54 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • The Rev wrote:

There's an awful lot of bitter Scots around aren't there ;-)

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  • 148.
  • At 04:55 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Tequila wrote:

Everyone can moan as much as they want, truth is all this retribution would still have happened had England made the semi-final and lost... or even the final.

To blame Ronaldo for everything going wrong is pointless, we still didn't look like scoring all the time Rooney was on the pitch! Fact is they played better once he'd gone. Star players under achieved, due to formation and tactics, not because they were a man down. Rooney's temperament is questionable at the best of times....

One last thing, well done Theo, I've never played in the premiership either but I would have liked to have had front row tickets to every England match! Don't know if you can kick a ball Theo but I like your style!

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  • 149.
  • At 04:56 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Simon Turner wrote:

You have to look at the planning of our campaign - there have been three fundamental errors:

1. When it was announced that Sven would no longer be England manager after the world cup, he should have gone there andthen. I'm not doubting Sven's professionalism, but Santini's immenent depature had the same effect on France in 02. How many managers have announced their department and stayed until the end? I can only think of Bobby Robson. Once you know you are going your motivation drops considerably - it is human nature.

2. Not taking enough strikers was a mistake. Bent / Defoe / Beattie were all better options than Walcott - and why was Jenas taken?

3. Why were the Wags there? They were a complete distraction. It put the players on holiday mode and it showed. Our preperation should have been milatary style. Rather than taking in the sights, should the players not have been reviewing tactics, focussing on the game and dare I say, practising penalties?

As for a new captain, Terry is meant to be a leader so why didn't have he the balls to take a penalty. The players should have been queing up to say 'give me the ball I'll slot it in!'They didn't have the heart or desire. It's a national disgrace - there should be an investigation!

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  • 150.
  • At 04:57 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • stu22 wrote:

Hi, a Scot here who did actually want England to do well. Trying to give a neutrals perspective I'd say Sven is at fault for being a weak leader (Beckham and Owen and Rooney should have been left at home) as is the media for overhyping the talents of Englands players. England need a combative player like Gattuso for Italy in the midfiled to balance the flair of Gerrard. I reckon there are lots in the premiership. Hargreaves is willing but not a good distributor of the ball. Beckham isn't the player he was, every cross and free kick missed it's mark except the Ecuador goal. You need pace on the flanks and he doesn't have it. Lampard played very averagely as did most of the squad. Rooney wasn't mature enough to play as lone striker and needs to grow up quickly. Every team is gesturing to the ref and acting up so why everyone is getting het up about Ronaldo winking is pointless -England needs to get more streetwise and stop looking for excuses. Penalties- at least none of the England players missed the target, the Portuguese keeper did well. Two of theirs missed the target completely - penalty shoot outs are a simple lottery and the fact Germany have won most of their penalty shoot-outs is simple good fortune, nothing more. Argentina and Spain both looked good and they didn't even make the quarter finals. The teams doing well are scoring more freely than England, Germany and Italy with 2 strikers, France have only one but it is Henry who's quicker than Linford Christie! Personally I'm not sure this a golden generation, the 1990 England team was way better (Beardsley and Lineker could both score easy).

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  • 151.
  • At 04:58 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Matt Halsall wrote:

I wish people would layoff with trying to find a scapegoat. We lost to a good team with an excellent coach. If we had been successful in the penalty shootout it would be all praise and smiles. We played a good game and were very unfortunate to lose. I don't want to go too much into "what ifs" but if Rooney had stayed on we were going to move into a 4-4-2 formation with Crouch which may have resulted in that crucial goal. We played like we had 11 men and we must give them credit for that.

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  • 152.
  • At 04:58 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Danie Jones wrote:

OK Nick (post 96) so Alan Shearer doesn't know how to behave. Fair enough. How many times did he get sent off in his career versus how many time has Rooney (already) been sent off?

And if Shearer doesn't light your fuse as a well mannered player, who should be installed as Behavior Therapist to a bunch of players who, if they were not being paid megabucks for pottering round a pitch, would probably be robbing people to make the same amount of megabucks?

At least Shearer can speak clearly, even if you may not always agree with his views. Unlike Beckham, who mumbles and can't speak verbally as well as he (occasionally) can with a ball at his feet.

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  • 153.
  • At 04:59 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • DavidNowLost! wrote:

In the premiership these players seem to perform at a high consistent level, or do they??? How good is the premiership? Have we got carried away with our own publicitiy? How much of an impact are the foreign players having on our national game? Or was it simply about some underperforming stars, injuries and a Swede with a touch of surreal team selection?!

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  • 154.
  • At 04:59 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Stewart wrote:

At no time did England show any passion about their craft. All I heard was the belief that they could win. I never saw any evidence that they were good enough to win it, until.....

Only at the end when they realised that they were going to be beat did they put some passion into their game. Their performance was good after this.

Rooney's tackle was violent conduct. Don't look for someone else to blame. The referee was right and is paid to make his own mind. If he was influenced, blame FIFA not Ronaldo.

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  • 155.
  • At 05:01 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Doug Thompson wrote:

RE: Martyn post #35 Hey Folks, I am a Yank living in Brazil. I rooted for Eng mainly because they were one of the few teams that wasn't full of pussy's diving and screaming in pain from tiny or non existent hits. It is so pathetic, especially when the supposed hero's of football like C. Ronaldo and Henry etc. get caught on video obviosly faking it. Yes,
my son, here's the deal, your heros are people that cheat to win and you too can grow up to be just like them! How inspiring. Rich, famous people with the
character of rancid peanuts. At least Zidane has character and talent.. other than him there are few left in the final four to root for. So heads up my cousins, you have one thing to be proud of at least. The lads may have not been the best team, but to my eyes they played with courage and character beyond most this time around....

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  • 156.
  • At 05:02 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Jonathan Biskupova wrote:

I think the england team were a crap side except for Joe Cole,Hargreaves and Crouch. The country just knows how to hype itself as a great sporting nation. The players girlfriends and wives were more interesting to watch in germany than squad. What the hell is all this noise about the best side england has ever had to win the world cup...well if u ask me,the likes of Theo and Lennon are the future of this country and that will be the best side they have to win WC if McLaren does it right. And please,lets stop all this over-rating of english players. The media does it really well. i think they just sit down and said "well since Beckham is leaving, we had better recruit another dude"...well they chose the wrong man to recruit in Rooney.what will u say of Messi,Tevez,Ronaldo,Ribery,Schweinsteiger when u say Rooney is world class? England should stop the hype and play football on the pitch not on paper. Few world class footballers have emerged from this country..they are Gazza,Lineker,B.Charlton and G.Best who was the best.

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  • 157.
  • At 05:04 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Anon wrote:

After reading a few comments, it seems Portugal aren't great but they managed to beat England. So if Portugal aren't great.........where does that leave England?????

The GAME in itself rules. Stars may come, stars may go but the Game of Football is sure to flow.

Later. VIVA PORTUGAL, VIVA. FORÇA PORTUGAL.

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  • 158.
  • At 05:04 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Geordie Abroad wrote:

Every body seems to forget the 1-0 result against Northern Ireland in the WC qualifiers.. How exactly could we be lead to believe we were good enough to win the World Cup? A lucky win against Argentina in a friendly was the whole basis for this arguement. Shocking

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  • 159.
  • At 05:07 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Nick Fisher wrote:

I see that Terry Butcher and Chris Waddle are being sneered at for their thoughts on this campaign. I am afraid to say they are absaloutley right and their previous history as managers has little to do with the validity of their comments. We hyped England far too much and we need to establish quickly that we may have a great league but our national side is very average. I dont know what games people were watching but we didnt exactly qualify for this tournament in style. In fact we looked ordinary when playing the likes of Estonia. The best teams in the world dont consistantly underdeliver and hide behind the excuse that 'we only play well when the game means something' Football is a global sport and we have no right over it. We are a top 8 side in the world and no more. I have watched English Rugby and Cricket over the years and have seen the highs and lows, this doesnt make me a expert merely a realist as I know when my team is not as good as the competition.

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  • 160.
  • At 05:07 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Dadooronronroninho wrote:

I wonder if tom (message 123) was among those knocking Hargreaves before the tournament.
OH is fit, committed and believes in the team. Where did he learn that? Bayern Munich. Not my favourite club in Germany where I live as an expat, but I wonder if England could pinch their coach, Magath, and do the rest of the Bundesliga a favour.
Magath's fitness regime for the players is legendary, by the way. Reminds you of what they used to say about Liverpool in the 70s and 80s.
He would sort out the men from the boys, or let's say the Gerrards from the Lampards

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  • 161.
  • At 05:07 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • pearo wrote:


it hasnt been just Engalnd who have done nothing worthwhile for the last month

The only game that had any passion was Croatia v Australia which had a few scores to be settled

Thankfully i have plenty of other sporting interests to take my mind off this mind numbing tournament

the worst aspect is how much time the media spent going over every little aspect of each game, the amount of money the BBC must have spent of licence fee payers money is bordering on criminal

A complete feeloading exercise by all media who were there- and dont let them persuade you otherwise-

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  • 162.
  • At 05:07 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Mizako Togo wrote:

No one expected England to win this tournament except the English (nothing wrong with that) despite the hype from the media, the manager and players. The stuttering performances and the squad selection should have bourne out the fact they were ill-equipped to win this tournament.

The day England will win the World Cup or European championship will be the day they send out a sound, fit team made of players who are there only on merit.

And whilst its good to be mindful of history, the usual diet of 1966 gravy its heaped too high! Give it a rest.

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  • 163.
  • At 05:07 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Nick Fisher wrote:

I see that Terry Butcher and Chris Waddle are being sneered at for their thoughts on this campaign. I am afraid to say they are absaloutley right and their previous history as managers has little to do with the validity of their comments. We hyped England far too much and we need to establish quickly that we may have a great league but our national side is very average. I dont know what games people were watching but we didnt exactly qualify for this tournament in style. In fact we looked ordinary when playing the likes of Estonia. The best teams in the world dont consistantly underdeliver and hide behind the excuse that 'we only play well when the game means something' Football is a global sport and we have no right over it. We are a top 8 side in the world and no more. I have watched English Rugby and Cricket over the years and have seen the highs and lows, this doesnt make me a expert merely a realist as I know when my team is not as good as the competition.

