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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
There’s something very special about setting your alarm to go off a couple of hours early and slipping out of bed to watch the sun come up. It’s uplifting to watch a new dawn break, with a mug of coffee in your hand. To think about the possibilities and the opportunities, to convince yourself that this day has been created especially for you.

Over here, we usually feel like that with new England managers. Each fresh bottom in the hot-seat brings exciting new questions. Who will they bring into the fold? Who will be banished to the borders? What motivational or tactical spells can they cast with their new power?

Terry Venables was my favourite. He arrived after the wreck of the Graham Taylor era finally spluttered to a halt just short of the 1994 World Cup and in his first game against Denmark at Wembley he summoned Peter Beardsley back into the side and introduced the fabled ‘Christmas Tree’ formation. It was glorious to watch these players, set free of the shackles of the previous regime and emancipated by a style of football that put the emphasis on movement and not, as it was under Taylor, just kicking the ball really hard. That one match made us believe in something better.

But, I’m saddened to report, that we’re not really getting that with Fabio Capello. In fact, this is one sunrise that we’re all quite happy to stay in bed for. His first squad contained no surprises and it’s only the inclusion of West Ham’s impressive Matthew Upson, that vindicates the Italian’s decision to watch so many games recently. Aside from that, he needn’t have bothered because it’s all pretty much the same as it was under McClaren. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, as Roger Daltrey might say.

That won’t help Capello at all. He has to realise that the public’s faith in their heroes has been shattered, first by an insipid performance at the 2006 World Cup and then by a shameful failure to qualify for the European Championships. The people of England are fed up with investing their emotions in this familiar cast of losers. I’m actually not sure that any of the England players are aware quite how upset people are with them. With their talk of a new found ’winning mentality’ in the camp, they desperately seek to look to the future, but we’re not done with castigating them for the past just yet.

The sad truth is that, aside from their own team’s supporters, the majority of people here hate Rio Ferdinand. They despise Ashley Cole. They despair at John Terry, they think that Steven Gerrard cheats, that Newcastle’s Michael Owen has been picked only because he looks like Liverpool’s Michael Owen, if anyone remembers him. They don’t like England anymore.

Capello will have to work very hard if he’s to restore the public’s faith and it might have been nice if he’d started with the ritual sacrifice of someone more culpable for the last two years than David Beckham.

People will watch, they always do, but I assure you that no-one here is giddy with excitement about this exhibition game against Switzerland. As a nation, we’d be quite happy to pull the bedcovers up over our heads and let this new era dawn without us.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,135
Location
London
Good stuff.

Its depressingly the same squad. After the early headlines, he's named exactly the same squad as McLaren would have done. Come the pruning, out went the only selections that might raise half an eyebrow. Even Ablongahar (does anyone know who to spell his name?) has pulled out injured and so wait for it.... Jermain Defoe has been called up. The same Defoe who has struggled to make an impression on the international stage for the last 5(?) years and who is short of match practice having been a perennial sub at Spurs (one start for Pompey doesn't constitute match fitness).

All it in now needs is waster-in-chief Gerrard to be given the arm-band, an insipid draw (or even an uninspiring stroll to victory in a meaningless game) and it's normal service resumed.

So, who is the only real casualty (other than the England fans)? Only England's best player of the last decade, one of the few to escape the last couple of years in credit, one of the few who actually cares about playing for England.

The only good news is that Shaun Wright-Phillips might be missing with injury.
 

SUFC_Al

Metal Monday Dude
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Messages
7,901
Location
In Britain's best town to retire to!
Good stuff.

Its depressingly the same squad. After the early headlines, he's named exactly the same squad as McLaren would have done. Come the pruning, out went the only selections that might raise half an eyebrow. Even Ablongahar (does anyone know who to spell his name?) has pulled out injured and so wait for it.... Jermain Defoe has been called up. The same Defoe who has struggled to make an impression on the international stage for the last 5(?) years and who is short of match practice having been a perennial sub at Spurs (one start for Pompey doesn't constitute match fitness).

All it in now needs is waster-in-chief Gerrard to be given the arm-band, an insipid draw (or even an uninspiring stroll to victory in a meaningless game) and it's normal service resumed.

So, who is the only real casualty (other than the England fans)? Only England's best player of the last decade, one of the few to escape the last couple of years in credit, one of the few who actually cares about playing for England.

The only good news is that Shaun Wright-Phillips might be missing with injury.

Agbonlahor :)
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,479
I'm cautiously optimistic tonight as it happens.

The midfield that Capello looks to opt for looks impressive. Hargreaves was always going to be in the set-up, Fabio loves this type of player and i'm surprised he hasn't been made captain. I personally think you'll see a rejuvenated Gerrard under Capello... with faith shown in him by the new gaffer, he'll get the free role without having to worry greaty about how far up the pitch his counterpart is.

On the flanks, he's chosen the current best 2 Englishmen in the Premiership I feel. David Bentley might as well opt to change his surname to Beckham by deedpoll, He's been that effective for Blackburn this season and on an International scale previously, and in Ashley Young you have an all-singing, all-crossing Shaun Wright-Phillips... Who possesses the mysterious skill of being able to run at defenders, with pace, and still deliver a decent end product.

Owen's on the bench with Joe Cole partnering Rooney up front... No height for the 2 wide men to aim at, but perhaps that's not in Fabio's game plan. The only decision i'm slightly baffled at is Micah Richards being dropped in favour of Wes Brown. Wes Brown doesn't get forward too greatly, whereas Micah Richards has been excellent at this in an Engand shirt before. But, perhaps, he has fallen victim to Capello's axe for his Billy Big B*llocks attitude...
 
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