I think it says a lot about how badly England have been playing, that I really wasn’t that disappointed when we were knocked out of the World Cup yesterday.

That’s not just because I hate most of the team as individuals either. To be really disappointed by something there has to be some level of expectation and I went into this World Cup thinking that it would be a successful campaign if we reached the quarter-finals.

In a way I think that it’s better that we finished second in our group and got absolutely battered by the Germans, rather than if we’d finished first and sneaked through to the semis against relatively mediocre opposition. At least we now know what happens when this England side faces a decent team and no one can be deceived that we’ve achieved anything.

Apart from the players that is… The arrogance of this lot never ceases to amaze me. Ferdinand is quoted from home saying that we would have won the game if Lampard’s goal had stood. Lampard himself claimed that it was a tight game that we only lost because of a couple of breakaway goals. Do goals on the break not count in Lampard’s rose-tinted world? It’s like George Foreman claiming that he’d have beaten Muhammad Ali if it wasn’t for all that rope-a-dope stuff.

On the subject of that third breakaway goal, just why were all of our players attacking, leaving only Glen Johnson at the back? There was still plenty of time left and a chance would have come if we’d just been patient.

The problem is that the England national team doesn’t do ‘patience’. Instead of calmly stroking the ball around like our continental cousins, we’re always in a mad, frenetic rush to get to the opposition’s goal. Inevitably we lose possession and then we get hit on the break… and despite what Fat Frank might tell you, those goals do actually count.

We recruit expensive foreign managers to curb the enthusiasm of our stupid players, but it seems that this too is a fruitless exercise. In my lifetime the best England teams I have seen are the ones that were managed by Terry Venables and Glenn Hoddle. As Englishmen, they knew the foibles of our players and created formations that would protect us in spite of ourselves. Meanwhile, tactical geniuses like Sven and Capello have played with such rigid 4-4-2 formations, that you’d think it was someone like Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett in charge.

Speaking of ‘Harrys’, our own is being talked up as a possible replacement for Capello. Not only that, but Redknapp seems to be talking about his interest in the job to all that will listen.

Fair enough I say. As much as Harry must relish a crack at the Champions League, time is running out in his career and to manage your country should be the ultimate job for any manager.

Would he be any good? I think he would. He’s a likable bloke who would create a great atmosphere in the camp. Redknapp might be thought of as a wheeler dealer rather than a tactical mastermind, but he at least knows that it was a bad idea to play 4-4-2 in this World Cup, which puts him one up on Capello.

I do though also think that Roy Hodgson is a more logical choice. He doesn’t come with the same baggage as Harry and is already a very experienced international manager. No other candidate comes close to his knowledge of different football cultures.

So if the FA happen to read this in the two weeks that they’re deliberating over whether they should give Fabio the chop, please steal Fulham’s manager instead. If you look back through my archives you’ll find loads of comments from my readers moaning about Redknapp’s incompetence and suggesting that we’ll never qualify for the Champions League with him in charge.

If we don’t rate him, why would you want some cockney wideboy as the England manager? You know it makes sense…

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Couldnt have put it better myself.. Leave our Harry alone but if you do av to go Harry then we will understand through our pain.

  2. So if Scotland came in for Fergie, or if France for Wegner, everyone would say that fine on you go, I don’t think so…

  3. If Harry was asked next year, I’d happily let him go, but right now I’d love it if he could at least see this season out with Spurs in the Champions’ League as he’s the one who took us there in the first place.

    It’d be a shame for him to not see the end result of a season’s hard work at Spurs 😉

  4. I have to congratulate you on getting the word foibles into a post. Top work!

    On the topic the only conclusion I’ve managed to draw out of this group of players is how under-whelmingly average they are individually. Only one player can really be looked upon on the basis of this and previous tournaments as being ‘top drawer’ and it pains me to say that is Ashley Cole.

    As far as technique, intelligence, composure and discipline goes the English are a long way short of their more cultured continental counterparts.

    I don’t think there is a manager alive (even dear ‘Arry) who could forge this group of players into a cohesive team and if they could they deserve £6million squid a year.

  5. I happen to agree with Lampard – I think England would have had a great chance to win the game had they gone into halftime at 2-2, as they should have done. When they threw everything but the kitchen sink at Germany in the second half in an attempt to get the goal back they were rash in allowing two breakaway goals, But were they at 2-2 they would have played differently. England deserved a better side to represent the country, but the side that took the field has been badly maligned because of a result that owed much to a bizarre error by the referee.

  6. Well it’s certainly easy to be an armchair manager. Harry certainly had a lot of criticism for Capello and loads of suggestions as to how many Spurs players should be in the squad. Harry knew Capello should play 4-5-1. How ironic that we all knew Harry should have been playing 4-5-1 most of last year, but heck, what do we know? And does anyone really think that Harry did our Spurs England players any favours by constantly criticizing capello’s player selections? It’s no wonder Dawson, Crouch really didn’t get a chance and no wonder Lennon was dropped like a hot potato. 25 years and Harry still just loves to hear himself talk. Ironic, since similar advice offered to him is always rubbish. COYS

  7. I’d love harry to stay but also think he’d do a decent enough job for england (decent being based on capello’s attempt so far being rubbish)

    If he does go then i dont see why tottenham dont move for Roy hogson and get him as our next manager, he’s similar to harry but with more international experience, as everyone has stated – and i think we could et him ahead of liverpool.

  8. The trouble with England is that a bunch of average players all believe they are something special and prance around on the field like big stuff without delivering anything. Who the hell does John Terry think he is? The German forwards made him and his partner, Upson, look like utter fools. John Barnes said Steven Gerrard refused to play a defensive midfielder’s role after being asked to do so, unlike the German Bastian Schweinsteiger, who sacrificed his attacking instincts to serve his country in a defensive role. Those who say England would have won if the goal had stood are totally and utterly deluded. The mediocrity of the England side in SA was something to behold.

  9. record time The word being used for our players performances is tirdness and this could be true . Let me explain we have the most competitive league in the World and the most money and there is the major problem Teves has bean used to counteract the statment of players being tired but he went home for weeks Rooney was injured and the press said he would be out for the rest f the season he came back in record time big mistake Lennon was never going to be fit mentally and physicality without having is Hernia operated on time will tell . Without a player like Tom Huddlestone we had no cretor who could pass and the two games we had before sent Johnson and Hudds home yet 45 mins and five subs got Joe Cole Heskey phillips on the plane Barry got is medical ticket to say he would be fit but not fit to play good. Tom Hudds played against swienstiger in the qualifiers and outplayed him . The problem was when he had 45 mins to prove is worth the other players dident want to no who passed the ball to work the german defence or midfield Lampard Gerrard Barry there is the big problem Gerrard played ina liverpool Team who missed Alonso 7th Barry in a team costing Millons with no midfield general 5th Lampard loads of midfielders and Drugba enough said Milner played in a team outplayed twice by Toms team and his passing . I said if he was not picked we would be home early and sadly we where We left the best passer the fastest wingers Wallcot and Lennon one at home one underused Agbonlahore fast Johnson all back at home the person who should go is pierce he was in charge of our under twenty ones hammered by the nucleus of this German Team minus the injured Hudds thank god they also missed is passing.We should play five players from the under twenty ones in all friendly’s maximum . Spurs finished fourth with the most English players and only had one player in the worse defeat in a world cup we never played like a team i wonder why . Dawson King Bentley Jenas Huddlestone Lennon Crouch Defoe . waiting Rose Walker Naughton Mason Caulker Bostock Townsend Parrett Kane lets hope they don’t go backwards because Champions league is making it harder for youngsters to get in the first team the reason Money.

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