SuesieG reminds everyone that things could be worse…right?
Cheer up England fans, youâ€™ve all been here before, and itâ€™s likely youâ€™ll be here again.
Almost 4 years ago to the day, a sorry England side drew 2-2 with Macedonia in the final qualifying Euro 2004 match. On that day, England Keeper, David Seaman, made an expensive goal keeping boo boo; Englandâ€™s defence were in shambles; Englandâ€™s strikers couldnâ€™t find the back of the net, and the only 2 things that saved Englandâ€™s backsides that day were goals from David Beckham and Steven Gerrard.
Yesterday, a sorry England side lost to a better Croatian side. England Keeper, Paul Robinson, made an expensive goal keeping boo boo; Englandâ€™s defence were a shambles; Englandâ€™s strikers couldnâ€™t find the back of the net, and the 2 things that previously saved England behinds – Beckham and Gerrard â€“ were absent from todayâ€™s line up.
Yep, the more things change, the more they stay the same. And just as they did 4 years ago, England will probably qualify unconvincingly and devoid of inspiration for Euro 2008.
Undoubtedly, the Beckham-lovers who have fanatically been calling the radio hosts to say â€œI told you soâ€ are now more adamant than ever that itâ€™s time to recall David Beckham back to the England fold. Personally, I think Beckham was a good player for England, but letâ€™s not lose our heads here, Beckham was not, is not and will not be the answer. Itâ€™s pretty obvious that where England are concerned, big name players do not necessarily guarantee success, and a recall at this stage would be a band-aid fix to the larger problems England have been carrying for a long time.
Unlike Sven, I doubt Steve McClaren will be afforded the luxury of time to prove himself, so heâ€™d better shake off the mantle left over from his predecessor or find himself out of a job or back in the Premiership as Sam Allardyce’s replacement at Bolton. Automatic player selections; players out of form; mediocre players; formations that leave England exposed, unimaginative football, lack of tactics, etc. â€“ take your pick â€“ those ideas all need to go out the window.
And while I hate to dredge up the past too much, I think Steve McLaren would be wise to remember something the most successful England manager once said: â€œMy job is not to always pick the best players. It is to pick the best team.”