Sunday, 27 June 2010
I am struggling here. I have supported England, and West Ham, since 1969 and I am trying to remember if we have ever conceded four goals in a single game in all that time. I remember us netting four. I remember Netzer and the Germans taking Moore and co apart at Wembley and winning 3-1; but I can't remember us either conceding four or losing by a margin of three goals. Has my memory simply installed a humiliation filter for the international team? Is it God's way of saying, supporting West Ham is punishment enough for anybody in one life time, or have Capello's England truly plumbed new depths today?
Post mortems will be conducted, and the ludicrous failure to see that a ball two feet into the goal had cleared the line will figure prominently, but twenty minutes of the game apart, we were second rate. What the hell was going on at the back? Upson and Terry looked every bit as bad as Upson and Tomkins looked all season. Who would buy Upson now? The guy is a total yard dog. For the second goal, we were watching the replays trying to work out where the hell he was. Yes Terry was out of position but at least he was in shot of the camera! Upson apologists will point to his goal but, that apart, his performance was nothing short of disgraceful. I thought Green had a mare in the first game, well Upson has just outmared him!
In midfield, Gerrard was everywhere - except wide on the left where he was supposed to be! It is no coincidence that for that second goal, Upson and Terry were both sucked across to the left hand touchline; Cole was striving manfully on that flank but he was being offered no protection whatsoever. Lampard did okay, but okay is not good enough at international level. Milner looked slow and clumsy. And Barry? Well I have defended him on this blog but he was shocking today. I suspect because he is still recovering from that injury. In club football, he would have had a run out in the stiffs and 20 minutes as a sub before being pitched back into battle. Capello, in his desperation, rushed him back far too quickly.
Up front, Defoe was all but invisible and Rooney saw far too much of the ball. The Manchester United man isn't fit. I will be amazed if we do not learn, over the next two weeks, that Rooney needs an operation on that ankle he injured against Bayern. He was rushed back too soon and Capello compounded the mistake by playing him in all the warm up games, exacerbating the deep lying injury and wasting oportunities to explore a Plan B.
And talking Plan B, where was 4-5-1, and where was Crouch? What the hell was the point of bringing on Heskey today? Was that some sort of farewell appearance at international level, an opportunity to wave goodbye to his adoring fans? Talk about a meaningless and dumbfounding substitution! I thought Zola's substitutions were crass, but this one took the biscuit! What has Crouch done to upset Capello exactly?
The players will be slated, rightly; but Capello has been crass throughout this tournament. He picked the wrong keeper to start. He picked the wrong squad when he included Carragher and King. He picked the wrong centre back pairing when he ignored Dawson. He employed the wrong tactics throughout. He backed Heskey ahead of Crouch, ignoring their goal scoring records at international level. He left himself with no alternative for right back. He took and played Wright-Phillips. He went with old men and left himself without youthful invention, flair and pace. And he left behind Johnson, the possible solution to the left side of midfield because he was blinkered and could not look beyond 4-4-2 and the inclusion of both Lampard and Gerrard.
Lampard and Gerrard have both called for Capello to be retained; well there's a surprise! Six million pounds a year to secure just one victory in four games? Six million pounds a year to make so many wrong tactical calls? Six million pounds a year to score three goals in four games? The six million pound man? We NEED to rebuild him!
Posted by Hammersfan at 20:51