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  • 164.
  • At 05:07 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • pearo wrote:


it hasnt been just Engalnd who have done nothing worthwhile for the last month

The only game that had any passion was Croatia v Australia which had a few scores to be settled

Thankfully i have plenty of other sporting interests to take my mind off this mind numbing tournament

the worst aspect is how much time the media spent going over every little aspect of each game, the amount of money the BBC must have spent of licence fee payers money is bordering on criminal

A complete feeloading exercise by all media who were there- and dont let them persuade you otherwise-

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  • 165.
  • At 05:09 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Bob Ring wrote:

Having read all the comments posted here I have to ask how come we all got fooled by the English media. I live and work in Germany and they have hammered the German team for months and Jurgen Klinsmann as well. Yet England, who would have trouble winning a raffle were proclaimed as being among the favourites.

I have to agree with all those who have said that being paid 100 Grand a week does not make you World Class.

One thing that did go through my mind was that perhaps this was Sven`s revenge. Look at the strike force he took with him.
1: Rooney - injured and not 100% certain to be ready before semi-final.
2: Michael Owen - not as sharp as he could have been - perhaps 60% fit.
3: Peter Crouch - has problems standing up for more than 5 minutes at a time. Okay as á sub but nothing more.
4: Theo Walcott - Never played. Now Sven says "He has now experienced the World Cup and this will help him in the future" Bloody marvelous, we have proven strikers that could have helped us actually win the thing but we give a 17 year old a free holiday at the WC so he can experience it. Would have been better to let him go along as Svens adopted son and stay with the wives.

But lets now get real. Perhaps in 40 years we will be ready. Euro 2008 - NO CHANCE - WC - 2010 we will probably not qualify.

But now we can say goodbye to Sven, beckham, Campbell, Neville and some more of the "Golden Girls"

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  • 166.
  • At 05:11 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Bega wrote:

England were terrible throughout the cup. We deserved to go out. I don't blame the players, however I find it difficult to know where the fault lies. I would seriously look at the lacklustre management skills not being able to create fluidity and motivate potentially the best England team in decades, the lunatic UK press and the celebrity (brainless) WAGs - in that order.

You can see with all the nonsense surrounding Rooney how crazy the British media have become. The British media motivated Portugal more than us - what is that all about?

Finally, the WAGs really showed us up for the nation we have become. More interested in celebrity, gossip and intrigue, rather than support for the team.

Completely ridiculous and utterly disappointing, right from the beginning.

Germany - France final please. Two honest teams with spirit.

Auf geht's Deutschland!!

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  • 167.
  • At 05:13 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ron wrote:

Gee ! Guys ! I have seen so much being talked about here. I couldnt agree more. The problem is that the Enlgish press feed us so much crap be4 these tournaments and I cant understand why at the end they do not own up to their crap when it falls down. If you ask me, they are in the forefront of tearing down their own team after every tournament. Word of advice - Other teams build up on their failures after losing and thats why over time they have become the best. The English press could use a leaf from such countries. Otherwise, shut up and look to the PL in August.

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  • 168.
  • At 05:13 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Andrew Greiner wrote:

Ok so let's clear a few things up first.

A) The lads did give their ALL.
B) Their ALL was not even close to good enough.
C) Are we ALL really surprised???

Not since 1990 have I looked at an England team and thought that they were good enough to win a World Cup. We are miles behind our European counterparts. Look at the Premier League that so many of you loved the idea of. Filled with foreign players and coaches... Did we all lose track of that??? It's not the English players in English teams that are winning trophies rather it's foreign players in English teams winning trophies.

I am appalled that the English allow themselves to be raped at the counter, raped in Parliament and now raped in the grounds. Take back your game from the people who do not love it and cherish it like you do. There are too many politicians running the game and too many models playing it. Let's see some raw talent like we did in the 60's 70's and 80's. Get your kids out playing and get your coaching badges cos things aint gonna get better unless the people begin to understand that they are the future of British football. The US is already spending hundreds of millions pushing the game and despite their infancy they will buy themselves success.

Stop blaming the players and the coach. We already know their failure was not being good enough. Now it is time for the country to ask why they were the best of the best. It's simple - There were no better English players. But then are we surprised???

Long live the Premier League and all the foreign players that keep it the best league in the world.

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  • 169.
  • At 05:14 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • John wrote:

OK lads. I've just read 148 postings - all negative - all talking about the PAST. That's enough whingeing - start talking about the FUTURE. All I want to see now are some sensible suggestions for a squad for Euro2008.

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  • 170.
  • At 05:14 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • James wrote:

Let's be honest. England's players do not have pace and guile when they're on the ball. We don't expect them to play like Brazilians or Argentinians but these qualities were seriously lacking. The way England plays is predictable.

As for formations, does it really make any sense to play defensively when it is obvious that the opposition is missing two key players?

I think England should stop playing lousy weak friendlies against easy opposition and concentrate on playing tough friendlies against better opposition.

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  • 171.
  • At 05:15 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • jen wrote:

To Stevefos - yes I have watched Italy play. I watched a team who took part in a game full of ACTUAL poor referee decisions, I watched them convincingly beat the Czech Republic who are an excellent team, and I also watched them thrash Ukraine. What exactly did England do? Grab a win from Paraguay by the skin of their teeth (or should I say own goal), draw with Sweden again, beat arguably one of the poorest teams in the competition, just beat another team who surprised the world, and then draw with a rather depleted Portugal. THAT is the facts. WAKEN UP. You were lucky to get as far as you did, and you always will be. But as soon as you meet the big teams you are CONSISTENTLY knocked out. Yes, you win sometimes, but in order to be in the leagues of the best you have to CONSISTENTLY perform - something England do not do. And as for hope - hoping is fine, hoping is good, hoping is positive. Saying we will win, when you don't have the pedigree or players to win, is either very arrogant or just plain stupid.

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  • 172.
  • At 05:16 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • km wrote:

England has many world class players. In fact we are spoilt for choice. The problem is not lack of individual quality players. Week in week out in the premiership we've all seen the every player in the england team play, they are good players, if they wern't good they wouldnt earn the money.

The problem was the selection and negative tactics. we should have been playing 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 or even 3-5-2. We only conceded 2 goals in the entire tornament in open play, we didnt need defensive tactics. We needed to go out and score goals which we failed to do.

Sven systematically failed England, in the last world cup he should have gone after us losing not now. I dont know why or how he stayed so long.

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  • 173.
  • At 05:16 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • mercs wrote:

This is my first time to be in England when a world cup is being held (I came from a country where basketball is the no.1 sport)... I am truly amazed by the support and enthusiasm of the English fans.. and disgusted by the negativity/pessimism by the media. My new theory why the players missed the penalty is that all the negative vibes being written and spoken by the media clouded the football field last Saturday thus affecting the England team. Maybe FA should have a meeting with the media people and asked them to nominate the manager and players whom they think can win the European Cup and World Cup and I think they cannot complete the list because even them cannot agree with each other...so many opinions...negative opinions.

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  • 174.
  • At 05:17 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • James wrote:

Let's be honest. England's players do not have pace and guile when they're on the ball. We don't expect them to play like Brazilians or Argentinians but these qualities were seriously lacking. The way England plays is predictable.

As for formations, does it really make any sense to play defensively when it is obvious that the opposition is missing two key players?

I think England should stop playing lousy weak friendlies against easy opposition and concentrate on playing tough friendlies against better opposition.

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  • 175.
  • At 05:18 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • stew wrote:

it's funny really we are all here there and everywhere moaning etc, there at home feet up with some extra cash to spend.
another bad taste left in our mouths.
i'm not even going to look for excuses
not even dissapointed (Well just a tad after the game)we was not up for the job end of really.
I don't and never will feel sorry for the players, the traveling fans get my vote of sympathy,.
what's more i'll be 51 bloody one next world cup.

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  • 176.
  • At 05:20 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Jaap van de Burgt wrote:

I'm a big football-fan from Holland. I've watched the English leagua all year en saw the squad play on the WC. First I want to say that Eriksson has misused some players and has never come up with a team that makes sense. Like many other coaches of big teams, it was been proven again that playing defensively with on off the best teams on the WC doesn't pay. Look at Holland, Argentina, Brazil. I would also like to say that I don't understand why the media and all your hosts are talking about Rooney like he is the next best player in the world. Of course, he is a good player, but why put so much pressure on a young player who is not known for his excellent behaviour and mentallity. Talking him up so much will make him think he's the one player the whole nation is counting on, and will eventually not make him, but break him.
Greats Jaap

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  • 177.
  • At 05:21 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • David Waterton wrote:

Hi, from sunny Scotland. Don’t worry I am not on to gloat. firstly my father was a Londoner so half of me and my family are English. My point ok points.

1 A poor manager who lacked judgement and bottle. He picked and played those players that the press dictated are the best available. Well, as any manager of any team will tell you: it isn’t always the best players that make up the best team. A balance is required. Sometimes a better individual player has to loose out to a better team player. Tactics.. i think he proved how bad he was during the games so i won't comment further

2. lets face it England struggled through the group and, I truly feel that if Ecuador would have actually believed they could have done England they would have

3. Portugal match. England clearly struggled against a team without arguably it’s best and indeed one of Europe’s finest midfield players: Deco. As for Rooney. I confess that at first I thought it was a harsh sending off but on reply it was clear that he deliberately put the boot into any area that makes my eyes water thinking about it. So don’t suddenly make a million excuses for him. If you or I did that to someone in the street we would expect to get locked up. As for trying to make Ronaldo the villain, give me a break. Rooney let himself, his team mates, manager and fans down all by himself. As we say up here “you can take the boy out of the street but it ain’t so easy to take the street out of the boy"

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  • 178.
  • At 05:22 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Angel wrote:

I'm sorry Jen (146) but i have to say you are talking absolute ****. I think most of England can hold their hands up and say the players didn't play well as a team. We have not blamed the oppositions, apart from RIGHTLY the cheating portuguese...i'm sure even the ref from their previous game said our players needed to watch out! I think quite rightly we can blame the manager for his poor choice in squad selection, and if the ref had have blown when two cheating Portuguese players were kicking Rooney for 20 seconds before he kicked back then we would still have had 11 players on the pitch! Or maybe Rooney should have just fallen over like all the foreigners do instead of trying to play football like a man!

So England aren't in the same league as Brazil - mmm questionable as Brazil aren't in the final 4 either!

La Liga or Seria A - great if you want to watch a bunch of ballet dancers diving all over the place. Ronaldo would fit in great over at Real Madrid - Buenes Noches Ronaldo!

As for foreigners making the premiership as good as it is - i wish they weren't in our Premiership - or the number of foreigners per team should at least be limited.

