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Scouse twat

First off, whoever’s scheduling these games for 4am where I am needs shot. Germany’s never been full of great ideas (making David Hasselhoff a music star, invading Poland… stuff like that), but scheduling England games for the middle of the night is just cruel.

Anyway – OK, we’re out. And there are several reasons why. I’ll list my views and then start swearing a lot, if that’s OK.

  1. Rooney. Following on from Beckham’s shining example against Argentina in 1998, does something stupid and gets himself sent off. A bloody harsh decision, in fairness, but stupid and reckless all the same. The thing is I recall telling many people before the first group game was played that he’d do something just like this. Sometimes I hate being proved right. In addition, and this isn’t his fault, he’s useless up front by himself. Several times he held the ball up and had nobody to lay it off to as Sven had decided to stick to a single striker, presumably because of Crouch’s outstanding yellow card.
  2. Beckham. Shit. He has been for 4 years now, at least. He doesn’t deserve a place in the squad, let alone the captain’s armband. Sven’s been blinded by his reputation and stuck with him when several other players could have filled his position better. Look at his completion ratio for crosses and on-target record for shots in the tournament. Utterly lamentable. If you want proof, look at how we played one Beckham hobbled off. Despite being short a man later on (well – a fat, pathetic child anyway) we played better without him.
  3. Crouch. Unlucky to get the yellow card earlier on which put him at risk of missing a match if he got another. Sven was too reticent in holding him back, though. We should have played him in one of the earlier group games with the aim of getting the yellow and being suspended for a match so he could return with a clean sheet for the knockout stages.
  4. Owen. Pure bad luck. Who could have believed we’d go to Germany with 3 strikers and end up knocked out with half of one, effectively, remaining?
  5. Lampard. Left his shooting boots at home and as a result became a liability. I am not complaining about his workrate or effort, but sadly he simply seemed to have forgotten how to do what he’s been doing for England during the qualifiers.
  6. Lennon. Why on earth was this little ball of energy constantly left on the bench to be brough on late in the game? The surprise addition to the squad deserved more time on the field as he constantly made a difference when he came on.
  7. Eriksson. The biggest problem. How come everyone else could see what I’ve written above, except the guy who mattered most? We played better with Crouch up front alone rather than Rooney. We should have risked the lanky kid earlier so he’d be available for a 2-man strike force later. Beckham is a liability and that became obvious when the team improved once he left the field. Also, we had more attacking options once Rooney was ejected than we did when he was playing! Our attacking midfielders moved up the pitch in small groups so they had options, rather than playing long-ball to a lone petulant, toy-from-pram-throwing Scouse wanker.

Frankly, I worry about the future of the side as it certainly seemed like McLaren had a fair bit of input into things. If he doesn’t learn from Eriksson’s fuck-ups then we’re screwed. At least it looks like Beckham will be out of the next tournament simply because of his age. Rooney will hopefully do what he did and grow the fuck up in time for the next competition. Or alternatively get shot stealing someone’s hubcaps or meat pies.

Thing is, I feel the side as a whole are to blame as well. We raised our game twice for tough opposition – Sweden and Portugal. Look at how we played last night with ten men and our “second choice” striker. There was commitment, effort, blood, sweat and tears. Frankly, I was bloody proud of those ten men. They worked their arses off and deserve all the praise I can throw their way.

However.

Pretty much the same squads made bloody hard work of what should have been “easy” games in earlier rounds. Where were were sneaking 1-0 results and knocking a couple in late on against T&T, we should have been managing comfortable 3-0 and 4-0 results. We didn’t. Because the team just weren’t trying. On that evidence alone, we were never a side in competition for the title. How often do you see Chelsea, Arsenal or ManUre hold back for a narrow win when they have the opportunity to showboat it and destroy an opponent? Even in their 1-0 wins, Chelsea never make it look like they’re holding back – just being boring and tactical.

Unless McLaren turns things around and opens his eyes to do something about the egos who just aren’t trying, we’ll never get any further than the Quarters.

Roll on Euro 2008 and hopefully a more mature and well-shaped squad who pull their fucking weight.

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