This weeks Offside View wonders if anything has changed in Fabio’s camp?
The dust has almost settled on it, newspapers have stopped dedicating back pages to it and Gary Lineker has stopped giving us his opinions on it. Ok, perhaps that last bit isn’t strictly true but it does seem that the ghosts of the World Cup are finally being put to rest.
We’ve got the international retirements out of the way. However some of the retirees seemed to be so distant from selection anyway that it had many of us questioning our own international availability. Strangely, Emile Heskey seemingly retired from international football several years ago but for some reason waited until after the tournament to announce it.
Unfortunately it seems to have slipped Matthew Upson’s mind to do so. That shouldn’t be a great surprise though as during the World Cup, and for a lot of last season, he forgot he was a defender.
The goalkeeping situation, with 27 different keepers being involved with the England squad since South Africa, had Sunday League shot stoppers checking their holidays didn’t clash with any upcoming qualifiers.
Jack Wilshere wasn’t picked for the senior squad this time, which is a shame as he seems like he’d fit right in.
Clubbing until all hours? Check. Group of unsavoury hangers on? Check. PR department to get you out of trouble? Check. Dodgy tattoo which looks like it was done in prison? Check.
At least Wayne Rooney has got the monkey off his back having scored a penalty at the weekend and we have more balance up front now. Darren Bent and Carton Cole could provide an alternative and have a lot in common. Indeed they are both 26, both have around half a dozen caps and both are yet to score a goal.
Given the lack of talent around then perhaps we should take a look at importing some players. Owen Hargreaves was a great example of this, he’d never even lived in England before playing for the country. If you discount the fact he has breadsticks where the rest of us have bones, then this should be a pointer for us to a more successful future.
Klose, Podolski, Camoranesi and Patrice Evra were all born in different countries to those they went on to represent. Deco, born in Brazil, only moved to Portugal for football and once he’d lived there for six years he was able to play for the national team. Germany did exactly the same with Cacau.
Surely we should be searching the world for any football prospects, with even the weakest link to England, and persuading them there is no greater honour than wearing the Three Lions. We’ve had foreign managers, foreign coaches and an FA which seems to be from another planet, so why should we be so insistent that our players are English through and through?
When building the British Empire, if only they had taken more thought to colonise countries that would later be proficient at football!
What we do know, due to the Unwritten England Manager Rules, is that Fabio Capello just won’t be able to win.
Anything less than six points and he’ll be ripped to pieces for not beating ‘international minnows’. Yet if his teams hammer the opposition he’ll be panned for not getting similar performances when it really mattered.