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Goal-line row should not mask England failure

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David Bond | 17:37 UK time, Sunday, 27 June 2010

2010 World Cup: Bloemfontein

Although England were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Germany in Bloemfontein, that will not stop the raging sense of injustice over the 'goal' that never was.
Who knows how the game may have ended if England had gone in level at half-time? Germany always looked capable of scoring against England's creaking defence but the momentum would have undoubtedly been with Fabio Capello's team.
Watching from the stands, Fifa president Sepp Blatter will have no doubt been reflecting on the decision taken by football's rulers in March to put plans for goal-line technology on hold.
Blatter has always opposed the introduction of technology, saying refereeing mistakes are part of the game and made by humans.

But surely football can no longer withstand the pressure to act following mistakes like the one made here by Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda and his assistant.

Replays showed the ball was at least two feet over the line before German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer retrieved it. It was a shocking decision.
goal595getty.jpg The incident will increase pressure on Fifa to introduce goal-line technology - photo: Getty

Over the next few days the debate will rage about why football has failed to follow the example of other sports like cricket and rugby where, in most cases, the authority of the referee and the umpire has been strengthened by the use of video replays.
But ultimately, Capello and England's players will know that the controversy will only mask the alarming way they capitulated against a vibrant, exciting German team. Boys against men, said Germany coach Joachim Loew before this game. But Germany's kids taught their elders a very sobering lesson here. Golden generation? Olden more like.
Having turned the corner with the win over Slovenia, Capello and England went into this last-16 match with renewed confidence. The heat was supposed to be off.
But the manner of England's defeat - their heaviest in World Cup history - means ultimately they have gone backwards under Capello.
Had they produced a fighting display then the judgment on the Italian may not have been so harsh. But now the inquest will be long and severe and he must be called to account for the way England performed during the tournament.
When Capello was negotiating his £5m-a-year contract he asked only to be paid a bonus if England reached the final. Former Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick, the man who hired him, set him the target of reaching the semi-finals at least.
For a serial winner like Capello, being eliminated at the second-round stage in such emphatic fashion will feel like a humiliating failure.
But ultimately it will be the players who should be held responsible for the disappointing way they performed in South Africa. One win over Slovenia and just three goals makes such confident predictions before the tournament now seem very foolish.


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  • Comment number 1.

    oh dear yet again our overpaid superstars have let us down again. i would of been in tears at the end of that display,but not our players they will be on the next plane,not home but for a holiday no doubt.remember its the tv subscibers and the hard earned premier ticket costs that pay those stupid wages.stuart pearce why didnt you speak out you afraid of losing your cushy job or what.

  • Comment number 2.

    Capello picked the players to bring to the world cup. Walcott was left out for not following instructions. He played England's key midfielder, Gerrard out of position at left midfield. He stuck to a strategy and formation that clearly wasn't working. He returned to a strategy against Germany that had clearly failed against Algeria.

    The players were struck down, particularly Terry for suggesting a different way. In dealing with Terry it is clear that it was his team and his strategy. The buck stops at Capello's door.

    A good manager gets the best out of his player and produces a team that is better than the sum of its parts. Capello managed to do the opposite.

    Capello has got to go.

  • Comment number 3.

    Sorry keep banging the same drum but im going to anyway!!

    This isn’t Capellos fault and anyone who says it is knows nothing about football. Its not even the players fault. The reason its not the players fault is simple, its not their fault they aren’t good enough. It’s not their fault they don’t have the footballing brains to compete at the highest level. It’s the F.A and governments fault pure and simple. Until there is a concerted effort by the 2 bodies to make fundamental changes at grass roots you can have any manager you want in charge, England will never win a major tournament. Spain have 750 fully qualified Grade A UEFA trained coaches compared to under 150 in England. But that’s not even the clincher. The most striking point is this, 150 Grade coaches in England all coach at professional or semi professional level to fully grown men. 640 of the Grade A coaches in Spain teach in SCHOOLS. They coach 5 year olds and up how to play the game. One touch football, pass and move, to actually think about the game when playing. Have a football brain and use it. 15 years ago the Spanish F.A and government changed the whole youth set up from 5 years of age up. 15 years later and they have a group of maybe 7 or 8 world class players in their national team! Sheer luck? Coincidence? I don’t think so. So no its not Capellos fault, its not the players fault. Its the F.A and Governments for not wanting to take the long term route to solve the problem and taking a quick fix method, and maybe even the media for spouting and trying to feed the public the myth that England have world class players and the premier league is the best in the world.
    England qualified from a god awful group and as soon as the competition got a little bit higher and little bit stiffer, they were shown up for what they really are. Over hyped. Over paid, spoilt little idiots.
    I may sound like an English basher but im far from it. I want England to win a major tournament,I also want the other 3 home nations and Republic of Ireland to be at these tournaments but for any of it to happen there has to be changes. All F.As and all governments need to come together now to address the issues or let this go on for another 44 years. No Manager can change what tools he has to use so it doesn’t whether its Harry Redknapp or Harry Houdini who gets the job next. Stick with Capello but let him have a bigger say in what happens at grass roots.The maybe 15 years from now England the rest of the home nations have teams worth shouting about.

  • Comment number 4.

    Fair play Germany they deserved to win. Having said that England were 2-1 down when thye should have been 2-2. So they were pressing up for a goal and were caught on the break for 3-1.....To say it wouldn't have made any difference is wrong.

    But the Germans are a better side Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ozil are comfortable on the ball. The Germans created 6 or 7 genuine chances and were clinical. many chances did they create? Two in the whole game.....

  • Comment number 5.

    We needed goals, Capello brought on Emile Heskey - enough said.

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

    Is Upson the best we have....Is Heskey the option we have on strikers ?
    Do we not have any truly gifted left footed players ? - Is this the end for Gerrard and Lampard as our dynamic midfield pairing ? - Is Johnson just a an average right back ?
    The FA have to look inwards and a) get an Englsih speaking manager b)change the rules so at least 6 english born players start every Premier League game

    All too little too late....another embarrassing England exit down to lack of skill, commitment and passion. !