I hope McClaren can make our great players a great team.

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  • 179.
  • At 05:22 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Fillrobs wrote:

Lampard has lost his bottle since Ballack signed for Chelsea - he obviously is worried that he will be benched next season for Chelsea - he was our worst player all tournament and should have been dropped for the Sweden game onwards. Playing 4-1-4-1 against a depleted Portugal side showed a lack of belief that we could attack, Rooney left alone was just frustrating for him as well as us the fans. Once he was sent off we should have pushed 2 up front in Crouch and Walcott to attack and try and get a goal - Portugal rarely looked like scoring. Then to let Lampard take the 1st penalty was a major mistake as it knocked the confidence for the rest. Hargreaves was class and should keep his place in the team, with Gerrard as the attacking midfielder and Lampard as standby if he is on form. I thought Sven did well for us until this World Cup then picking Walcott but not playing him was a waste and not reacting to the situation saw us get knocked out.

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  • 180.
  • At 05:23 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • George wrote:

English football is a lot like English politics: all spin and no substance. The media hype during the runup to the World Cup has been unbearable. Never mind all those other teams, the only question is by how many goals England was going to win the World Cup. In reality England are (and have for decades been) a mediocre side, the last few tournaments actually a fair reflection on their ability (among the top 10 sides, but certainly not good enopugh to win). What can be done? For starters, instead of paying 2.5 million per year to a Swede of questionable ability, how many young promising players could that money have been used to train, support, etc.? Instead of writing 100 million column inches about Beckham's hairstlye and what the WAGs get up to, how about critically analysing the players' performance ON THE PITCH?

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  • 181.
  • At 05:23 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • r phillips wrote:

I'm no tactical expert. However, that hasn't stopped anyone else, particularly the array of assorted highly paid ex-pros on a jolly who fill the tv punditry couches, so here goes: if the england national football team is incapable of alternating between two or three different tactical formations and/or emphasis'(pl.?) of play, then they are not world class players. That's all.

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  • 182.
  • At 05:24 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Terry wrote:

I think part of the problem could be that Sven was under pressure to pick the best english footballers available and then try to mould them into a team - as opposed to simply picking the best team. Gerrard and Lampard never seemed comfortable playing together. Parreira never allowed himself to be forced to playing Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Adriano, Kaka and Robinho all at the same time as many in Brazil in wanted - maybe we need someone stronger.

Also, if you tell a team of players that their team is only good if they have one man in it i.e. Rooney, then what is that going to do to their self-belief - after all, all sport is surely about confidence -and telling players they're worthless without only one man is not the way to motivate them. I was almost glad to see Beckham and Rooney go off and have the 'understudies' show what they could do - they seemed to blossom in finally being taken out of the stars shadows and taking the responsibility on themselves.

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  • 183.
  • At 05:26 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • DaveH wrote:

Post 162 - excellent points well made by an objective observer - Thanks for that Doug.
Everybody is getting carried away with all this - it's disappointing to lose, but we lost on the lottery of penalties - even with 10 men, we weren't outplayed. Even without playing to our potential, nobody really looked like beating us. When things aren't going well, you have to scrap for everything - I think all of the players gave it everything they could, and that's all you can ask. the only point in examining what went wrong is so that you don't make the same mistakes again.
No matter who they play for, cheats should be punished. C. Ronaldo is a cheat, as are most of his team mates - ask Holland - but the ref. was at fault as well. The incident should never have gone that far when Rooney was clearly fouled. If youngsters see cheats benefiting, then they will become cheats, because we come from a society where winning is all important. Let's face it, it's not the taking part that counts is it? That may make society sad, but that's how it is. The only way to ensure that football isn't taken over by cheats is to ensure that they don't prosper. BY THE WAY - that includes England - it's not like our players are averse to falling over when breathed on in the penalty area!

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  • 184.
  • At 05:30 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Jim Hopkins wrote:

The fact of the matter is we weren't good enough. Yes I was as gutted as any other England fan, but I cant remember a tournament where I felt more uninspired by Englands performances.

I cant put my finger on exactly why this was, but i feel Eriksson and his lack of touchline enthusiasm goes a long way, and also being told the same things over and over again.

Whilst it's easy to blame the portugese/rooney etc for our unfortunate exit, my thoughts on this are, England just were not good enough and if England want to win a major tournament we have to put up with this kind of goading and rise above it, it happens at major tournaments,. Have we really learned nothing since Beckham in 1998 ?

Lastly on a positive Note, Eriksson is gone, we STILL have a great team, and with Captain Terry in the heart of the defence, we have a wonderful future ahead of us. Also, There will be no more distractions from the Beckham Media Circus. Lets hope this brings to an end this sorry period in English football.

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  • 185.
  • At 05:32 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ben wrote:

Why England Didn't deserve to go further?

Awful Manager without a clue as to how to get even a decent game from some really good players. Weak, without direction and a fraud who has conned his employers and the many fans of England for too long (though not all as most people I know saw right through him a long time ago)

Dreadful Football Association who have not grasped the notion of the modern game and who do not have the pedigree to make the decisions they do. First they extend the contract of Erikson (when they could have sacked him) and then the farce which ended in McClaren being appointed.

Stupid tabloids who tap into the football pound and make ridiculous pre tournament predictions with a mix of xenaphobia and unwarranted hype. many of the people writing these articles can only be 'lads' who have no knowledge of the game and who develop opinion based on fad not fact (not criticisinng all of the journalists but not all of the rubbish written was on the back pages!)

Players who have got where they are on public profile (Beckham) Players who are over hyped without reason (Lampard), players who didn't play well nough to warrant keeping places game after game (Lampard and Beckham). Gobsmaking decision to not take an additionaal striker. No Captaincy on the pitch - Appoint Steven Gerrard now.

The Premier League is strong and it's not all down to imports. We will get better and once McClaren has been disposed of (I predict before Euro 2008) we will move on. I for one am so relieved that the Beckham/Erikson marriage is now over.

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  • 186.
  • At 05:32 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Matt Henry wrote:

Without wanting to get into the wider argument about England's performance in the World Cup, I'm incredulous as to how any England fan, commentator, or journalist can possibly pour scorn over Ronaldo's reaction to an act that, off the football field, is likely to have been dealt with in court.

Stamping on someone's testicles is a dangerous and reckless act, and I can't ever imagine anyone in England lambasting Beckham if he had responded in the same way should Rooney's testicles have been stamped on. Indeed, the England team as a whole would probably have been censured as cowards had they not all waded in fists first.

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  • 187.
  • At 05:33 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ajax wrote:

So much surprise, so much hurt, so much self-deception.

If there was a single ten minute period during any of the England games when we looked capable of winning the World Cup, then I must have been asleep for it. As an England fan for many years I've always approached each tournament with a sense of hope, yet at each successive disappointing display I'm struck by the fact that our players don't seem very intelligent compared to the opposition. Why do Beckham, Ferdinand and the rest all sound like Vicki Pollard?

It has been argued in previous comments that the 'blood and thunder' approach would serve England in top level tournaments. Yet a look at the winners of past tournaments suggests a more cerebral approach takes home the cup.

We can argue all we want about poor performances, bad luck and mediocre management, but I believe that until we get some players who can actually think their way through a match, we'll always be condemned to the second division of world football.

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  • 188.
  • At 05:33 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Jim Hopkins wrote:

The fact of the matter is we weren't good enough. Yes I was as gutted as any other England fan, but I cant remember a tournament where I felt more uninspired by Englands performances.

I cant put my finger on exactly why this was, but i feel Eriksson and his lack of touchline enthusiasm goes a long way, and also being told the same things over and over again.

Whilst it's easy to blame the portugese/rooney etc for our unfortunate exit, my thoughts on this are, England just were not good enough and if England want to win a major tournament we have to put up with this kind of goading and rise above it, it happens at major tournaments,. Have we really learned nothing since Beckham in 1998 ?

Lastly on a positive Note, Eriksson is gone, we STILL have a great team, and with Captain Terry in the heart of the defence, we have a wonderful future ahead of us. Also, There will be no more distractions from the Beckham Media Circus. Lets hope this brings to an end this sorry period in English football.

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  • 189.
  • At 05:34 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Claire wrote:

Wayne Rooney's behaviour on that pitch was diabolical, in my opinion he should of controlled his temper and not let Rinaldo get to him (Rinaldo wasn't all wrong, Wayne did kick that guy in the B****).It was right for him to be sent off, he did it in front of the ref for heaven's sake, don't make excuses for him England. England was crap through out this World Cup and they just didn't deserve to win. What a bunch of over paid babies. They are all too busy looking in the mirror and modelling these days (YES YOU BECKS!!!!) that they've forgotten how to play football.

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  • 190.
  • At 05:35 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Zé wrote:

I’ve been reading all these comments and I can only say I feel sorry for the English… Why don’t you accept that your team wasn’t good enough, that your players, no matter how good they are thought to be, didn’t play well?

I see a lot of tendency to find escape-goats for your failures instead of being mature and assuming the flaws. That’s the only way to be better next time.

Regarding Cristiano Ronaldo, he did not need to do anything as the referee was pretty close to that coward aggression and was able to evaluate for himself. More, Ronaldo has no power to force the referee to show a red card! Now I keep reading in the pathetic British press that he winked after Rooney being expelled, and all sort of conspiracy theories... Grow up!

If the opposite was to happen all would praise Ronnie for the expulsion of Ronaldo…

The truth is that England could not beat a crippled Portuguese team, which lacked two of the most important players. No, we didn’t play well, but after England’s friendly Russian referee (who crippled badly Portugal and Holland for a future match against England) what would be expected? Most of our players had yellow cards and are at risk of missing the final if we win France. Of course we had to be cautious.

Also, when England was left with ten players the only thing they did was to become a 9 defenders team. Portugal played almost all game in disadvantage against Holland and we were never stuck in our area, and always tried to play the full field. That’s the difference between Portugal and England. Despite all, we tried and never shown fear.

To end, Ronaldo owes obedience to Portugal not to M.U. or any team, especially in a world cup. M.U. is just an employer and Portugal his NATION.

