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Iceberg ahead...

Test cricket England
by orangehikaru (U6836551) 18 December 2006
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This team has been sailing towards the Aussie iceberg of defeat since before we arrived down under. Clueless and rudderless our defeat has been as predictable as our cliched comments post cock-up about having a young team and playing enough cricket prior to the first Test. Is Mr. Fletcher so deluded that he cannot admit that he has lost the art of how to get a team to peak at the right time? Or is peaking just another foreign city on his retirement destination list? Praise when we win, flak when we lose Duncan - individually and as a team we were terribly under-prepared for the first Test which was embarrassing and we batted like extras from a Loony Tunes cartoon in the second Test second innings. This explains why Geraint Jones plays like his bat is an exploding hammer. Our selection has been flawed, the Captaincy decision has just been plain wrong and to be fair to us, your public Duncan, we have been pointing this out since before the tour. There are overtures of Maggie Thatcher's reign when she rightly or wrongly achieved a lot for the majority of her time in office but then lost the plot and made irrational and illogical choices towards the end. It would take the honesty of a rare politician for Duncan Fletcher to hold his hand up and admit where exactly it all went wrong, but we all know turkeys dont vote for Christmas. Shame as we'd respect their sacrifice a little more. If anyone sees a little urn bobbing around in the Tasmanian Sea don't let an Englishman jump in to retrieve it, he'll sink without a trace. Send an Aussie, they know when to swim hard and when to tread water. Congratulations Australia, you deserve the win. I'm sorry we haven't put up more of a show because we are certainly capable of doing so and that is the bitter pill every English supporter has to swallow.

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posted Dec 19, 2006

maybe i am influenced by the papers i read but they sometimes do bring up good points. for example.

what worked in 2005 will not necessarily work in 2006-7.

question is did fletcher & flintoff have a plan b (shades of sven) going into the series?

sometimes a successful team needs a jolt in order to progress. perhaps this is what england need.

to get to the point, england have lost the series & i predict at least another test will go to the aussies. they won't do well in the limited overs tournament or world cup so i suggest they get rid of fletcher after the tour is over. get someone in with fresh ideas in how to make england competent at both odi's & tests.

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posted Dec 19, 2006

Duncan Fletcher is undoubtedly the best coach that the ECB have ever chosen. Who might replace him? Woolmer? Buchanan? Chappell? No thanks, for one simple reason - Fletcher's good enough. Any of the aforementioned might bring in one or two new ideas, and energise a team for a while, but in the long term, little difference. No, it's the system that needs to change. I'm speaking here as an ECB coach, and what I see on the inside of the ECB Coaching Association is impressive. So if that's OK, where's the fault? Answer: it's in the execution at the most senior levels, and the ghastly organisational mess that is the ECB, which would hamper the most assertive. Let's not tamper round the edges and sacrifice the most talented coach England have ever had just because the system doesn't work. It'll make next to no difference.

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comment by Garmez (U1726877)

posted Dec 19, 2006

Yes there seems to be a surprising amount of support for Fletcher despite his inexcusable errors.

I am not one for knee-jerk reactions, and believe that patience and continuity are essential for building successful teams in sport. This was proven with Englands steady rise in the Test ratings culminating in last years Ashes series, but on the evidence of the last six months, Fletcher (as Boycott stated) seems to have exceeded his shelf-life. Why his vision lacks clarity now I just dont know, but that is how it seems.

Yes Fletcher had previously done an excellent job with England, but then did'nt Sven do an Excellent job getting us to the 2002 World Cup? With a similar Sven like lack of foresight and imagination, England appear to be slipping back to useful also rans in world cricket.

'Duncan can have the job as long as he likes!' I see someone has written - No b***dy thank you! Thats the surest route to complacency. And when was this stuffing of Pakistan? I do remember a series where they were missing their best two bowlers until the last test, in which we would have lost had they decided not to take the field after the tea interval.

The stick Fletcher has received is NOT a disgrace, and he should take it on the chin as readily as he has received the praise over recent years. The way he has treated English cricket fans during the last three weeks is the real disgrace.

He refers to 'hindsight' in the face of criticism, but someone should point out to him that before a ball was bowled in Brisbane, a collective sigh of resignation could be heard around the country. Hindsight my ar*e!

OK so we may still have lost the series with Panesar and Read, but that is not the point is it? We deserved to see our country represented by the best players possible, not by Duncan and Freddies 'pals'. We deserve not to feel 'short changed' after the most prestigious Test Series there is. And anyway, whose to say Monty wouldnt have made a difference, of course we will never know.

Making Flintoff captain was always consigned to failure, and his part in the Adelaide selection just cements this fact. Again lessons not learnt (remember Botham). The rest of the gaffes ie preperation, Harmy etc. I dont need to go over any more as I'm sure they have been done to death on these boards.