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    Look on the bright side, we won't be seeing most of the "golden generation" of footballers in an England shirt again, we'll soon have a new english manager with different young english players and goal line tech will be introduced before the next world farce

  • Comment number 10.

    Nonsense...that is the prob with d english.. always complaining when they re not on d better side of some calls (maradonna's hand of God, Now lampards disallowd goal). Am a regular viewer of the BBC commentators on Tv n non of them saw any big deal about the USAs' disallowed goals(3 goals). But today, England moans about their own disallowed goal. Errors happen all d time in W. cups and I suggest England finds a way to build a solid team than look 4 someone 2 blame, besides they had 45 mins in d second half 2 find an equalizer but they couldnt.

    This game FINALLy underlines what i have been sayn all along which is ENGLAND ARE NOT AS GOOD AS THEY HYPE THEMSELVES 2 BE, IT WILL TAKE A GOOD TEAM TO PROOVE IT....and you said Rooney was going to be one of the top scorers of the tournament, thats a joke - he never scored a single goal instead and was never substituted EVEN THOUGH he made NO impact whatsoever in the four games.I say its time England respect your opponents n not underrate them - easy group indeed, serves you right!!!

  • Comment number 11.


  • Comment number 12.

    THere is being caught on the break 2 minutes from time with everbody upfield, and then their is being caught all upfield with over 20 minutes still to go and only 2-1 down!!Huge underperformance by so many overhyped players, maybe it will finally sink in to them that a big ego is no substitute for big ability and a willingness to play for and as a team, even if you do not necessarily agree with all the managers choices. Mind you his ego or stupid stubborness seemed to get in his way this World Cup as well!!

  • Comment number 13.

    Comment 3

    Spot on! FA now to focus on investing into a new generation of home-grown players: then a manager of Capello's quality can produce the goods.

    It was an abysmal performance from many of them, which had nothing to do with their position on the field. Very slow and technically unsound.

    Today the better team deserved to win.

  • Comment number 14.

    Really even with the disputed goal in mind...England need to move on from the current generation of players. If Cappello goes (not entirely his fault) then the new manager must surely pick a very young and hungry team.

    Also players like Gerrard need to be played in their best position. I am not sure it would have made that much difference as the performances of the players was so bad over the last four games but really...just start with a younger set of players who do not have the baggage the current players appear to have.

    A day to forget very quickly but also learn from. Germany did not play Ozul out of his favoured position. Messi plays where is most effective. Ronaldo, Kaka the same AFAICT. Captain Gerrard out on the left?!?!? Couple that with the apathy of the players in general and you have 4-1. No surprise to be honest.

    Basics...passing, movement, passion.

    If you have a collection of great players or average players (with one or two star players in Englands case) with no passion you have no team. If you have a collection of even average players with passion (Germany) you have the foundations of a great team that will always be difficult to beat.

    I dont think the players like Cappello or his methods and I think they want him out. Frankly I think he probably should go as Gerrard was never played in his best position, Heskey was a mystery and frankly the players don't appear to like a discliplined approach to Managing England either. But...I would still avoid playing many of Englands current squad again. Roy Hodgson in...most of the current team out.

  • Comment number 15.

    When are we going to learn?
    Perhaps the media will not hype up our chances so much next time. They say they won't feel the pressure because they're professionals on 100 grand a week. Absolute load of rubbish. They are human beings and the evidence of this performance most definitely not world beaters. We never stood a chance.....!

  • Comment number 16.

    I would also add their must be a Winter Break and a reduction of games played in the EPL.

  • Comment number 17.

    Richiebear makes some good points. I have moved from the UK to the US to coach college sports. The standards of resources put into high school and college sports is way higher here than back home. All schools have weight rooms and athletes are coached from a young age. I played rugby at a high school of 1500 in Ipswich and we trained once a week after school and certainly had no weight facilities. Our youth have to be better coached and better trained... has anyone spotted the occuring theme of our sports teams never quite reaching their expectations.

  • Comment number 18.

    We didn't need to watch the review to know that was a goal. Se could see clearly it was in on TV screens. Those referees were blind!
    However, we can't say the Germans don't deserve their win.

  • Comment number 19.

    I was astounded by Capello's excuse that the (wrongly) disallowed goal was to blame for the woeful performance of the English side. Maybe if it had happened in the 70th minute with the score still at 2-1, he would have a point. But surely if such a thing happens before half time, it is the Manager's, and the team's, responsibility to use the half time interval to put it behind them, devise a better strategy, and get on with it. Capello's comment is more the excuse of an under-12's side.

  • Comment number 20.

    Richiebear - spot on couldn't have put it better myself. FA PLEASE READ!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Again, comment 3 spot on.

    England again shown wanting due to poor grassroots coaching on the basics of football.

    Kids are only ever taught to kick and rush, and all but a select few have the knowledge to pass and move like decent euro teams/players.

    There needs to be more focus on coaching youngsters, as well as introducing capping rules to limit the numbers of non-homegrown players into club teams so they have a chance to develop.

  • Comment number 22.

    richiebear (3), I agree with you ,alas I fear it is impossible ,as like all our industries, we have sold out for sort term gain and foreign money. The Premiership thinks the FA are a bunch of amateurs, but they have no interest in developing 'English' football. They would prefer the league to become international in every way.
    Over several decades of following England, I've seen us falling further behind the bench mark at the top level.
    We lack everythng required to stand on our own two feet without the help of foreign players to make up for our shortcomings.

  • Comment number 23.

    I quite agree we need to insist that each team in the premiership has at last 6 english players, but it will not happen as the Premier league are a law to themselves, even if the FA wanted to introduce such a rule. The premier league wouldn't agree to it.
    Will be inteesting to see how many fans attend the next match at Wembley, I think they will be lucky to get it half full.

  • Comment number 24.

    Capello is the issue...brought in to make us contenders, failed. Brought in to change the mentality of the squad, failed. Brought in to get the best out of the golden generation, failed.