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  • 191.
  • At 05:35 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • David wrote:

It really frustrates me when people moan about and blame the circumstances that seem to force England’s early exit from major competitions. Complaining that we fall ill of penalty shootouts, red cards, keeper errors, injuries, cheating opposition etc etc etc. The fact of the matter is that the reason we always have to battle so hard against all odds is that we do not play well enough to win comfortably.
I honestly do believe that the current crop of England players are the best we've had for 30 years. The fact that these players play so well for their club sides and are so lacklustre for England is surely proof of Eriksson’s negligence. He played too negatively, made terrible and at times baffling substitutions, and his selection was often so obviously wrong that we all had to assume he had a secret master plan. He did not.
I cannot remember a single occasion where Eriksson has made an offensively minded team change or attacking substitution to kill a game off, preferring to always make defensive changes to protect a slim lead. Perhaps this is a hangover from his time managing in Serie A, as may be his fear of encouraging progressive attacking football. Players like Steven Gerrard were given far too much defensive instruction, rendering them incapable of creating goals, and defeating the object of fielding a holding midfielder.
The only silver lining to this world cup failure is the departure of Eriksson and the new era that it brings. However, the press need to put some important questions to Steve Mclaren to find out what he will do differently, and to ensure that he is not just an Eriksson Mk II.

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  • 192.
  • At 05:38 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • David wrote:

It really frustrates me when people moan about and blame the circumstances that seem to force England’s early exit from major competitions. Complaining that we fall ill of penalty shootouts, red cards, keeper errors, injuries, cheating opposition etc etc etc. The fact of the matter is that the reason we always have to battle so hard against all odds is that we do not play well enough to win comfortably.
I honestly do believe that the current crop of England players are the best we've had for 30 years. The fact that these players play so well for their club sides and are so lacklustre for England is surely proof of Eriksson’s negligence. He played too negatively, made terrible and at times baffling substitutions, and his selection was often so obviously wrong that we all had to assume he had a secret master plan. He did not.
I cannot remember a single occasion where Eriksson has made an offensively minded team change or attacking substitution to kill a game off, preferring to always make defensive changes to protect a slim lead. Perhaps this is a hangover from his time managing in Serie A, as may be his fear of encouraging progressive attacking football. Players like Steven Gerrard were given far too much defensive instruction, rendering them incapable of creating goals, and defeating the object of fielding a holding midfielder.
The only silver lining to this world cup failure is the departure of Eriksson and the new era that it brings. However, the press need to put some important questions to Steve Mclaren to find out what he will do differently, and to ensure that he is not just an Eriksson Mk II.

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  • 193.
  • At 05:40 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • bryan wrote:

A view from Dublin.England have the players to win a major championship,look at greece.The blinkers applied by the media and the false analysis after the first round games did not help.Over here we heard from neutral commentators who, believe it or not, wanted england to progress but could not fathom the team selections,tactics,lack of forwards or honest appraisal of Englands performance.One last piont ,Englands group was proberly too easy as the team was not tested early enough and therefore not battle hardened

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  • 194.
  • At 05:40 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Barnsy wrote:

The FA should never have appointed a Swede as England manager.

In my opinion all national teams should have a national manager and staff. i.e. England should have a English manager.

I think this is one of the reasons England performed so badly in this world cup because Sven had nothing to loose and gambled with stupid decisions.

Sven got 25million for giving us nothing and i am sure he is laughing all the way to the bank.

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  • 195.
  • At 05:41 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • TK wrote:

Hi,

It was a honest comment from KM, I agree with it. During all these years I have never seen an English team playing to win the match, they always come on ground with the mind set not to loose and that is where the problem is.

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  • 196.
  • At 05:41 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • david wrote:

It really frustrates me when people moan about and blame the circumstances that seem to force England’s early exit from major competitions. Complaining that we fall ill of penalty shootouts, red cards, keeper errors, injuries, cheating opposition etc etc etc. The fact of the matter is that the reason we always have to battle so hard against all odds is that we do not play well enough to win comfortably.
I honestly do believe that the current crop of England players are the best we've had for 30 years. The fact that these players play so well for their club sides and are so lacklustre for England is surely proof of Eriksson’s negligence. He played too negatively, made terrible and at times baffling substitutions, and his selection was often so obviously wrong that we all had to assume he had a secret master plan. He did not.
I cannot remember a single occasion where Eriksson has made an offensively minded team change or attacking substitution to kill a game off, preferring to always make defensive changes to protect a slim lead. Perhaps this is a hangover from his time managing in Serie A, as may be his fear of encouraging progressive attacking football. Players like Steven Gerrard were given far too much defensive instruction, rendering them incapable of creating goals, and defeating the object of fielding a holding midfielder.
The only silver lining to this world cup failure is the departure of Eriksson and the new era that it brings. However, the press need to put some important questions to Steve Mclaren to find out what he will do differently, and to ensure that he is not just an Eriksson Mk II.

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  • 197.
  • At 05:42 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Tony .L wrote:

Sven seen England coming.Just a pity it wasnt the other way round!!!

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  • 198.
  • At 05:42 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Jen wrote:

To Angel - Brazil have won the World Cup 5 times. And god knows how many quarters and semi's they have played in.
People like you are just hypocrites. Either you judge a team on it's merits THIS tournament only - in which case you deserved to go out when you did - and in fact were lucky to even be there. Or you judge teams on their consistent past performance - which I think we know the answer to that already. Winning the cup once 40 yearsw ago means nothing to FIFA rankings, or anyone else apart from the English fans and the English media.

And as for this belief that ONLY Englad don't dive - well there is plenty of teams/countries who don't...and need I mention Gerrard?!

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  • 199.
  • At 05:42 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Tony .L wrote:

Sven seen England coming.Just a pity it wasnt the other way round!!!

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  • 200.
  • At 05:44 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • neophyteveritas wrote:

R Phillips - the plural is 'emphases'!
As for the rest - hmm, have you all not figured out that it's the media to blame? They keep telling you that England have Lord knows how many 'World Class' footballers, when in reality England players are streets behind the best in Europe in terms of technique and skill. AND, you all go on about the sending off - how many have realised that England played miles better without Beckham and the overblown and petulant Rooney?
You got rid of the Swede, and Becks went before he was pushed (3 years late); now forget Rooney and you might have a team worth talking about.

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  • 201.
  • At 05:45 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • stevefos wrote:

Jen, the only people who were saying that we would win the world cup were the predominantly red top media, which you obviously took to reflect the nations opinion. The vast majority of England fans, including the 80000 or so who went to Germany just had great hopes. Yes those were not realalised this time but those hopes will not diminish despite people like yourself who want to believe the hype and like to kick a countreys spirit when it is down. I hope you take off your rose tinted glasses when you watch the semi finals as I suspect you might see like the rest of real football fans the culmination of what has been a very average tournament. The teams that performed well in the group stages have all now gone home (Argentina and Spain) and we are left with four relatively average teams (albeit better than England) who will play not too lose rather than play to win.

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  • 202.
  • At 05:45 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • andrew mcloughlin wrote:

Do we have any intelligent footballers?-I don't mean intelligent people who happen to play international football-if so who?
Why not start a CAMPAIGN- "let's kick pundits out of football"- who to keep?

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  • 203.
  • At 05:46 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • david wrote:

It really frustrates me when people moan about and blame the circumstances that seem to force England’s early exit from major competitions. Complaining that we fall ill of penalty shootouts, red cards, keeper errors, injuries, cheating opposition etc etc etc. The fact of the matter is that the reason we always have to battle so hard against all odds is that we do not play well enough to win comfortably.
I honestly do believe that the current crop of England players are the best we've had for 30 years. The fact that these players play so well for their club sides and are so lacklustre for England is surely proof of Eriksson’s negligence. He played too negatively, made terrible and at times baffling substitutions, and his selection was often so obviously wrong that we all had to assume he had a secret master plan. He did not.
I cannot remember a single occasion where Eriksson has made an offensively minded team change or attacking substitution to kill a game off, preferring to always make defensive changes to protect a slim lead. Perhaps this is a hangover from his time managing in Serie A, as may be his fear of encouraging progressive attacking football. Players like Steven Gerrard were given far too much defensive instruction, rendering them incapable of creating goals, and defeating the object of fielding a holding midfielder.
The only silver lining to this world cup failure is the departure of Eriksson and the new era that it brings. However, the press need to put some important questions to Steve Mclaren to find out what he will do differently, and to ensure that he is not just an Eriksson Mk II.

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  • 204.
  • At 05:47 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Lucy wrote:

Referring to the headline on the BBC website 'Ronaldo rejects Rooney row'....Ronaldo says to ignore the English press who are trying to create confusion.....what rubbish!

We saw it all with our own eyes, long before any member of the English press, or from any other country, had chance to write about it!

I hope Alex Ferguson shows some sense and loyalty to Wayne Rooney, not to mention all Manchester Utd fans, and does the decent thing in sending Ronaldo on his way.

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  • 205.
  • At 05:48 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

To add to the matter, i knew it would happen. The media made a massive hype about it. In World Cup 1978 Scotland did exactly the same thing woith the media claming Scotland would win the world cup! The similartis are endless.

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  • 206.
  • At 05:52 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Patrick wrote:

It surprises me how so many people consider Englands World Cup performance to be a failure. 32 countries qualified for the world, and only 4 countries have done better than England. The expectation for England to do well is not justified when you look at history. Of the 18 world cups that have occurred, England have done better than the quarter finals on only two occasions. This years performance measures up quite well when compared with other world cups. The European championships make even more grim reading. England did better than the group stages on only 3 occasions, have never been to a final. My point is that people should be more realistic about Englands chances of winning the world cup in the future.

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  • 207.
  • At 05:55 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ryan wrote:

For those who critised England fans over in Germany, I am afraid what you read in our press is far from the truth. I was over in Germany for the first 4 games, and saw no problems at all. Of all the arrests how many have been charged?? Barely any. The reason the numbers were so high compared to other countries, was the simple fact the no other country follows there team like England.

As for the rest of the tournament I am following Germany. They made us all feel welcome and enjoyed many plesent beers with them. Shame I didn't realise they were so nice until I was over there.

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  • 208.
  • At 05:58 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

I think for the first time in a major championship that despite the media hype I was just waiting for England to be knocked out. Before we started I expected a QF as in previous tournaments. Why? Because nothing has significantly changed since 2002 and 2004.

1. We still have the issue of fitting the midfield trio of Lampard, Beckham and Gerrard into whatever system is the flavour of the day.
There are some points to consider here. These players have never combined well. Just because they are influential players at club level does not mean that this counts at National level. Dropping one or two of these players and bringing in Nolan from Bolton or using Hargreaves more may have balanced the team better and could have been tried in the countless friendlies during Sven's reign. No player in that midfield should be considered first choice based upon who they are. It should be on merit and open to all.
Another point, not wishing to excuse them but both Lampard and Gerrard have had extremely long seasons? Hargreaves at least had less matches and a mid-winter break.

