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England Without United Players

England Without United Players

England, producing an astonishingly, mind-bogglingly, desperately dismal performance, failed to qualify for Euro 2008. Without a single United player on the pitch.

An end of an era, that's what it is. With Second Choice Steve now out, something must be done with the game overall because yesterday's performance was pathetic.

Croatia were so much more comfortable in possession that was unbelievable. Their players were confident on the ball and had the vision to do damage with it. A thought occurred to me.

Which English teams base their gameplan on possession and technical ability? Yes, Arsenal and Manchester United. Which of them actually have English players? Only United.

Yesterday Owen Hargreaves and Wes Brown sat on the bench while Rio was suspended and Rooney injured. Carrick didn't even make the squad which is baffling. Now I would be hard pressed to find an argument for Brown's inclusion - Campbell's terrible performance maybe? But England can do without him.

Hargreaves is another matter. Anyone who saw Lampard and Gerrard giving away balls like some traders overcome by generosity attacks will agree that England would have needed someone who is comfortable in possession and can tackle. Maybe Kranjcar and Modric wouldn't have been allowed space about the amount of the Milky Ways. If it must have been a 4-5-1, then a Barry-Lampard-Hargreaves central midfield should have been obvious.

As it was England's performance was crying out for someone who could pass the ball - in other words, they could have used Michael Carrick. Yet he wasn't deemed worthy of selection.

But I must say that I'm happy that United players were either unavailable or ignored. At least they were spared this humiliation and their confidence wasn't dealt a heavy blow. Our English stars will at least have a calm summer of rest, won't have to cope with extra pressure of morons who insist England must win the tournament playing fantasy football otherwise it's no good.

And there's another thing. Ask anyone who never witnessed Rooney playing for United but saw his every game in England shirt and they will tell you he's an average player. Ask a United fan with only a little common sense and they will tell you he's bloody brilliant. Why? Because he receives good passes when playing for United and he's got players to pass to. As simple as that.

Same with Scholes. When playing for England he was never allowed to rule the midfield. He was asked to cover the entire pitch, chip in with tackles and cope with long balls hoofed up from the defense. His passing abilities were never allowed to flourish, simply because England's attitude and gameplay did not favour the idea of a player who is capable of passing the ball. Nick Hornby was right, it just went out of fashion. God only knows why.

England managers always failed to bring out the best from United players - look at Rio hoofing the ball up to the England strikers and bringing the ball out of defence with composure when playing for United - and that is a testament to the poor skills of said managers.

So England need a manager who is aware of the fact that you must play at least one real holding midfield player, especially if the defence is suspect (sometimes, if your attack is deadly, you might get away with not using a holding player like United did during most of last season but England are not deadly in attack). Drop Lampard AND Gerrard, play Hargreaves and Barry or Carrick and please, try to get the best out of Rooney. Surely SCS could have asked for Fergie's advice in this case?

And please, one more thing. Tell the coaches all around Britain that passing is a good thing, really. It should not be a crime if someone tries to keep the ball on the ground. It sort of works for a lot of teams.

The Vital Boxing John H Stacey Interview

Writer:Zae
Date:Thursday November 22 2007
Time: 5:14PM

Comments

0
Sorry but England did use Man U players against Russia when we lost, Israel when we drew and Macedonia when we drew.
Aamir
22/11/2007 17:30:00
0
and how funny gerrard played all those matches and played the one yesterday and lost. He was terrible so dont try and come onto our site and act like you have any brilliant england players.
rooneyisgod
22/11/2007 20:48:00
0
Gerrard almost single-handedly beat Andorra. I know you'll say it's 'only Andorra' but if it's 'only Andorra', why didn't anyone else score? You're God has played about 2 good matches for England in the past 3-4 yrs.
Aamir
22/11/2007 21:32:00
0
Has it not sunk in yet that only two teams in the Prem play the type of football that England meet at international level. Players from 'hoof it to the big guy' teams like chlescum, liverbore and spurs, deserved what they got on Wednesday. They were a disgrace to the nations shirt
bseymour
23/11/2007 10:54:00
0
Why not get your facts straight, rooneyisgod? Steven Gerrard did not play for England when they were away to Croatia. Is he to blame for that loss as well? Yeah, now that I think of it, it must have been Gerrard's fault that Paul Robinson let in a howler or that Gary Neville scored an own-goal? England, collectively, played poorly more often than not in the qualifying games that mattered. Players from every club, including Manchester United, were below par. You can point the finger of blame anywhere you want (and clearly you are) but you're only deluding yourselves if you think that England's woes are only down to one or two players who, coincidentally, just happen to play for the clubs that you most hate. If you can't put aside your petty, tribal differences for even five minutes when it comes to the national team then you should quit supporting England altogether.
Harry P
23/11/2007 13:54:00
0
As for you, bseymour, I'll resist the temptation to simply point out that, as good as they are, Arsenal contribute next to nothing to the England team but I will tell you this: if you think that only Manchester United and Arsenal are the only Premier League clubs capable of playing well against international quality opposition then you're nothing short of blind.
Harry P
23/11/2007 14:08:00
0
i never said it was gerrards fault did i? i merely pointed out that liverpool players played the matches aswel so how about you start reading our site if you chose to come on instead of making assumptions.
rooneyisgod
23/11/2007 16:23:00
0
Yes, you did. "and how funny gerrard played all those matches and played the one yesterday and lost."
Aamir
23/11/2007 17:29:00
0
where exactly does it say it was gerrards fault.
rooneyisgod
23/11/2007 21:09:00
0
"and how funny gerrard played all those matches and played the one yesterday and lost." Now, that suggests to me that England have lost their matches because Stevie Gerrard has played in them and I know that is not true.
Aamir
23/11/2007 21:43:00
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