England’s Best Excuse? Injuries!

Gab Marcotti, the snide cynical football analyst, today painted a stark picture of realism. Yes England were rotten to the core, yes McClaren’s ‘brave’ decision to drop Robbo did look a tad ropey after Carson’s clanger, and no you can’t measure intangibles like passion, heart, and motivation.
But the Italian also pointed out some things which England fans haven’t recognized; the fact that from “2002 and 2006 (under the reviled Sven-Goran Eriksson) they achieved the best results of any England side, ever” and perhaps more importantly that despite the mauling in the press according to Marcotti injuries were a major and valid excuse for ginger idiot Steve McClaren.
Marcotti tells is that:

“The England side which lost to Croatia was missing six bona fide starters: John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen. Any side without six regulars is bound to suffer. Especially when those six, despite having an average age of 26, boast a combined 380 caps. Contrast this with the replacements, who had a mere 151 caps, with nearly half coming from Sol Campbell.”

Pretty shocking stuff, so was the real issue the spate of injuries and a lack of depth, or should McClaren still have done the business with his slew of understudies?