2. Is this team that good? Would the inclusion of some 'lesser' players have bonded the team better? Will this team ever get any better regardless of who is coaching? Is it just a case of this is as good as it gets with this group of players? Or is it to do with no self belief? Do we need hungry, fresh young players to breathe fresh life into this team? And a hungry, motivated manager. (The FA should only pay England managers a basic salary with bonuses coming in performance related payments)

3. England don't travel well. Unlike teams like Brazil, Argentina who play alot of 'away' friendlies, England tend to stay at home. I think that more away games without the home fans support against decent opposition may improve the team rather than pointless friendlies at home against poor opposition.

4. We need to resurect either 4-4-2 or use wingers and go 4-3-3. We have the personnel who play these systems week in week out. Stick at what you know and focus on making it better.

5. The management team needs a clearout. The FA needs to look at how they can keep the coaching fresh and how they can motivate and focus the team better. My worry as is most's is that alot of the decisions taken during this campaign were that of Steve McLaren and not Sven. Although I rate Stewart Downing as a club player and perhaps one for the future, for the life of me I don't know how he made the squad (Obviously his ex-club manager helped).

6. The media. What can you say? Well to blame them is blinkered. Most footballing nations have similar coverage ie) Mexico, Brazil, Italy...Isn't it just the same everywhere else?

Who do I want to win? I never thought I'd here myself saying this but, Germany. Of any team that I have watched they have battled, worked hard and as a lot of people have posted been good value in every match...and all this with every pundit saying that they had only '1' world class player in the team in Ballack. As with Greece in 2004, a team is much more effective than world class individuals.

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  • 209.
  • At 06:03 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • EKI IDOR wrote:

I think it’s an absolute disgrace that England supporters should be blaming Ronaldo for one of their own players’ petulant, asinine and pugilistic behaviour!!

If it had been Ronaldo stamping on Lampard and Rooney had rushed to the referee to evoke the law of the game would the English be condemning Rooney the same way they have Ronaldo because they are on the same team?

Sven pleaded with the press not to torture another golden boy but it seems that the press and fans already have their tentacles out for another who is only 2 years older than Rooney.

Ronaldo did what any INTERNANTIONAL player would do, country comes before club and judging by the reaction of English supporters, I think they will agree.

EDEKI IDOLLOR

S LONDON

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  • 210.
  • At 06:04 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • DH wrote:

I think there is a basic problem with English football. We listen to a very fickle media telling us how great the premiership is, how magnificent the players are, possibly the greatest set of players ever to play the game blah blah blah. And we believe them. The media puts so much pressure on the FA and the manager it is likly that THEY pick the team. They certainly seem to influence decision making. How can any national team succeed when thay get so idolised and victimised in the same day on the same channel. Prior to the WC when everyone said England would win the tournament I spoke to some French, German and Argentinian friends and asked them what their media thought of England's chances. They all thought England were a good solid team capable of beating anyone in a one off match but when it came down to it they just were not good enough to win. We, however, refuse to accept others opinions and continually over-hype the players, putting obscene pressure on the players and management. I can't see this changing for a while and I don't think SMC will be the man to unify (or more correctly pacify) the media. England have a good bunch of players that are nearly world class, but they ar not there yet. The media will not help this process so it will take one hell of a manager to be able to combine all the footballing knowledge with handling the media pressure. As I said I, would like it, but I don't think SMC is going to be that man.

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  • 211.
  • At 06:08 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Robert wrote:

I totally agree.
The England team is lacking any form of creativity. Joe Cole tries to be creative with useless moves, Frank Lampard can only shoot, Beckham is burned up, Gerrard does all the defensive work Cole, Lampard and Beckham can't do.
Upfront Rooney wasn't fit, Owen wasn't fit, Crouch is a second rank striker without any pace, skill or scoring ability and Theo Wallcot has never played a Premiership match in his life.
In the back there's an out of form Ashley Cole and a mediocre rightback. The central defenders lack passing skills.
Behind them is an insecure goalkeeper who didn't look any better than the goalkeeper of Ghana.
This England team is so extremely flat. Beckham and Owen used to be the peaks, without them there's no one capable of creating anything.
The only solution would've been to passionately play kick-and-rush.
But England tries to play the continental passing game without knowing where, when or at who to pass.

I think Sven should've been sacked 4 years ago. All he did was play the big names. He didn't have the guts to leave one or more out. He never played a team that worked together towards scoring a goal.
The players on the ball had no idea what to do with it.

England should appoint a manager who does know how to set-up a team. Who recognizes the problems and solves them. I think there's only one person fit for the job: Martin O'neill and otherwise it should be a foreigner who consistently has shown he can make a (small) club win by playing with guts.

NB. I think Sven was a disgrace to English football with all the love and business affairs he had. Honest man my bottoms.

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  • 212.
  • At 06:09 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ryan Mann wrote:

Its a simple at this, this was Englands best chance of winning the World Cup in a long time. Most experts would look at the English teamsheet and say on paper england have the individuals that could and arguably should win the world cup. But the bottom line is they just couldnt gel as a team and it cost them. Even with an easier group than most group and a favourable 2nd round tie, England simply did not perform well enough in any match to deserve a world cup semi-final place.

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  • 213.
  • At 06:09 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Alan wrote:

The TURNIP was bad enough, but the SWEDE was absolutely terrible.

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  • 214.
  • At 06:10 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Robert wrote:

BTW there aren't any ghetto's in Holland and Bergkamp, Van Nistelrooij or Robben certainly did not grow up in any.

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  • 215.
  • At 06:11 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Doc wrote:

The hype has been phenomenal over how good the England team was and Portugal was already beaten and the semi final set up against Brazil. England dont respect the teams that they play and neither does the media. The BBC should have had one more audio option during their matches and that would have been natural sound because the biased opnion offered by the specialist was just too much.

The one thing that will never make me support England is the fact that this god given right to beat everybody when really a closer examination of the players is that England is an average side with a few exceptions who are never really played in their right positions.

The blame towards Sven being a quiet person on the sidelines and not barking orders cannot possibly help when then players themselves dont have the passion to play for England. There is no personal financial gain for them. Then there is no difference in watching the under 10's playing with the Mums and Dads shouting from the sidelines and most of the time it has no impact whatsoever apart from confused children being told to run here and there.

Playing for a succesful team is based on being part of a team and not me me me.

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  • 216.
  • At 06:12 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • r phillips wrote:

I don't doubt you saw it Lucy... question is Do you actually know what you saw? I'd like to know why the BBC edited the pre-match Ronaldo nuzzle on Rooney when they replayed it so that the joke was lost. Would also be interested to hear the likes of Gerrard try and justify his statements to the newsmedia that he'd seen Ronaldo giving it the imaginary card... People talk crap... England bottled it again. Ronaldo was cool enough to take penalties for Germany. I look forward to him ramming all this rubbish back down English throats - another penalty would be perfect - and I can't tell you how much I hope he does it in the United shirt next season.

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  • 217.
  • At 06:14 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • tim ( stuttgart ) wrote:

What I don't understand is all these
clever comments about taking walcott.
I think he was picked for the same reason that Klinsmann picked david odonkor above other better strikers -because he is very fast - and that could prove to be just what is
wanted in a certain situation. Can
anybody say what at what time could for example defoe have been played - instead of whom and what difference it would have made ?

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  • 218.
  • At 06:15 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • R. Hamer wrote:

It seems to me that the coaching staff didn't adjust their tactics to fit the Portuguese match. It was apparent from the Ecuador match that Rooney was not comfortable as a lone striker and was very frustrated in that role. After Rooney's loss Crouch did well in that single striker role even with ten players. The Portuguese mid field was much weakened with the loss of Deco so England could afford to drop one of the "mid field stars" for a second striker. Rooney adds mid field strength also since he likes to move back into the mid field mix. In addition the overly cautious formation increased the likelihood that England would have to go on based on penalty kicks, not a proven team strength.

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  • 219.
  • At 06:18 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Laura wrote:

I was neither disheartened or gutted by englands exit. Come on wat did we expect with a manager who doesnt encourage attacking play, a team whos formation was absurd and a series of sluggish and lack lusted performances. It was as though the lads out there didnt want to win at times even with 11 men. However, saying this i dnt blame the players (i know us english have a habit of this but i really believe it wasnt their fault!) How can players play wen their out of position and in the middle of experimenting with formations which shud have been tryed and tested by the useless manager months ago!

Im a MASSIVE manu fan but i was DISGUSTED by Ronaldo, i saw him for wat he truley was - an actor and a sneek! Us english are too polite! we dnt go rolling around in agony on the floor wen our legs gets hit then hold our arm or groin! We do NOT surround the ref and i believe players who do shud instantly get a yellow card, ronaldo disgusted me! Hes his team mate and friend! get out of english football! Scumbag!!

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  • 220.
  • At 06:18 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Nick wrote:

I'm a England die-hard fans. I used to get hurt from England in every big event European Cup, World Cup for many 10 years.

I don't see England still can win a Champion in my lifetime if we are still without confidence in penalty. No team can be said the best team if she don't know how to kick in the penalty and save enemies' shootout. Do you all see Germany's penalty? They win in penalty always. Why? Because of CONFIDENCE.

We have talent, skills, experience but NO CONFIDENCE. We don't need any more great players, we don't need any more better planning, we don't need increasing the prize.

We ONLY need a NEW COACH, who can give confidence & agressiveness to all the players such as Mourinho, Hiddink. We don't want any LOCAL coach anymore. They can't give confidence to them because they even can't shoot in the penalty.

England fans pls all stand up force FA to reselect a new coach for our coming European Cup. I don't want to see our ever-best England team lost again. I wish Beckham can win a champion in nation before he retires. He worths to get it.

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  • 221.
  • At 06:19 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Zuned wrote:

I feel we had the team of players to get far this WC. But Sven didn't play them in the right way. What was he thinking by bringing along young boy Walcott who has never kicked a ball in the premiership has no experiance at that level of football! Sven would have been better off bringing one of Wigans strikers (no offence meant!) at least they have experiance in playing top level football against premiership defence and defenders like Terry and Ferdinand..who by the way were brilliant through-out the tournament.

The formation was all wrong, don't get me wrong im not an expert..but after watching Rooney play in the lone ranger position for 30min you instantly relise he's not suited there and needs a linking player if we have any chance of scoring!!

so overall I blame Sven being a useless manager, its not his fualt though..thats all he knows.