    Given that for 3 out of 4 matches we were poor (and in the other one only ok), thier is no "defense" for Capello, to keep him would be to ignore what we have witnessed this world cup. Say thanks for a realitive stress free qualification but lets not ignore the sheer paucity (caused by his selctions and man management) of the tournement.

    Heskey on when 3-1 down in a knock-out game..enough said!

  • Comment number 25.

    Utter rubbish..England were awful from the start of this world cup.
    Rooney is not a world class player,Gerrard is way past his best,Lampard
    should announce his retirement from England immediately,Terry and Heskey
    should do likewise.
    As i pointed out in a previous post Barry was a liability and would cost
    England dearly..he didn't let me down.
    Yes,they were robbed of a second goal but please..they looked abysmal
    apart from 10 mins in the first half.
    Germany showed up England as a bunch of over-paid,pampered,egotistical
    inept players.
    Before the world cup James Milner was being talked about as a 30
    million transfer...i wouldn't say he's worth 30 pence now!

  • Comment number 26.

    You get what you say England were paralysed by words by USA and now by Germany? Watch FB he always uses his words to fight England. Hope England will speak up hereafter and leave off all superstitions. Health seems to be a problem for England many a time. If Robsan had played and Barns in crucial games 1990 it would have been a piece of cake to win the cup. So in 2006 No shooters Owen was out and T Walcott not put in. High time England had a coach who has experience playing in the world cup. Too m any changes at the back and the defence was shattered. Rooney should have played up alone making room for others. Rooney has the mouth to win may be hE SHOULD CAPTAIN eNGLAND NEXT TIME.
    sURELY THE Equalising Goal from Lampard would have shattered Germany and the result could have been England 6 Germany 3 Better luck next time England

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

    england got what they deserved, I don't think any england supporter expected them to progress considering there previous performances, the press I feel supported them after there last group victory even though in comparision they were playing a team which they were likely to beat, people will blame the keeper for letting in goal against USA, the referee for disallowed goal, the manager, but surely the blame should be layed at the players, you are playing for your country so surely you should at least attempt to play football.

  • Comment number 29.

    Excellent post by richiebear. Insightful.

    Seemed to be a lot of injuries to premiership-based players from all countries leading up to and during this world cup. Is this due to the schedule?

    No real excuses from the squad though - they let people down.

  • Comment number 30.

    The ghost goal is not the issue.

    We need to find the sneaky German who put quick drying cement in half our our players boots before the game.

  • Comment number 31.

    We are rubbish, Rooney was shown up as average. I will never compare Rooney to Messi or Ronaldo again, he's not in the same league.

    We lack basic technical ability on the ball, we can't create space.

    The golden age is over...thankfully

  • Comment number 32.

    So many problems, but to sum up a few:

    1. Rooney had an awful tournament; did nothing of merit over 4 games.
    2. Playing Gerrard out of position
    3. Makeshift defence; why move Terry..? The defence had 0 pace.
    4. Finishing 2nd in the group; the writing was on the wall from there

    I thought Lampard played well vs Germany though, I felt pretty sorry for him. Fabio showed that whilst he has character and conviction, he ultimately got the big calls wrong.

  • Comment number 33.

    Absolute disgarce from teh FA down.
    capello must go his selections and tactics were a joke

    we need somone who is fresh and not afarid to drop the so called big names, a team of englishmen from Div 1 & 2 managed by my granny would have played better and with more passion - let's face it they could not have done worse

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm for Capello leaving,

    Give Hodgson and shearer a go or Harry and Beckham.

    I think he picked the wrong 23 men, played the wrong system and to be honest I had more faith in Sven.

    we need a goal and he brings on Heskey? thats the kicker for me

  • Comment number 35.

    There is no point sacking Capello. It would be like shifting deckchairs on the Titanic. Perhaps we should re-evaluate Steve McClaren's tenure, especially in light of his recent success. The problems go deeper than the manager, the fact is that we are in as bad a position as Scotland. The players are simply not there. Ashley Cole is England's only decent defender. Whichever defensive combination you use, we are exposed through the centre and the right flank. We have no decent centre or right-backs or goalkeepers. How can we beat Germany with these major deficiencies?

    John Terry is vastly over-rated. A good leader and organiser maybe but a poor defender. Ferdinand and King - over-rated. Carragher, a clogger at best. Johnson should play right-wing because he is a hopeless defender.

    As for the rest, SWP not good enough, Rooney, did he even go to South Africa?? Defoe doesn't cut it at this level. Milner had a poor tournament. Lampard and Gerrard at least showed flashes of what they are capable of, and when they are surrounded by decent foreign players for their clubs obviously they will be more consistent.

    We need a complete everhaul of English football, but we won't get it because the Premier League is too powerful and there are very few English owners and managers in it. We need to crack on with the National Football Centre. The next generation need to learn from these players and apply themselves more, don't just take the money and don't believe all the hype that will surround them. They must seek constant improvement. Only a couple of our current players do that.

  • Comment number 36.

    I think the blame must, must fall at Capello's door.

    He cannot alternate Walcott/Lennon on the right hand side for 2 years before the World Cup then play Milner on the right in the World Cup finals.

    Throughout the qualifying and friendlies he had Beckham on the bench. If he was going to play a player whose job it was to solely cross deliveries into the box for Defoe like Milner (which he ended up doing) then surely last year he could have told Beckham that he was in his first team plans and to just play a regular amount of football and stay fit rather than to make him play all year round and end up injurying himself.

    Also, the players weren't used to playing together. He substituted his players like a 5 a side pub team in the friendlies and qualifying. He should have put signed his England contact, watched premier league games and his players for 3 months then said "right, you're my best team in the formation I've picked so you're my first 11." It doesn't close the door on other players at all! It just allows them to spend 10 games before the World Cup gelling - pick the same team and if something obviously isn't working then change it but otherwise playing for your club isn't going to be massively different than playing for your country - he didn't need to chop and change so much. Watch the players, pick a team, stick with the team.

