Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

England Lose to Italy at Euro 2012

June 26, 2012

With what can only be described as the  inevitable, the pride of England gallantly lost to Italy on penalties.

The saddest thing about this, is that the FA, Roy Hodgeson et al, will console themselves that losing on penalties is a lottery and that next time it will be different.

It should have been different indeed, the game should not have got as far a penalties if Italy had managed to convert the opportunities that they created. With the exception of a 20 minute period in the first half, where England held their own against their vastly superior opposition, they were otherwise totally outclassed, out thought and out played.

The problem for the English game is that the Premier League is focused on itself, not the national game. As a consequence, our ‘elite’ players get to play for clubs dominated by foreign talent, who in effect make our home grown talent look better than they are.

I am a Rooney fan, and for his club, supported by a talented midfield, he play a good game. If you remove that midfield and replace it with the best that England has to offer, then his game doesn’t work, as we have all seen so often for England.

It is the case that our superstars are not superstars at all when placed on the European or world stage. They are all mediocre at best, and that is why we always fall down.

England players can hide in their club teams, when supported by international players, but when you take 11 mediocre men and put them together in one team, the results can only come out as they always do.

The press build them up into something they are not, giving unfounded hope to the supporters, who are gullible enough to fall for it every time.

The England team should forget about practicing penalties….. either they can score or they can’t….. and it they can’t, then what are they there for? They should practice passing the ball to their teammates, running without tripping over their own feet, they should all be made to wear whatever boots the Italians had on, as I didn’t see any of them slip over all night. We had several players slip over off the ball, let alone on it.

It astounds me that our ‘cream’ players are incapable of retaining possession, and resort to banging the ball up the pitch every time they regain possession.

The only bright point was that we are indeed a difficult team to score against. Our back four and Joe Hart did a solid job and that is something to build from, but until we bring through a midfield with the ability to retain the ball and develop play, we are pissing in the wind.

Italy has 68% possession, and when one of the pundits commented that all England needed was a bit of luck… I had to laugh, as we had plenty of luck, in so far as we should have been 6 nil down if the result reflected the vast gulf in basic footballing ability.

It’s time for a fundamental rethink in policy, youth development and strategy for the national team if we want to do better.

What do you think?