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  • 222.
  • At 06:20 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • jim warren wrote:

WE all have our own opinion about how england played but what more concerns me was how the world cup was played by all the other nation. Now i know england players do dive but they do not see this as an important part of the way the game is played. Can you name me another sport where 32 different teams from all over the world try to trick week referees into sending other playes off or awarding them penalties? Thsi has got to the lvel where i am not sure if i can continue watching international football. FIFA have turned the game into a joke full of histrionics and play acting. I am glad i din't waste my money on going over to germany. Many of my friends did and had a great time. Thet even talked to many different nations football fans.

Many of the fans couldn't understand why our team didn't cheat and even told my friends you will win nothing without cheatin!

At least we know now this wasn't true, we wouldn't of won the world cup with 11 maradona'a. Roll on start of the competition where Drogba got booed by his own fans for cheating, having said that i suppose it is only a matter of time before the premiership is ruined. I'm going to start watching Kidderminster in the conference.

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  • 223.
  • At 06:24 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Doc wrote:

The hype has been phenomenal over how good the England team was and Portugal was already beaten and the semi final set up against Brazil. England dont respect the teams that they play and neither does the media. The BBC should have had one more audio option during their matches and that would have been natural sound because the biased opnion offered by the specialist was just too much.

The one thing that will never make me support England is the fact that this god given right to beat everybody when really a closer examination of the players is that England is an average side with a few exceptions who are never really played in their right positions.

The blame towards Sven being a quiet person on the sidelines and not barking orders cannot possibly help when then players themselves dont have the passion to play for England. There is no personal financial gain for them. Then there is no difference in watching the under 10's playing with the Mums and Dads shouting from the sidelines and most of the time it has no impact whatsoever apart from confused children being told to run here and there.

Playing for a succesful team is based on being part of a team and not me me me.

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  • 224.
  • At 06:25 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Damien wrote:

I'm sick to death of the english whining after every time they get knocked out of a competition. Did it ever cross anyone's minds that all the so called world class players are just over-hyped.....by their own media! I'll admit Rooney looks to have a great future, but the likes of Beckham who England play better without should've been on the bench from the start. Lampard is a great player, but don't forget he's surrounded by great players at Chelsea. And as for the strikers, not one of them world-class. You can't win a world cup when you are restricted to striking the ball from at least 25 yards. England had only 1 goal scored inside the box during the world cup!

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  • 225.
  • At 06:26 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Lets face it England had a decent run at this world cup handed on a plate.

Due to FIFAs arcane seeding system they never meet any nation of consequence (lets face it - of the available sides you would choose Ecuador) until the QF stage and then they bow out bravely on penalties, to the second weakest team left, without half of their first choice midfield.

Sven's muddled thinking in selection and tactics spoiled a great chance, golden generation or not. Why pick out of form/injured players on history or reputation alone (Beckham, Owen, Campbell, Ash Cole.

Why change system every match. The plethora of friendlies is the time to experiment.

Why pick a teenager with no 1st team Premiership experience unseen? He could have travelled for the experience without taking a scarce squad place FFS.

The Premiership is a victory of hype over substance, have English clubs dominated Europe since the early eighties? No.

Are good club players necessarily world class? No.

And face facts Ronaldo did exactly what any England player would have done if the same foul had been committed by a Portugal player.

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  • 226.
  • At 06:27 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • bobbylebonfire wrote:

been following all the posts and i was absolutely AMAZED that it took 46 posts until the first gloating scot turned up! Gobsmacked isn't the word..they usually in the first 10, whats the matter scots, a bit slow off the mark? Ahhh..thats why you never achieve anything..sorry, gold medal in salt-rubbing? I apologise! That was swiftly followed by further scots "i'm not a gloating scot, but...!" But at least the scots were faster off the mark than the portugese who only came in at 86 but made up for it in numbers, there weren't enough so joao posted the same blog about 4 times while waiting for reinforcements and we're not even at half time! Aha! a new topic now, Alan Shearer's 'incitement to violence' (by the way, everyone, he said he wouldn't be surprised if rooney were to...hardly an incitement to violence, more an appraisal of hard fact!)..and on and on..with the england fans doing a probably better job than all of them.Looks like it's going to penalties..

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From my humble point of view, as I know nothing about this game's rules or tactics, I understand your sorrow.
But I can´t understand the way some of you talk about your team. We were no better team down there on the field. We finished equally defeated... maybe even more because we couldn´t score even when Rooney went out. By the way, why is it C.Ronaldo's fault if Rooney has a bad temper? Wouldn't an English player do exactly what he did and ask for a penalty? There, he was playing for Portugal, for his homeland, not for United!! And Rooney was trying to send the most hard-working portuguese player in the game out.
But, this is not the objective of my comment. I write to tell all of you English fans about our goal-keeper, Ricardo. Did you know that in Portugal he is considered a lousy keeper. He plays for my team, the Sporting SCP, and there he had a terrible year, and even got to be replaced. But when he plays for Portugal, he just grows so much and defends whatever comes... even though many here say he just has a good defense to support him. But Scolari never took his support away and believes in him like no one else. And that is why he does well. Because he is confident and knows his coach backs him in good and bad moments.
I am a teacher here in Portugal, and this much I know from my experience, no none does well when all are saying that he can´t. This is called emotional intelligence... you can shine if you know you are supported.
Get a good coach, and support your team. They are a good team. Hargreaves was fantastic, just as Carvalho and Ricardo were!

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  • 228.
  • At 06:32 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • David O' Calllaghan wrote:

England has the players but the players played with no passion and there is only one person to blame for these lacklustre performances and that is the clueless Swen.
You have heard about good managers been able to get the best out of their average players (e.g Martin O' Neill), but Swen has somehow reversed that trait and managed to get the worst out of his best players.
Look at performances of Lampard and Terry with Chelsea or Gerrard with Liverpool, how can they not produce this for Swen. They have no respect for him or his decisions; look at his decision to bring 4 strikers and of this four, 2 injured strikers and one striker who never played in the premiership???? What was that about? In a way England going out on penalties was a blessing for Swen as who was he going to play up front in the next game? Crouch has the long Striker for 90 minutes was his only option?
Of course there is no light at the end of the tunnel, as the fa association who appointed the joke Swen have appointed the guy who has been learning from him for the last 6 years, the guy who before his team came back from 3-0 down against weak opposition was not fit to be the Middlesbrough manager? That is who you are stuck with now, swens number 2, Steve Mcclaren. Is this not another mistake?

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  • 229.
  • At 06:39 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Jim wrote:

I am a Scot and was supporting England at the weekend, it was a tragedy indeed and England did not deserve to progress in the tournament.
The irony of the match being on the anniversary of the battle of the Somme was not lost on me. Lions led by halfwits. Errikson was a joke and displayed no leadership, he is the reason England did not progress.

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  • 230.
  • At 06:41 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • valur wrote:

Bring back Luke Chadwick in to the english squad and then, only then they will spark fear in the eyes of the other teams, and will be able to win the WC

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  • 231.
  • At 06:42 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • bobbylebonfire wrote:

i wrote one of my best well-researched and funny blogs and it didn't get posted! Moderator, I say, Moderator!

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  • 232.
  • At 06:42 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • KPS wrote:

okay,lets take a look at the bigger picture...
The state of international football
is pretty dire,lets look
at the 4 teams in the semis...
Germany/Italy compared to the
legendary sides in their history are
at best average,only Ballack would
come close to a respective hall of
fame.
France Zidane,Makele,Thuran had to
come out of retirement so they
could scrape through into the
tournament edging past Swiss,Irish,
Israel.
Portugal,probably about as good a
team as they have ever had ??
Where are the young superstars to
emerge from 2006 ??
World's best players according to
votes 1 Ronaldhino 2 Lampard,they
might as well have tossed it off
on the golf course.
About 10 contries will look at
whoever wins this cup and think
it could have been us ..3 in the
semis who don't win Arg,Bra,Eng,
Holl,Esp,Mex,Swiss,even Aussies, because the difference is minimal.
Yes England do leave something to be
desired but they could have won
this cup because of the lack of any
great teams.

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  • 233.
  • At 06:43 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • paul2122 wrote:

am i the only one who remebers that last year it was Shaun WP who was the saviour for the right hand side... what happened to him? Now its Aarron Lenon, able to beat a player but did not put in one decent cross in the game. At least Beckham can cross a ball, and it would be interesting to hear exactly how many direct assists he has in getting England anywhere over the last 5/6 years. It just pisses me off that because of his lifestyle and the media circus that follows him everyone is clamouring for his head... again! Yes he had a bad world cup, but apart from the 2 centre backs and Owen Hargreves (who having been booed, is now a favourite) who didnt. Beckham is definitely worth his place until someone can show they can perform as he has for longer than a couple of games.

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  • 234.
  • At 06:46 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • dean wrote:

message to number 3 i think youve just proved to every reader of this that you are not a true england fan even if though they did play shocking!!!

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  • 235.
  • At 06:48 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • chris wrote:

Can't really argue with any of the views expressed to date. We are clueless and everything to do with our football is over-hyped.

Basic skills such as passing, movement, support, moving back and forwards as a unit are sadly lacking. I do a bit of youth coaching and once 11-year olds are forced to play 11-a-side on adult pitches is it any wonder that all we can do is run around aimlessly and 'hoof' the ball a long way. Unless we address things as grass-roots level and encourage players to express themselves at an early age then our players will never be strong enough to compete at the highest level.


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  • 236.
  • At 06:50 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Dion Protani wrote:

Watching the game on Saturday, it suddenly dawned on me that football has finally changed too much. We can argue the toss all day over who has better players etc, but I don't think that matters in football anymore. When the laws are such that a team like Portugal with their pathetic antics can progress to the last 4 of a tournament ahead of much more deserving teams, it shows that the rules are unfair and wrong. Portugal succeeded not at football, but at some other game. A game where if somebody so much as touches you, you must fall to the floor and pretend you're in agaony. Does anyone really believe the players are genuinely hurt when they do this? Of course not, but FIFA with their laws have given the more unscrupulous players and managers the green light to use this tactic. Who wants to watch this drivel? If you saw acting like that on TV you would turn over immediately. British teams have always displayed a great ethic in this respect, by rather than rolling around in agony trying to get your opponent sent off, a player would traditionally get up, dust themselves down and get on with it. This attititude exists in any game you care to wish on any park throughout the UK every weekend. We're told that the English are naive because we don't cheat properly and that we should adopt the modern continental methods of play. You can see this has started to happen already when a player like Joe Cole (managed by a Portuguese manager co-incidentally) dives to the floor if anyone so much as makes contact with him. THIS HAS TO STOP NOW. Let's be proud of our football heritage and the blood and guts style of our football. Let FIFA have their own "Hybrid Football", and we can have Association Football back, the game that we all love. Obviously it will never happen, but our FA should be brave and split from FIFA and it's competitions. If other teams want to come and play against us at the game we invented they can do so only on the understanding that they play the game properly. If they don't want to come, who cares? International football is boring now and so far removed from reality that it's laughable. Leave the continental teams to their play acting and let us get back to watching the Football we all know and love. These are not the rantings of an old fogey harking back to the good old days, and not a xenophobic middle Englander. I'm just a genuine football fan and I want our footie back to normal!