    Gerrard on the left is almost as ridiculous as the Milner saga. Joe Cole has played on the left for years...put him on the left, Lennon on the right, Gerrard up front with Rooney and Heskey in a pub in Alaska.

    Capello has made all the wrong decisions, from team selection on the night to build up in the friendlies. I just hope Hodgson hasn't signed a contract with Liverpool already...

  • Comment number 37.

    Its the 'BIG' players that need to be looked at today. Gerrard, Lampard, Cole, Rooney played as though they deserve to earn £100,000 a week in the Premier League just by turning up, its a disgrace! I hope they all get the stick they deserve week in , week out in this coming season. The boys of '66 will be utterly bewildered as to why this lot are called the 'Golden Generation'. Rooney/Messi in the same breath...

  • Comment number 38.

    Rooney played an absolute blinder. What a star! Thats Martin Rooney, by the way, whos just won the UK title in the 400m! As for the other one.....

  • Comment number 39.

    #3 - well said!

    As a non-English person supporting England in championships when my own team (Norway) doesn't qualify, I have long wondered why there are so few English players with excellent technique and view for the game. It surely should be an incentive to look at this and reduce (but not remove!!!) the tub-thumping call for "passion" so that it doesn't overpower the desire to have the technique and cool to keep the ball a bit.

    However most strikingly in this match was the appalling defending (the Germans weren't great either) - I thought Upson, Terry & Johnson were utterly poor and unrecognisable from their play in the EPL. Rio Ferdinand was clearly more missed than I had anticipated! I guess it is a blessing in disguise that they don't have to face Messi....

    The worst of all is that even though Germany played way better than England on the day, they did not really look all that good. Good attack, but not a very good defense and the midfield can clearly be outplayed. Will be very interesting to see how they will fare against Mexico or Argentina. If is to be Argentina I expect a really good game with shaky defending :)

  • Comment number 40.

    One thing to say...muhahahaha!!! The "Golden Generation" have been shown for what they really are, overpaid and utter rubbish. I'm sick and tired of hearing that "England is the best team on paper" this and "[Germany] are a mediocre team" that. Finally, some perspective has been give (rather unwillingly it has to be said) to English football and commentary. Do yourselves a favour and boycott your expensive Premier league season tickets - no player is worth £100k per week especially not English ones.

  • Comment number 41.

    England and English players are only World class when the question is asked internally. In looking at the number of players available, expenditure set aside for the National team, 6 million paid to the coach and the end product is the drivel we watched over 4 matches. Would hate to be English. Will those pundits from BBC, Star, Sun Mirror and Talksport now apologise for misleading a nation in every tournament since 1966. Tomorrows headlines will soon be replaced with England will win the Euros in 2012

  • Comment number 42.

    My son is 10 starts 11 a side next year on grown up pitches where once again athleticism and physicality will overpower skill and guile. Is it really rocket science to reduce the size of pitches and concentrate on one touch, first touch, triangles and pass and move? The answer is no, it is as glaringly obvious as when I played 35 years ago.

  • Comment number 43.

    richiebear has it.

    The structure of football in England is not designed for success of the National team.

    Too much emphasis on engine as opposed to technique.
    Not enough English talent in top division.
    Too much power in hands of players (good on Capello for tring to instill discipline)

    The quality of players at Capello's disposal has cost us here, but that doesn't stop me being disappointed that Capello was scratching around trying to bring the likes of Carragher and Scholes out of internaional retirement and not bringing Darren Bent or playing Matt Dawson, when he supposedly had a mantra of playing players in form.

    Premier League was supposed to enhance chances of our National Team, but 20 years on it clearly isn't working.

  • Comment number 44.

    They think it's all cobra. It hiss now!

  • Comment number 45.

    World Cup Officials 1 England 0!!!!!!!
    Short sighted officials have denied fans the sight of a fantastic match. At 2:2 there would have been no need for England to attack leaving themselves open for the counter attack. It is about time technology was introduced at least to confirm or otherwise the scoring of goals.

    Wimbledon has such technology so why not important football matches.

    Officials should be signed up to present a Specsavers advertisement.

  • Comment number 46.

    Actually think some of these might be a bit generous ...

    James - 7
    Kept England in the game in the first half, though might have done better with the second and third goals if you were being ultra-critical.

    Johnson – 4
    Customary confidence on the ball deserted him, and never looked comfortable against the German movement. Impossible not to feel nervous as an England fan with him in the back four.

    Upson - 3
    Would be 2 but for the goal. Positioning –horrific. Communication – horrific. Distribution – ultra-horrific. Difficult to see an international future for him after this.

    A. Cole - 4
    Comfortable on the ball, but where was he for Germany’s second-half goals?

    Terry - 4
    Were him and Johnson out on the lash last night? Usually his anticipation and positioning compensates for his lack of pace – both were utterly absent today.

    Gerrard -3
    Worst game in an England shirt. Countless Hollywood balls in the first half that unerringly found the Germans or the touchline. A shoot-on-sight policy in the second half that squandered countless promising positions for England.

    Lampard - 6
    England’s best outfield player. ‘Scored’ a beautiful goal-that-never was and generally looked like England’s best attacking threat, including a rasping free kick that had Neuer flapping.

    Barry - 4
    Didn’t provide the defensive cover which is his main responsibility, and Germans ran rings around him all match, in truth.

    Milner - 3
    Rediscovered his USA form.

    Defoe - 5
    Some decent runs but fed on scraps and was eventually subbed.

    Rooney -4
    Best player in the world? I’m not sure this guy is the best player in his family.

    Can’t be bothered with the subs, as none of them had any impact, though it was amusing that Heskey was brought on with England needing goals.

  • Comment number 47.

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

  • Comment number 48.

    I am sorry for England's loss. Both the manager and players are to be held accountable. The manager's job is to ensure the England's 'superstars' leave their ego in the dustbin and play together as a TEAM not all 11 individuals. Football is about playing for each other, where is the spirit? Agreed, the disallowed goal was a big gaffe buy the linesmen but this is not the reason for England's loss.

    Where is the precise passing?

    Where is the pace in this English team?

