…At least that’s what I’d like to think, considering how well (and concisely) he’s hit the nail on the head.
Talking about the England side that met (and lost) to Germany in August 2007, Beckenbauer compared the England team to schoolboys and then this priceless comment:
“That was for me the biggest surprise. There is no life in this team.”
Oh, and how we bang our drums to that tune every time England’s finest strut their stuff on a football pitch. Where’s the passion, where are the fighters? Terry’s appointment as captain by Steve McClaren was a first step in instilling some fire into this group, but it has had little impact. There is too much respect and pride between England players, no one is shouting, no one screams for the ball and if someone makes a mistake, there’s no one around to give them a rollicking.
Some might argue that some players are leaders on the pitch and lead through example instead of shouting at each other, but that’s bollocks. Contrast Rio Ferdinand’s performances for Manchester United vs his performances for England. He rightly shouts at his players (except for Giggs, Neville and Scholes) and is a true leader on the pitch. When playing for England, Rio is quiet and he rarely shouts at anyone. Ditto for John Terry. Even Wayne Rooney, boy wonder turned savior turned damned good striker, is comparitively timid when playing for England.
So we have a situation where we don’t have enough fighters on the pitch, and if there are fighters, they aren’t showing that determination through their football.
So whose job is it to bring out the best from England’s stars? Whose job is it to motivate them?
Who’s not doing their job?