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  • 237.
  • At 06:51 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • PAT wrote:

I am still at the deeply deeply depressed stage - even though I truly knew that we really couldn't do it from the moment they stepped out on the pitch against Paraguay - the list of things going against an England victory is immense
1. More foreigners than English playing in the Premier League
2. Going without enough strikers.
3. Not exactly an inspiring manager
4. The "English" disease (which Andy Murray seems to have as well) - choking
5. Not enough English players with International experience
6. FEAR

I have many other comments but to be fair the rant I have inside is book length!!!
and by the way -
Penalties are not difficult - take some lessons from the Germans

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  • 238.
  • At 06:52 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Joe wrote:

Okay so we got knocked out by the lottery of penalties (although Germany make it look so easy)a lottery/a coin toss we were very close to the semi finals there.

However to be a team that will go beyond the current level we have to play with players that can pass the ball, and I'm not talking Beckham/Gerrard/Lampard hollywood passes over 60 yards either, I'm talking neat little passes and link play, the kind of stuff that joe Cole, Carrick and Lennon were trying to play. posession of the ball is key, look at all the teams that consistently do well.

One final point, congratulations to Owen Hargreaves for ramming all the rubbish that was written about him back down the throats of those in the media that questioned his ability. I don't blame the fans for believing what they read about him but those in a position to voice an opinion in the national press should look beyond the boarders and realise that there is a whole world of football out there, this tournament has proved that there is clearly some better football than our own "Brand (tm) England".

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  • 239.
  • At 06:53 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • chris wrote:

What a dissapoimtment, ive sat here an read thru many of these comments. An what i noticed is the fact that nobody seems of gave the boys a chance. i know The football was not fantastic, and our route to portugal, was like chelsea v Berwick (no offence). I hope Macca turn this around and select players for there capabilities rather than names or reputations, I'm a Boro fan an seen hime use a 4 2 4 formation an it worked twice over. why the git from Sweden did not at least try a 4 4 2 is beyond me

My last point would not be to blame Rooney either, anyone who plays rugby would no that it was not stamp, he was being dragged back by 2 of them an was simply pushing of an away, like a fighter he is, he did not go down because that's the kind of man he is, i would say 80% of the blame lies with his so called team mate.

as for now it's back to the premiership, "Come on Boro"

and good luck for future England

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  • 240.
  • At 06:59 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Omar Malik wrote:

Fallen Hero's???? I think not...
Atleast in previous World Cups England have shown belief and passion...It seemed as if the England team had no soul...I've heard the pundits say that England were due a good preformance...How they came to that conclusion is beyond me..What is comes down to is that we needed Churchill to rally the troops and not Sven...we needed someone to say "The world is watching you..stand up and be counted"...Barring O Hargreeves, I couldent see where that inspiration was going to come from...I cant really blame the players but what use is it to blame the manager..he's made his money!!!

And as for the future I hope being Sven's No 2 has taught Steve something..

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  • 241.
  • At 07:00 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Dan Smith wrote:

Oh for crying out loud.

We played one of the most skillful teams in world football. For half the match we had ten men. They had one of the best managers in world football.

We created the better chances, if you don't think that is good then i think you are on a windup.

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  • 242.
  • At 07:00 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Gubs wrote:

Yeah, I like what you have to say Ben. I too am filled with bitterness and sadness. I managed to blank it out for the rest of the weekend, but then this morning I felt my eyes welling up like John Terry. Monday mornings, that's when workers are meant to gather round the water-cooler, cement-mixer or whatever, and revel in the weekend's events. And what have we got? Nothing. At the end of the day Butcher's right, we're just not very good.

This is six years I've been planning for this. I was one of those who supported Erikkson's appointment. Every bit of daily football news I ingest I consider how that will affect England's fortunes. Japan 2002, I knew didn't matter, the quarter-finals was okay, it was all about Europe, Germany 2006. Even Euro 2004 I thought, never mind, we're not going to be France, win European Championship and World Cup at the same time. I supported Erikkson's choices right up to Saturday, when suddenly I felt let down.

What were Lampard and Gerrard thinking when they took their penalties. I'm pleased we apparently practised penalties (though it's strange that since 1990, which at the time I thought was a fairly bad set of penalties (compared to Germany anyway), we've actually got worse at taking them), though you couldn't have told from Lampard and Gerrard's. It can't be that hard to work out or at least guess why the Germans are so good at them. We can learn that, or we should've.
Isn't it obvious that it's about psychology. When Ballach said a penalty's success is defined during the walk from the centre-circle to the 18 yard box, surely Lampard and Gerrard knew that. They looked terrified, and so did Robinson. What excuse is there for that? As Taylor memorably said: 'Get yourselves up for it!'. Where's a sports psychologist when you need one?

So many other things are to blame: the media, for heightening expectation. It doesn't help to build up false expectations. Italy folded in 1990 under the pressure of the nation's expectations (of course we'd be delighted to be in the semi-finals and lose (which is surely what will happen in 2018 when we get the World Cup in England, losing probably to Germany)); Germany this time by contrast have surely profited from the low expectations of the nation. You probably couldn't change the tub-thumping, little islander, jingoistic bombast of the English press, and hence people, but as long as we can't, I don't think we can ever win the World Cup. As long as commentators are eulogising and exaggerating about the 'Premiership', pundits continue to pontificate about if we could just play a 'high tempo' game, with passion, we'll have these false expectations.

Maybe the solution is to withdraw from the World Cup. When I think about America say, their culture is similar to ours, they're similarly insular and hyperbolic about their culture, and sport. Why don't we retrench behind our own borders, maybe make a rule change or two, and reclaim the game for ourselves. 'Football's coming home'. England are only ever successful when they play games at home, in temperatures that never rise above a certain level. Let's go back to pre-war football: we presume ourselves World Champions, unless any team can come to the New Wembley and prove otherwise.

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  • 243.
  • At 07:00 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Al wrote:

I carnt believe what I'm reading from some of the comments made. Overhyped? I have always believed confidence is everything and I fully believe our guys were confident. They wanted it and were trully gutted when they didnt get it. As for some people saying that we have a second class team and that our players dont have any skill, do they not watch match of the day every week and see the fantastic skills on show? It annoys me when fans who prior to the tournament said the team could virtually pick itself then post tournament critisise the team selection. Dont get me wrong, I think Sven made some mistakes. Hopefully Stevey Mac will learn from them now he has his chance. But ultimatly can any England Fan say they would not have picked the same team as Sven, except for the odd fringe squad member I dont think so! I think what people need to understand is that we have been spoiled in the past 20 or so years. A world and Euro cup semi final and three major quarter finals. Could be worse we could be Spain who have had some great players over the years but have nearly nothing to show for it. Football is about 75% skill and 25% luck, a ball crosses the line here, a deflection there, refereeing decisions everywhere. It all adds up. The Italian manager raged when it was suggested Italy had been lucky this WC. Stated facts such as pre tournament injuries, red cards etc.. that were certainly not lucky. But ultimatly although they have been lacking in skill so far they HAVE been lucky enough to get through to the semi's. They could get more lucky and Germany misfire on the day and they scrape home with a deflection off a German defender. All of a sudden they are in the final.
I for one, reflect on another good chance, gutted but still hopeful for Euro 2008. SM should start to make players play for their place no matter who they are. If Gerrard, Rooney or anyone is off form , someone else needs to be given a chance be it friendly or qualifier. Fans need to understand this and support the managers decision.
You never no, I could get lucky and see an England Captain lift a trophy in my lifetime.

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  • 244.
  • At 07:01 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • cloggy saint wrote:

After 30 years I'm afraid that was the last time i will watch England, and possibly all international football. I am SICK AND TIRED of a)watching my (strongly fancied) country's players stumble through tournaments and bore the pants off me, b)Grown men collapsing at the slightest nudge and rolling around on the floor clutching their faces. In fact i think my favourite world cup moments involved players taking a dive and seemingly being at death's door, only to leap to their feet and re-join the game when they realise the ref' isn't buying it. Don't they realise how pathetic this makes them look?
So long England, and thanks for the memories, although i can't actually recall too many...

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  • 245.
  • At 07:08 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

I agree with post170. Right from when Sven announced the team list you knew he was no svengali.
Enough has been said about the nature of the team he picked, but I'm stunned no one picked the warning signs:
1) Picking unproven players. Rumour has it that his other half picked TW for the teamlist
2) Pinning all hopes on a crock, rather than taking evassive action. I bet the whole Rooney saga didn't do the team much favours - meaning the rest of them were useless without Roo
3) Adopting an unproven formation at the 11th hour.

This stuff is what murder mysteries are made of, and Sven ranks with Agatha Christie and the rest - and still the plot has not been deciphered!

Steve McClaren is no doubt tarnished even before he starts, and I can't see him being any different. Looks very much like a "yes sir" kinda guy, who will be drip-fed by the FA and the press.

The English national team is down in the dumps, and needs to go back to basics if they are to stop being the perennial underachievers of the football world.

A sad demise, and the final nail will be when they fall outside of the top 10 - to be replaced by rising stars from developing world.

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  • 246.
  • At 07:08 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Ajala wrote:

If Sven Goran Ericsson, becomes the new manager of Holland or Spain, do you really think they will struggle passing the ball properly against Ecuador or Trinidad and Tobago ? Of course not. Becos they have the players with the technique to play the ball well under pressure. England hasn't and will never until it admits its sceaming shortcomings. England will never win any major tournament playing the way they do.