    Last but not the least, Capello stated "The players are feeling the pressure"...Are you serious? The so called superstars are under more pressure playing in the premier league. For heavens are representing your country. Leave the pressure and go out and perform. At least put up a fight, will you?

  • Comment number 49.

    I guess the octopus was right

  • Comment number 50.

    I agree totally that we should teach the kids like the other nations do, england were abysmal, the defence was caught out and upson and terry have no pace whatsoever. I would of loved the fantastic adam johnson running at the german defence and there is a host of other names we should of brought along. Time for alot of changes and some fresh faces.

  • Comment number 51.

    Fabio must go. England are not a team, they are individuals of whom Capello could not make a team.
    Rooney should have come off at half time and Crouch should have been given a chance.
    What a waste of time. I thought Englend looked worse than a Championship side and not a team worthy of world cup football.
    Also the fact that we scored a second goal and were not given it should put Blatter out of a job.
    What a joke!

  • Comment number 52.

    England have good players, but not a good team. Never mind that goal that wasnt given, They were beaten by a superior team.

    Who where they trying to fool believing they could beat Germany, 2 goals in a group with the USA, Algeria and Slovenia. Pathetic.

    To be honest that German team isnt on the same level as Brasil and Spain, which is a scary thought for England. Wayne Rooney was absolutely horrendous but Capello wouldnt drop him. Steven Geraard was completely wasted on the left the accomadate in the ineffective Lampard.

    Hopefully this 4-1 pounding will bring England down to earth and they can stop going into tournaments with the usual "this is our year" attitude. Its pathetic and so are England.

  • Comment number 53.

    Capello must go to start with.
    Manager used outdated system, 4-4-2 and he is stubborn to change it.
    He is not flexibel enough tactically. Using Heskey to hold the ball, not to score! I have never seen in my life in any high level team/manger wasting a striker position by using non-scoring player.

  • Comment number 54.

    Give them an open topped limosine tour of the capital... tied to their seats and with the route lined with crates of rotten fruit

  • Comment number 55.

    England's technical inabilities were cruelly exposed yet again. Fed on a diet of Premier League football and biased punditry we forget that English players can't control the ball and, when put under pressure, they hoof it long. Injured or not, tired or not there was no excuse for Rooney failing to control the ball first time. The funny thing is ex English players and managers who have not won anything internationally (Graham Taylor) will now criticise Fabio.

  • Comment number 56.

    The rest of the world develops, England seem oblivious to changes in the way the game is played. The majority of the other teams in the tournament seem to want to go forward, to look for opportunities to put pressure on the opposition and to create chances.

    England, as they have done for years now, don't even look towards their opponents goal before they've passed the ball several times sideways and backwards, giving the opposition time to get back in defence and read the newspaper before having to worry about anything.

    When they try to chase the game, they just can't do it? Why? I agree that the structure of the game in England is somewhat behind that in other developed countries, but there is definitely something wrong with coaching at the highest level here. The FA seem to align "technical" with "ability", such that they seem to be breeding any form of individual or collective creativity out of the national ethic.
    We were exposed today, but why are we "expected" to beat teams like Algeria when it is clearly evident that they were significantly better than us last week as well. Look at the evidence on the pitch, don't measure the ability of the team by the weekly salaries of the names on the teamsheet.

    In short, look at the way the squad is coached - build up a team around what the collective individuals can do as a team (obviously there needs to be an element of control / organisation too), but don't try to create a team of robots as has been the desire of the administration & management.

    It doesn't matter how much money you throw at the system, its how you manage the system and the resources within it. Look at what we've done with Rugby Union, Tennis, etc etc over the last few years, compare that with the recent upsurge in the fortunes of the cricket team - whilst not perfect, the introduction of a little creativity into the team and the way they play has certainly made a big difference.

  • Comment number 57.

    A 2-2 partial result would have change all the game. It's not the same to score 2 counterattack goals as two normal goals, and this was only possible because all the England team was trying to score a second goal to tied the match, which should have been already tied.
    Fifa sucks, and the reason they don't want to adapt the new technology is to be able to cheat and control the results. If you don't believe me, just ask France, Michael Platini and Tierry Henry.

  • Comment number 58.


  • Comment number 59.

    The English are always saying that they have the best league in the world guess what you guys are correct. But this is only true because of the foreign players. England is by far an inferior team

  • Comment number 60.

    This is not about Capello. Look at the common denominator - the players are virtually the same as under Sven and Mclaren. This is all about the players. They just don't have the will, the loyalty or the know-how to work under ANY England manager. We should blame the players and no-one else. A brand new team is needed. Players without the emotional hang-up, with the nous, the courage and the spirit to PLAY FOR ENGLAND.

    Today was awful but we surely all knew it was coming? Change the manager yes but change the team more importantly. And where is out winter break?

  • Comment number 61.

    Who to blame?? Surely the buck must always stop with the top man, in this case Capello. If he was a bold manager he would have taken Rooney off at half time today, it was obvious to all us watching that he wasn't in/on form, so why persevere with him? And as for bringng on Heskey when Crouch has scored lots of goals for England... And why wait until the 87th minute to bring on SWP?? When you're losing 4-1 you don't wait until it's too late. He should have brought Lennon/SWP on the moment the 4th went in...
    I hope he moves on, for his sake more than anything. Let's get Roy Hodgson.

  • Comment number 62.

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

  • Comment number 63.

    Good article, but I must disagree on a number of fundamental points - firstly, the assertyion that the win against slovenia was some kind of turning point is only true in the minds of journalists who tend to look at the game through cliched glasses- scraping through 1-0 against a side we would have destroyed in qualifying is not a 'turning point', It is merely further proof that we were not good enough.

