Friday, February 09, 2007

Excuses, excuses...

Written by Smart

Under Sven Goran Eriksson's reign as England manager, we were reminded by players, managers, media and neighbours that "This is the best England squad since '66" and therefore our best chance of bringing a trophy home.

Optimism was somewhat high and justifiably so with the likes of Terry, Ferdinand, Gerrard, Lampard, Owen and Rooney in the squad. Of course, we all know the outcome of recent tournaments.

So imagine my surprise when reading today’s papers, with two articles catching my eye.

First of all, we have players "talking the talk" but when it comes to the important thing - doing it on the pitch - it's a different story. On the back of a fourth consecutive game without a win under Steve McLaren, Steven Gerrard says the players must improve and give the fans and manager the performance they rightly deserve.

This is the same rallying call that has been issued for the past 18 months or so and not just from Gerrard. We've had everyone saying it. John Terry, David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, Cashley Cole, Gary Neville, Frank Lampard to name just a few.

Strange how most of the above want you to read their books about their footballing exploits, yet the next time you hear from them it's an admission of under-performance. "I'm shite. Buy my book". No wonder they didn’t sell.

To be honest, I am sick of it, and have hardly watched an England game since McLaren's first. Wednesday night was no exception. In a choice between Crouch up front with Dyer and Wright-Phillips behind, or 'Dragon's Den' on the next channel, I was off to the Den (and I don't mean Millwall). In fact if it were a choice between England and sticking pins in my testicles, I'd be reaching for the pins.

I said after the World Cup that I was 'Sven-ed Out' meaning the disappoint of Sven’s reign has put me off England for a while. I think I am coming to the conclusion that I am not 'Sven-ed Out', but probably 'Gerrard-ed Out' or 'Lampard-ed Out' or... you get the picture.

The other article that I had to laugh at was a comment by Middlesbrough Chairman Steve Gibson, who was of course Steve McLaren's former boss. His claim is that the Premiership and its chairmen aren't helping McLaren's job by employing foreign coaches and players.

So we have gone from having the best England since '66 with the likes of Terry, Ferdinand, Gerrard, Lampard and Rooney (to name a few) in the squad, to being overloaded with Johnny Foreigners blighting our national squad, which contains the likes of Terry, Ferdinand, Gerrard, Lampard and Rooney. To name a few.

Give me 'Dragon's Den' anytime...

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