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  • 247.
  • At 07:08 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Graeme wrote:

England's failure to perform at the world cup is the fault of Brian Barwick. He failed to take a glorious opportunity to get rid of the Swede in January. Sven has no integity, no passion, no desire and no ability. Look what he did to Roma. Lazio was a chequebook-funded spree. How can anyone, let alone a highly paid experienced coach, get this England squad to be so bad? Sven is useless, but Barwick didn't see it.

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  • 248.
  • At 07:11 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Adam Foster wrote:

The depression has still not yet subsided after a 12 hour drive home...

During the match, I was sitting behind the goal where the penalties were taken, in the upper tier. During the half time interval, a massive (around 20m x 10m) flag was passed over my head and I couldn't read what it said. Did anyone sitting at home / in the stadium see what it said? Whatever it was, the stewards seemed really angry about it

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  • 249.
  • At 07:13 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Anne Gonnamoe wrote:

Thanks to all the media hype our national teams have been hi-jacked for the feelgood factor! Quite frankly I'm glad it's all over and us "true" supporters can get back to what we do, week-in-week-out, paying to watch our own club.

Last summer it was our cricket team becoming national heroes - but where are all those "fans" now that Sri Lanka have thrashed us? ... where are they when Worcester play Somerset or Yorkshire play Sussex? ... nowhere to be seen!

The people I feel sorry for are those who spent a lot of hard-earned brass going out to Germany to support the team - they have been sadly let down by the most inept manager/coach I have seen in a long time ... how do you expect to win a game playing 4 defenders and 6 midfielders? ... but then what do I know, I've only been watching football for 53 years?

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  • 250.
  • At 07:15 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • daniel wrote:

england were never a contender for the world cup in the first place! they are so over rated its unbelievable. looking through their squad who is in a class of their own to change the course of the game? no one! to be a world class team u need players like zidane, henry, robinho, kaka, totti, pirlo, ballack, messi and to be honest the list is endless. people need to realise when it comes to the best teams in the world england just aint up there!

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so apart from the game itself, if England had somehow scraped through on penalties, the rating for this team would have been completely different. The heroism of playing with 10 men, the stout defending etc.
woul have been played to the hilt.

The story is encapsulated for me by the look of complete indifference on Lampard's face when he missed the penalty (same look on Gerrard's face). No fire in the belly, no fierce pride raging, no anger at oneself for missing. Just a look that says "Oh well, that'll be the end of the world cup then" This "team" is no more than a bunch of overhyped self absorbed individuals with no concept of what it really means to be selected to wear the 3 Lions shirt.

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  • 252.
  • At 07:19 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Tony Whittaker wrote:

Aged 51 I have great experience of our failures, over-expectations and of our 1966 victory.
I am constantly bemused by the social responsibility void displayed by our players.
1. Wayne Rooney should have turned to the player he injured to see if he was OK and to apologise. As he did not can he comment at all on the behaviour of Ronaldo. Should any club bonding have protected Wayne from the red card? - it was a bad foul, metres from the ref and deserved a red card. (Actually a much worse foul that Marradonna's hand).
2. We have a population of 50.2 millions in England alone. There are 5 brits for every Portuguese. We should use this population index to understand the lack of sports excellence. We cannot be doing enough for the majority and concentrating on the few to fail to find a better English player for every Portuguese player. The statistics say we should have five good players for their one.

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  • 253.
  • At 07:23 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • kevin dunn wrote:

In my opinion the reason we failed at this World Cup was because we do not know how to play international football. The whole philosophy of English players ie work like mad and get behind the ball then quick, direct attacks, just doesn't work. It was interesting to see that they had been working on keeping the ball in training. That's the first time I had heard anyone in the set-up actually identify why we are so average. We are often hard to beat, but we struggle to win. I've watched so many games over the years, not just in major tournaments, but in qualifiers and friendlies, and we just cannot impose ourselves on the opposition. We surrender position too easily, have less of it than so-called inferior sides. Nobody likes our play, nobody will miss us.
Maybe the first signs are there that we need to learn how to play international football. This really is the best group of individuals we've had for years, but just looked like the same old bunch of honest triers. Unless we can somehow harness the individual talent that we have and mould it into something much, much better, then we are going to be disappointed for a long time.

All the cheating makes things worse and leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but shouldn't detract from the fact we are not good enough at international football.

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  • 254.
  • At 07:26 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Could we bring back the 4 nation championship - then at least I can see England win something before I die.

P.S. Why didn't Erikkson sub Robinson for James instead of subbing Lennon for Carragher. At least James has saved a penalty or two, plus he looks a lot bigger.

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  • 255.
  • At 07:26 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • daniel wrote:

We are not as good as we think we are. End of.
We have no one in the same class as Thierry Henry or Zinedine Zidane. We can't defend aswell as the 'Azzurri'. We haven't got the team spirt of the german side. We can't cheat like the portuguese can. We arent good enough.

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  • 256.
  • At 07:28 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Chopper wrote:

Let's face it, England are in some ways not dissimilar to Brazil (also eliminated) who selected their team based on accomodating star names rather than players who could make a system/formation work. Germany have benefitted from this so far especially when Klinsmann left Ballack out of the opening game thus demonstrating that no one player was greater than the team.

Others mistakes included:-

1: Allowing wife's and girlfriends (WAGS) to be constantly with the players - doubtless some minds were not always on the game...
2: Not enough forwards selected.
3: Continual formation changes.
4: Lack of flexibility tactically.

The trouble is that McClaren is not the answer either, which was evident in Middlesboro's lamentable showing against Seville in the UEFA Cup Final. Furthermore, I don't see a great deal of young talent coming through.

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  • 257.
  • At 07:31 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • t-bone wrote:

well. got to kinda agree with alot of whats been said. we were lucky to get the draw that we did and should have done better. portugal are a good team and i believe that we outplayed them, even without rooney. hargreaves was our best player and i never thought i'd say that. never. beckham shouldn't have played, lennon should (he frightened the life out of everyoe he came up against), walcott should not have gone, neither crouch. ashton and defoe would have given us better options. rooney. oh boy. he stayed on his feet after getting kicked, and i am still open to his 'foul' as simply trying to keep his balance. i have seen replay after replay and not seen once ronaldo ask for a card, or wave his arm around. rooney gave him a push away, ronaldo did not go over, or even look at him accusingly. what really did he do wrong? penalties. we hot all 5 (actually 6) on target - maybe not the best, but on target. damn good goalkeeping (or complete luck) i say.

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  • 258.
  • At 07:32 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Primordial wrote:

Ronaldo maybe guilting of 'egging' the ref on but Wayne Rooney got himself sent off. He maybe talented but he isn't yet mature enough to represnt England at international level.

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  • 259.
  • At 07:34 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Steve wrote:


Overpaid and over hyped.. Good individually but don't gel as a team. Reality check time!

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  • 260.
  • At 07:35 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • markpitchford wrote:

have to say after the portugal game hargreaves has gone up in my estimations.

fitness level was unbelievable and put the others to shame.

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  • 261.
  • At 07:36 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • sapper wrote:

OWEN HARGREAVES, guts and determination and Rio ferdinand's fantastic crunching tackle that got me going. Portugal had nothing, its simple had we played 2 up front and dropped lampard we wouldn't be having this debate but looking forward to wednesday night.

SSSHHHHH beckham slaters

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  • 262.
  • At 07:41 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • ravid wrote:

Did we really think Rooney was going to win the world cup for us - how close did he even get to scoring a single goal? Not to be compared with his teammate Ronaldo - I wish we had a player with that much skill and composure.

By the way, the word genius shouldn't really be used for footballers who aren't called Zidane.

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  • 263.
  • At 07:47 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • Jon Lee wrote:

Can't you all see it...Sven was taking the micky. Nobody in their right mind would have picked the players he did...but there was method in his madness and that was to make sure England did not win the WC. The FA have also to take their share of the blame for not seeing Sven for what he was...a charletan.

One other point...how is it these young men at the peek of fitness complain of tiredness after an hour strolling around kicking a ball every now and then? The tennis players are on court for 3 to 4 hours sometimes, expending much more energy than a footballer, and where the heat is more stifling. Even 36 year old Agassi can do it because he fights and wants to win.

jon lee, s africa.

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  • 264.
  • At 07:47 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • r phillips wrote:

Post 248: spot on chris about the Rooney thing... he tried to wait for a place to put his foot for as long as he could, and in the end had to put his leg down or fall over. I agree totally.

Fascinating to watch the blame game kicking into full stride after yet another English football reality check: no bottle. NO BOTTLE. Heard Gerrard say at least I had the bottle to go and take a pen. Well done. Pity you didn't have the bottle to wait til the keeper committed himself before planting the ball in the other side - like Ronaldo did, in fact.

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  • 265.
  • At 07:48 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • now old git wrote:

When I was 19 going on 20 I watched England win the WC. Two marriages, three children, and two grand children later I'm going on 60 and still waiting for a repeat performance, preferably before I die!.
IT AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN!!!.

English Football: R:I:P.

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  • 266.
  • At 07:53 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • phil wrote:

In fact England went as far as they deserved. On what premise England players thought that they DESERVED to win it, I don't know. Most teams go into the world cup taking each game at a time, and each game should be fought to the death. England went into it, believing that they deserved to be in the final, without first focusing on beating other so called minor teams on the way with some style. Winning is not everything, how you win is just as important. England rely too much on spoiled brats like Wayne Rooney, instead on putting the team first. When the match started I said, Rooney is going to be sent off and England will lose the game. Too right. Better off having many Owen Hargreaves who work hard, rather then 10 Wayne Rooney's that think it is OK to commit offences on the pitch. He doesn't seem to accept that he let England down. Pathetic loser.

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  • 267.
  • At 07:59 PM on 03 Jul 2006,
  • jjj wrote:

Here are the points I noticed upon watching the match between England and Portugal:
1. England have arguably the best individual players in the world, however, their ability to gel leaves a lot to be desired.
2. Rooney’s red card solidified the trend that it pays to fall on the ground and flop around. He could (and probably should) have gone down right away, however he tried to maintain possession and was sent off for it. Good message to young players….
3. Whoever had won this match will be outclassed by France going on current performances.
4. Finally, I have never seen a more pathetic attempt at so called Penalty kicks than England on Saturday. If your opponents miss two completely and you still can’t win, you should quit professional football. Props to Ricardo… Beautiful penalty goaltending.

I now must pull for my previously hated rival Deutschland for the finals….

P.S. Do me a favour England and get into shape before 2010 so that you don’t end up barfing in the middle of a match and/or toping out at a walking pace. If you thought Germany was hot…wait til South Africa!