    Secondly, the assertion that England have gone backwards against Capello - how is it posible to go backwards from steve mclaran, who failed to even get us to the tournament? Capello got us to south africa in style; the players simply bottled it, and proved again (as if it were needed) that British players lack the basic technical abilities footballers are taught from a young age abroad (This lack of technical ability is why British players very rarely go abroad, and when they do generally aren't very good, as we have the talent, but not the basic technical abilty. John Terry;s interview showed his attempt at player power backfired miserably,which would undoubtebly cause content if there were actually players seeking more power/any split in the camp. We will only really know until someone inside the dressing room (and not the bloke looking for the wc - by which i mean the toilet, not the world cup, which will probably never be in our dressing room if we continue to play like this at big tournaments) spills the beans on what really happened. was there a split, was there a failer coup d'etat? i suggest that when we do find out what went on behind the closed doors Capello was so annoyed at when photographers pointed their lens' in their direction, should be very interesting.

    I can only agree that it is the players who should be held responsible - if they attempt to blame it on Frank Lampard's 'goal that never was'. they will only shame themselves further.

    What an anti-climax, what a disappointment. How utterly depressing.

  • Comment number 64.

    Ritchiebear is correct. The problem is the whole system. There is no worthwhile development programme in England. Appart from the Premier league in which the better teams are of mostly 'import' players, the remainder of the leagues, including those outside the main four are made up of declining ability players, on their way down. Where are the youngsters? Where is the development? The whole football organisation is wrong in England. When are the organising bodies either going to wake up or make room for someone who has the vision to rebuild England's national sport?

  • Comment number 65.

    What a disappointment! Tired legs, no ambition, no spark (even from Wonderful Wayne).

    Now really is the time to review the situation in the English game. There are so many games that our players end up tired. AND we had to leave so many great players out because they were injured.

    Jurgen Klinsmann pointed out the big difference between the number of games played in the English and German leagues, and he suggested as a consequence that the state of our players (and those missing) meant that we wouldn't progress. We didn't!

    Let us reduce the physical load on our players, and give younger players a chance, by making one of the Cup championship (Carling/ Coca Cola?) for second teams. Many managers play their younger players anyway. We (the public)never get to see the second teams play, the younger players don't get any exposure to big matches and we have to rely on the older 'experienced' guys at International level.

    Alternatively, scrap one Cup competition, or reduce the Premiership to 16 teams!

    Something has to change! The current team was a shambles!!!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    Already blaming Capello.

    I'm not surprised!

    Yesrterday he was the greatest, today you want to blame him.

    Tipcal media hype always finding someone to blame, except yourselves.

    Face it England, you just not good enough!

    Ever wondered why teams like Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy are so good...

    ...they have a youth programme.

    Its right in front of your eyes for everyone to see, other countries exporting their talent and therefore giving their place to rising stars and what does England do....?

    They import those players....

  • Comment number 67.


    On one of your other blogs, I made the remark that too many of our players are made to look good by the foreign stars around them at club level. Today proved that once and for all.

    Forget the disallowed goal, we defended like a Sunday League side at times. With David James being our best player, the country must now focus on finding a proper team, rather than trying to fit the 'best' players into a formation. Players like Matthew Upson are clearly out of their depth even against weaker foreign sides. There are good reasons why he isn't playing in a top Premier League side. He lacks pace and got lured out of position almost every time the Germans attacked. Glenn Johnson also needs to get to a side with a coach that can teach him to defend.

    From this debacle, there are very few players that can realistically go forward into the next major tournament. Today we were humbled by a side that were good going forward, but like us have obvious defensive deficiences that we could not exploit due to a shocking lack of pace and tempo throughout the whole side. The decision to send home Theo Walcott, albeit with his inconsistencies is now seriously open to question.

    Capello cannot be blamed for so called 'stars' who fail to perform, but today he made some very odd decisions. At 3-1 it was '**** or bust' time, yet he takes off our only goal poacher, Defoe, and replaces him with Heskey! A man who has been abject for Aston Villa this year and abject at this tournament. Surely it was time to go to 4-3-3 and give it a go?

    If Capello stays then he needs to reduce the average age of the national side and get some pace back into the midfield. Our technical deficiencies have been cruelly exposed in this tournament. Like the French, we have a huge task ahead of us to restore credibility at the highest levels of the game. Thank god we weren't facing Argentina this afternoon, the sight of Messi against Terry & Upson would have been an utter nightmare.

    A realistic and clear headed approach is needed, right down to the lower levels of the game. Too much TV income is focused on the Premier League to the detriment of the development of the overall game. The FA needs to be brave. You can bet it won't be.

  • Comment number 68.

    Oh how Karma is sweet!!!

    The goal that never was and now the goal that definitely was!!!

    That's beside the point. The fact is that but for 10 mins at the end of the 1st half, England were a VERY poor 2nd to a skillful, young German team. Sure the Germans were swaying at the end of the half and the goal SHOULD'VE counted, unfortunately the linesman was not Russian this time, but at only 1 goal in it the English couldn't muster any sort of fightback. The Germans looked assured in defence when they came out, flashes of Beckenbaur as Freidrich strolled through tackles before Germany threw the ultimate sucker punch. After that 3rd, the Germans stroked that ball about like the English weren't there. I can't hide my joy that, as a Scot, I've watched England get their comeuppance, but as a football fan I am disappointed to see England capitulate in such a poor way. No fight, no heart and no respect. Enjoy the summer

  • Comment number 69.

    I think your media should shoulder a large part of the blame. Most of the pundits are practically bipolar - draw with Algeria and you're the worst team in the world, beat Slovenia 1-0 and all of a sudden you're world beaters. This is the reason why most Scots dislike the English team.

    Well, also the fact that many of them seem like deeply disagreeable people - John Terry (obviously) and even St Wayne after his little rant when the fans had the temerity to boo him and his millionaire pals. I dread to think what the English press would be saying if Messi had performed anything like Rooney at this tournament - over-rated, can't do it on the big stage, blah, blah, blah. Rooney hasn't scored at a tournament since 2004!

  • Comment number 70.