Just please, lets not be so 'English', by living in the past and congratulating Fletcher on what a splendid job he has done in the past. The Aussies prove year in year out that there is no room in sport for misplaced sentimentality.
Its this attitude that has resulted in us lagging behind the best in the past.

Put it this way, if my accountant did a fine job for six years, then lost me shed-loads of money due to a litany of schoolboy errors that he had previously been made aware of, i'd tell him to get lost! Fletcher needs to prove very quickly he has learnt a lesson from all this or he should go.

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posted Dec 19, 2006

As Michael Atherton has said on a number of occasions, it's all to easy to over-coach, and that players might benefit from less coaching. As a coach, I agree, except in cases of technical failure, viz Steve Harmison of late. So let's not over-emphasise the influence that DF exerts over the on-field performance of the team. At international level players should be self-motivated, with support from a team- and tactically aware captain, the finest example of which in recent years is Michael Vaughan. The coach's job? To organise ata strategic level, and manage a team of specialist coaches with direct player contact. DF has made mistakes for sure, particularly it seems in match preparation and meddling with selection, the captain's job. But these are not hanging offences, and as previous correspondents have mentioned, England has scraped by in recent times, and not flourished. This, believe it or not, is not principally the fault of the coaching staff, but of the executive. Why else would DF need to invent something as crazy as "The Bubble" to shield his player? The home series organisation is different from away organisation, and currently both are a nonsense. This includes the head coach, yes, but as a much smaller part than you might imagine. Lay off DF, and lets look long term at Collier's and Morgan's roles, the ECB as an organisation, and how the County system fails utterly to support and regenrate an over-travelled international side.

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posted Dec 20, 2006

When you stop and think about it, England have only won 1 series out of the last 5. Admittedly they have been tough series, but even so it suggests that the team's overall performance is declining. Boycott was right - that guy really knows his cricket.

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posted Dec 20, 2006

so sportystevereeves doesn't want to congratulate a better team,what a pathetic view, I suppose he also boos and catcalls when some one is kicking for goal in the Rugby. Sport is about contest, skill and commitment. Sorry he doesn't like the Aussies beating his team, but he better get used to it. May the best team ALWAYS win.

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posted Dec 20, 2006

When the Aussies lost in 2005, there were calls from Aussie legends to sack Pointing, sack Buchanan and all manner of panicy measures. They didn't do that.

They looked at the situation rationally, made some personal changes and this seems to have worked for them.

Change for changes sake is never a good idea. Comments like Fletcher has made "inexcusable mistakes" are over the top. Look at the situation rationally. Fletcher, his staff, the players and the ECB need to examine this loss, then work out what the best strategy for getting the Ashes back.

BTW if we do sack Fletcher after the Ashes is over, it doesn't give the new coach much time to settle in before the world cup.

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posted Dec 20, 2006

I bet some Premiership managers wished they could be judged on whats gone before? Unfortunately, Cricket like any sport is results business and it would be more of a concern if everyone said "Oh well thats OK chaps" and shown no interest.

Its a mute point about previous years of Fletchers reign, we are debating if Fletcher is STILL up to the job. I dont think the problem lies at Fletchers feet, its the rediculous structure the ECB has for home and away fixtures and the selectors policy even crazier. I find it unbelievable that Graveney had no knowledge of Fletchers desire to stand down as a selector... and his Chairman of Selection. I suspect Fletcher has got all manner of ECB toadies,admisitrators,
committee memebers,County representatives surrounding him, and offering all manner of useless advice.

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posted Dec 20, 2006

What do oranges know about cricket.Duncan Fletcher was employed to coach a team [England]and during his tenure has improved their performance tenfold.They were rubbish when he took over and in no time he was hailed as a superhero.This whole Ashes debacle is just down to the fact that Australia at home are unbeatable and to think that Panesar or Read would have made one bit of differance is very naive.
England have not performed because the players contracted to the ECB are earning fat salaries and dont need to beat any team or perform well to live like kings.If their wages were performance linked maybe a more pleasing result would be savoured by English supporters.
The Ashes loss must be blamed on the whole underperforming team,including the selfindulgence of Kevin Peterson who takes runs on the first ball of overs exposing tailenders.Every player in the side does not understand the meaning of team.They were praised for teir previous Ashes win and now poor Duncan Fletcher is supposed to take the blame for a loss that was inevitable.England need to import more players like Pieterson,Strauss &Co from other countries that teach cricket in all the schools enabling the kids to learn the game at a much younger age.

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posted Dec 21, 2006

Before I make any rash comments as I'm sure there are many pros & cons about keeping Fletcher as coach.

Can anyone tell me who agreed on the Itinerary for this tour and who decided that the team should come home after competing in the ICC Mickey Mouse Cup sorry ICC Champions Trophy in India before jetting out to Australia?

I will make my comments once I know who the guilty parties are.

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