The nearly men
That’s it then. Out of the World Cup in the Group stages for the first time since 1958. Not sure if Italy losing to Costa Rica proves how bad we are, or that it is just another crazy result in this fantastic tournament. Well done to Costa Rica, a lovely little country if you ever get a chance to visit, but the end of the road for Roy’s men and Tuesday just becomes a chance to leave Brazil with some pride restored.
Last night was cruel, the story of England in big tournaments. So near, yet so, so far. Undone again in a flash of a second. To equalise when we did and gain the momentum only for Suarez to score a killer second. I’ve said it before, that Suarez is undoubtedly a great player, but every time I see that toothy grin, a bit of the game dies for me. Was there really any need to take a swipe at the English people, those that pay his wages and have had to watch his antics since he stepped foot in our country?
Defensively we are inadequate, and we were always going to have to score goals, as letting them in was a given but the facts were that we were in a very tough group, and expectations were very low, and making it to the 2nd Round only to be stuffed by Colombia would’ve been an achievement.
As for Hodgson, being eliminated due in most part by two players, Pirlo and Suarez, shows bad planning. They are hardly unknown quantities, so either the plan wasn’t good enough and more likely the players weren’t good enough.
I see no value in getting rid of Hodgson. I think he has developed a good morale and pushed forward with some young talent and he can only use what is available, and I am happy for John Terry not to be a part of it. I would definitely let Hodgson continue his work into the Euro qualifiers.
The defeats have been disappointing but hardly unexpected and in both games I saw some gusto, enthusiam and attacking play I haven’t witnessed watching England for an age. The younger players will get better, and with Champions League will come more experience and know-how. Mind you the age old question of what damage the Premier League and Sky TV have done to the national side will continue to rumble on.
It is probably time for Gerrard to call it a day, despite the obvious lack of leaders, he has failed consistently to lead his country like he does his club. Defensively we have to hope that players of similar quality to Sterling, Barkley and Oxlade-Chamberlain, can get the opportunity to play at their clubs and we are able to make steps forward in the Euro qualifiers.
Oh well, any anxieties removed, I’m just going to continue to enjoy this wonderful World Cup.