    Performances like today and at this world cup make you wonder if the FA was harsh in sacking McClaren. I'm not saying that he's great, or that Capello is not. More the fact that Capello has won lots beofre he was England manager, and McClaren has done well since he left England. Could the simple fact be that the players aren't as good as we think they are?
    English clubs do well in Europe, and some of our players shine in those teams (Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard etc) but they are surrounded by other foreign players. The most English teams in the top half are Aston Villa and Spurs. Neither have won anything. Fourth place may be an achievement for Spurs but hardly likely to translate to world cup success.
    A big change in attitude is needed: players, media and fans.

  • Comment number 71.

    Lions led by donkeys?

    Donkeys led by an ass!

  • Comment number 72., of course, have hit the nail on the head. However, Capello did make some huge errors in player selection, subs and formation so he is not blameless but nonetheless, we don't produce quality players. I was one of those countless 'coulda been pro' lads who went to the US to ply my trade. I swallowed my pride and took coaching courses that centered on developing technical players. What is being taught here now to these young lads is far more technical than the schools back in England. Par example, the Ronaldinho move that Ozil did, megged one of our lads and was replayed is not rocket science. I teach this to 10 year old 'BOYS' on camp all day long. They get it. They are like sponges at that age. It gives them the confidence to handle the ball and take a player on. Gerrard cut inside a few times with space on the edge of the box and simply shot from distance, when a players feet for another combination was available but we are not that crafty. The whole system does indeed have to change. Play 3v3, 4v4 or 5v5 until 6-8 and 8v8 until 10. Give the players touches on the ball on a smaller field and have proper coaches, not 'fat dad' reliving his failures as their coach. So much to put right but how stubborn we are. Why not blood Walcott, A. Johnson and Rodwell? Ozil is 21 ran the show...I could go back and point to the fact that NO top team in the world plays 4-4-2 as the game has passed that by (so Richiebear, a little premature in saying Capello/formations not at fault), no team also plays its best players out of position in a formation they don't play week in week out. Capello lost the dressing room, Terry tried to warn us but was shut down. We've not heard the last of that story...Heskey on for Defoe when we are chasing goals??? SWP for last 4 mins... are you kidding me...Our youth system and Capello take equal blame. So sad yet sadly predictable.

  • Comment number 73.

    Capello should just quit now. Playing Gerrard on the left is one of the most ridiculous decisions i have ever seen. Everyone wanted to see him play upfront just off Rooney and yet Capello's stubbornness was his downfall yet again. Apart from a couple of decent shots today, Lampard was pretty much invisible again today. Our defence looked woeful and our wingers weren't great either. Barry again looked off the pace. Capello made huge mistakes in selecting the squad for the final 23 as i thought we had some decent players.

    However i do agree with everyone else when they say that we have to change the way we play at grass-roots level. We just can't keep the ball well. I also think that the FA should increase the amount of home-grown players their should be in every league clubs starting 11. If you had a minimum of 6 home-grown players in every Premier League starting 11 that would definitely increase the amount of talented players we have in this country.

    All in all, i think most of the senior players in the England squad should retire from international football and make way for a younger generation of players to have a go (ie. Adam Johnson, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor, Walcott etc.). We should bring in an English manager who will pick players on merit and not the 'big names' who always fail to show up on the big stage.

    Germany have a lot of talented players coming through (we should take a leaf out of their book) and i'd love to see them go all the way in this World Cup, although i'd still put Brazil/Argentina as the favourites.

  • Comment number 74.

    All will be well in 2018!!! Blatter, on David Beckham's personal recommendation will award the WC to England and will also amend the rules to allow the host nation to automatically progress straight through to the Final whilst all the remaining teams fight for the honour to meet them there. All is not lost.

  • Comment number 75.

    Just not good enough. Simple as that. I'm not sure we can blame the FA for England's failings anymore - it seems to me that the Premier League have all the power in the modern game.

  • Comment number 76.

    The defence and marking of the German players today was not even up to First division standard. Capello must go, but not because of today, but for the woeful performance in ALL FOUR matches played at the world cup. Also, note that the German Bundesliga puts a cap on the number of foreign players in their league, so as to facilitate and encourage home-grown talent. We definitely need to do likewise.
    Mark (Walsall FC fan)

  • Comment number 77.

    Too many foreign owers, managers and players in the English football league.

  • Comment number 78.

    It is the time to accept the defeat. This defeat is not Capello's fault, it's not players's fault, and it's not FA's fault. Do not blame on Capello's tactics. Do not blame that now the Premier League has too many foreign players. Look at the 70s 80s, the England team also did not play well. It's all due to players ability. They tried but that's all they can do. It's time to stop dreamming and accept the fact that the ability of the english players is very very limited.

  • Comment number 79.

    i have to laugh at most of these comment; too many people lay the blame where they don't have a clue!

    Yes, there is a grass roots issue! Too many club representative and agents don't recognise home grown talent.. Why? self interest! Scouts are relegated to providing a free service, only! getting anything if! someone is signed onto a trainee contract.. Only one kid in recent times out of those i know has made it on merit, the rest are club/agent related... I've been in grass roots football for 12 years!

    As for the match: many of my friends said i wasn't supporting Englad because i said we would lose 2-0! The reason i said we ould lose; we cannot defend and we aren't comfortable on the ball... This has been addressed at grass roots level..

  • Comment number 80.

    of course we can blame Capello. Like we blamed Ericson. And McClaren. But when you look at their squads, the material they had to work with, the same old suspects, give or take a few. Each of them excellent players with specific strengths that work very well in the Premier Laegue and elsewhere when they have a team around them that optimizes them and feeds those skills. Pull them out of that and you have a bunch of individuals who play as individuals, not a team, as there simply is too much missing in the 'allrounders' category... and until team skills are addressed in development over individual skills development all that will be created is prima donnas that can perform in a team but can't be formed into a team... England's problem for decades now... but sure as hell the manager will get all of the blame. More fool him for taking it on in the first place..wonder who wil fall for that next..

  • Comment number 81.

    Well, as I predicted before the tournament started England didn't progress past the last 16. I will popping in the bookmakers on Monday to collect my winnings.

    Now let the media blame game commence. Harry Redknapp for manager anyone?

  • Comment number 82.


  • Comment number 83.

