I am not a fan of England. I support the German national team instead. I try to tell myself that everytime England plays, but somehow, somehow, there's this softspot inside me that really wants England to win despite my love for some other team, despite my hatred for some English players from rivalling clubs.
I don't know what happened to England over the past couple of months, okay, the past year or so. Eriksson, though highly criticised for keeping some old, out of form, star players on his team, at least have been producing some pretty decent results. Since the failure of England in the World Cup 2006, and seeing how ineffective some players are, I did wish that the next coach would do some radical changes to the team.
But when the coach was revealled to be Mr McClaren, I was highly disappointed. Compared to Eriksson, McClaren's credentials are far far worse. I don't know what to expect of him, perhaps, at the very least, to maintain Eriksson's not so spectacular track record? However, it seems that following the dismissal of Eriksson, and the dropping of several old, out of form, star players, England is playing only far worse than before.
Before, they weren't playing at their club maximum potential. Now, they are playing like an S-League club, with no team work, no cooperation, no sense of presence on the field, and highly ineffective. Really, is it that necessary for England to hire an English coach? I don't know how a true Englishman would feel, but I don't think it's all that all necessary. If between two equally good coaches, just that one is an Englishman, the other a Swede, I'd think it'd be better to hire the Englishman, but if it's so obvious that the Swede (just a random example, similarities are your own imaginative associations, okie?) is so much better than the Englishman, might just as well, hire the betterman for the job, and in the meantime try and groom more better English coaches.
The main problem with McClaren is his use of players out of position. He basically screwed the whole midfield left right centre. England's midfield is a total mess, like MESS.
It has been proven since the Eriksson days that Gerrard and Lampard, no matter how good they are individually on club level, they cannot work together on the same midfield. The only possibility of them playing together in midfield would be to play it in a flat 4-4-2 formation without a holding midfielder, or playing on a 4-5-1 formation with both Lampard and Gerrard in the middle. I don't care if Gerrard does play on the right occasionally for Liverpool or whatsoever, I think he just cannot play on the right.
Or better still, just screw the whole Gerrard-Lampard partnership. Keep a holding midfielder, ie Hargreaves, since he's the only somewhat decent player on the pitch. Okay, I'm going to say this. Yes, Joan the Chelsea fan is going to say this. McClaren, please drop Lampard from the team. Okay, I've said it! Lampard may be god in the blue jersey, but really, he keeps misfiring for England, is a tad too selfish, and doesn't have the right sort of communication with his team mates.
A problem with England, is that the national team is not a team but a group of loosely collected stars who hate each other and filled with lots of club rivalries, and WAG factionalism. Damn the WAGs. I don't see any other national team with a group of WAGs swaggering like those of England. They create more trouble than club rivalries.
Back to Lampard, he's not the same player for England as he is for Chelsea with the biggest problem lying in that he doesn't have the same calibre of team mates in the English national team as he has in Chelsea. Chelsea emphasises on team work, his team mates will pass him the ball, and he can trust his team mates with his ball, and his team mates are all world class players. In England, his team mates don't really trust him with the ball just as he doesn't trust his team mates with the ball, and he ends up being selfish, and the stress probably causes him to misfire too. It's different. Lampard is a team player, not an individual player.
Gerrard on the other hand is a more individual player than Lampard. We see in Liverpool where their fate lies solely in the hands (or legs rather) of Steven Gerrard. Therefore, despite all my love for Chelsea and all my Chelsea players, I have to say sorry, Lampard just cannot make it in a lousy team. Maybe that will give Lampard some double take if he decides to leave Chelsea, I'll find that it'd be difficult for him to succeed in another team other than Chelsea.
There's also a big problem in English strike force. England don't have an out and out star striker who is reliable. Rooney is not an out and out striker, he's more of the hole player, and he's also not reliable. The out and out strikers like Owen and Crouch is like disappeared, half dead, spoilt, Johnson, Bent, Defoe don't have much international experience, Walcott, Nugent, who are they? NUGENT??? Siang lai eh???
Another complain about England is the lack of a natural left footer to fill in left side of the pitch. I don't think one can help in sourcing a natural left footer if there isn't any one good enough for the job.
Most importantly, for a team to play this badly like England, there needs to be some really important player on the pitch to make a difference between a 1-0 from a 0-0. Face it, England, you need Beckham. As much as you guys hate him, it's very apparent that the freekick skills of Beckham is much needed to make a difference between a goal and no goals at all. You don't need to let him take any penalties, but the freekicks would really do a difference. It'll be a boring game to score goals from deadpieces, but well, for the three points, for the victory, there isn't much of a choice.
Either that or England have to cultivate an actor from the London School of Theatre to do some really good divings and get some important penalties, just take a cue from Mr Ronaldo for all the examples. Penalties are goals too.
Really, McClaren really needs to be more radical to get some results. England does have some really good star players who looks really good on paper.
In the meantime, I shall get my Germany tank top out from my wardrobe and call myself a Germany football fan. I didn't buy that 30€ tank top for nothing. I know that at least some other football team still knows what does team sports mean.