    Manager... disallowed goal... injuries... it's all just so unfair, blahblablah.
    NONE of it matters so much as the fact that our team played like a spoiled and sulking schoolboy XI and have not once looked like the cohesive unit they were in qualifying. The ONLY question we should be asking is WHY IS THAT?
    On another note I should point out that in all of the recrimination and disection ne fact remains inescapable. Rolling into a ball and playing dead may confuse furious bears in the wild but it does not have the same effect on the German national football team.

  • Comment number 84.

    Before everyone does the typical attack on Capello just pause and think.

    The players and media should take by far the largest blame - this tournament has been littered with stupidity. Actually the same symptoms that haunted Steve McClaren.

    1. The media "stinging" the FA, when they are trying to bring the World Cup to England - do the press even care? They should help the bid... perhaps the media should be sued.....
    2. John Terry's antics - he should NEVER play for England again - he believed his own hype and the press carried on fueling him so there would obviously be effects - he's not the most intelligent person on the planet...
    3. The press again fed the public with individuals being the answer to the team's poor results - when Joe Cole played I didn't see magic, did you? why did John Terry? If Wayne Rooney had been substituted during a match there would have been fireworks - perhaps it should have been done.
    4. The England team lack speed and discipline - the best teams have both. Look at Germany. They always do well because the mentality is country before club.

    When Capello came into the frame the team were in depression - they were willing to try, realising they weren't as amazing as they thought they were - they forgot that. The team and the general public always feed off and believe the hype.

    One interesting aside though - do you think Capello himself fell to the pressure from the media (a little bit anyway....)? Playing Joe Cole, refusing to substitute Wayne Rooney when he obviously wasn't delivering the Lampard/Gerrard debate? Before saying anything I actually thought Frank had a good tournament he just had bad luck - its also obvious he cares about the team and not his ego.

  • Comment number 85.

    Isn't it about time that the English press just acknowledged that England are not good enough. And yes I include Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard, Terry etc in that judgement.

    I'm not saying they are not good players....but they were not, are not, and never will be.......WORLD CLASS.....get over it!

  • Comment number 86.

    End of the day englands so called lions were more like cubs!!! Ive seen better football from a local sunday side. Yes i knew we were poor in the group but i thougfht we had the players and the experience to step up against the better teams, how wrong was I. With the exception of A. Cole and Gerrard and the players that didnt play a minute the players need to be taken out back like ol' yella, because they were disgraceful. Fabio should be sacked i was a big fan but, when you are 3-1 down and call upon Heskey u know he should be in a mental home rather than at the world cup what started out as a huge excitement ended as a massive disappointment we really need a shake up in english football.

  • Comment number 87.

    Well if ever there was proof that Gerrard is the most selfish, personal glory hunting individual player in the England team, it was today.

    I lost count of the amount of times he wasted good opportunities for England because he went looking for the glory pass or the glory goal.

    But on the other hand, in all four games he was very good bailing out England's very fragile defence.

    When you add all this together with the fact that he can't use his left foot, he really has no right to play in an offensive midfield position.

    However, I really think he could be a great holding midfield player, but of course he won't do that because he wants the glamour and glory.

  • Comment number 88.

    Fabio; You didn't start J Cole. You didn't have the gonads to drop Rooney. You didn't see Lampard have a decent game once. You didn't learn from the earlier games. You didn't ever change from the bland 4-4-2. You missed a lot Fabio. I for one- will NOT miss you and your dire midfield trio.

  • Comment number 89.

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

  • Comment number 90.

    English paundits/media call the Premiership the best league in the world.

    Why is that? Because there is so many foreign players in it, but how many English players are there good enough to be bought by big teams Like Madrid, Barca, Ac Milan, Inter...ect..

  • Comment number 91. more thing...Englands biggest enemy?

    British media hype!

  • Comment number 92.

    England were poor. Very poor. Three goals in four games is simply not good enough.
    That said, I'm now going to follow a sport where technology is embraced to help support the officiating, not work against them.
    And for all you people who support grass root football, I totally see your point, I just doubt you'll cancel your SKY Sports subscription come August!

  • Comment number 93.

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

  • Comment number 94.

    Capello will get the stick of course, but there are some players that seriously let both him and their country down all through this tournament.

    I can definitely think of some of them that should consider retiring from international football on the spot, but will instead most likely play another hearty game of "blame someone else" then scuttle back into training as if nothing happened and continue their England careers.

  • Comment number 95.

    So what happened to my comment at 6:55? Lost in the ether because I blamed the World Cup Officials and lack of Technology?

  • Comment number 96.

    In theory richiebear comment 3 is correct but in reality it is way off!!!!

    Living and playing football for fun in Spain I beg to differ that those 650 coaches have created a generation of clever footballers across the board! Nonsense! What clubs in Spain and the governent did was to stop 7 year old sunday league teams playing on full size pitches like I did as a kid in England- just kicking the ball without thnking. They made them play on small astro-turf pitches 7-aside until they are 12 years helping them to improve their technique. Make no mistake every professional youth system in England is currently operating the Ajax system now and it will bear fruit in the future. The problem of this world cup was an under-achieving manager, failing to inspire and direct a golden generation. We need a revolution no an evolution at the FA to help develop this talented under 21 team into the Germany!!!

  • Comment number 97.

    OK, it should have been a goal, but…

    These decisions can go either way. This one balances out Hurst in the '66 final.

    Don't think it would have made any difference if it had been given. England had 11 players. Germany had a *team*

  • Comment number 98.

    As for blame..........well that needs to be shared evenly between players and manager.

    Capello should be playing 4-3-3 with England and key to that formation would have been the inclusion in the squad of either Adam Johnson or Theo Walcott instead of SWP or Joe Cole.

    Anyway, its all too late now and the feeling of deja vu is here yet again.

  • Comment number 99.

    Ref. 4,5&6

    I agree totally!

  • Comment number 100.

    capelo is just an idiot...Lennon played the best, but was not playing, Joe Cole was not playing too...others were just in stupid positions, thanks god Roney was not in defender's position...capelo is a big disaster for England


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