Monday, June 30, 2008

Euro 2008: What next for England?

It's our great pleasure now to welcome back an old friend to Some People Are On The Pitch that we haven't heard from for some time. Kedge has been watching Euro 2008 with great enthusiasm over the last few weeks, but now the action's all but over he wonders whether England fans can afford to be optimistic about what's to come...

Now that the Euro 2008 football festival is over and the long wait for domestic football starts again (unless you are in Russia), it's time to mull over what the future holds for England on the international scene.

Some people have said that Euro 2008 was a particular success because England were not there. Certainly that's difficult to argue with when, because everyone was so friendly and peaceful, the organisers could dispense with crowd segregation for the Final.

However, as qualification for the 2010 World Cup is about to start, I have one question (well two actually) that's begging to be asked.

Now that Spain have laid to rest the title of 'Perennial Underachievers', who will take on that role? Should it be England? After all, we seem to get to quarter finals on a regular basis, usually to lose in a penalty shoot-out. And Spain had lost their previous five penalty competitions until they defeated Italy.

And if we do take over that mantle, can we, like Spain, win another trophy 44 years after our last?

After all, 1966 + 44 = 2010...?

Is that a good omen or just wishful thinking?

Will the next World Cup arrive too soon for an England team being rebuilt rebuild under Fabio Capello or can the wily Italian have the 'Aragones effect' on the Three Lions? Tell us what you think by leaving us a comment. We look forward to hearing from you!


tippo said...

I wish it was as easy as that but unfortunately its not.

Tybalt said...

I think it's universally recognized that Spain have a very high number of extremely technically gifted players, and that they are backed by the world's best keeper.

England... um, not so much. The England team is a joke right now, with two players who could play for any side in the world (Ferdinand and Rooney) and frankly not much else. There's lots of players who you don't mind having on their good days, but who give little or nothing on their bad days, and too many players who run around a lot to very little effect.

The inability/unwillingness of Capello to use this summer's friendlies to sort out the mess that England's playing staff is in, is utterly galling. Yes, playing David Beckham probably did help England negotiate the games against France, USA and Trinidad but the idea that he could play a serious role for England at this stage is a drug trip. Watching him faff around for LA Galaxy this summer has been painful. Similarly, that David James continues to get played at the age of 37 is bizarre.

Don't get me wrong. England are not a bad team and I would just barely favour them to get out of their qualifying group. But they are a very far sight below the best sides in Europe, let alone Argentina or Brazil.

sp3ktor said...

Another good omen for England is that we could be hosts in Blatter's Plan B for 2010. And we always do pretty well in that case.

The fact of the matter is we're not very good, and unfortunately our league's not as good as we like to think it is.

I think tybalt is extremely optimistic if he thinks Ferdinand and Rooney could get into any team - neither player have developed in any way since they joined Manchester United.

Ferdinand and John Terry are both outclassed at club level by their partners at centre back (Vidic and Carvalho, respectively), and on last season's performances if I was an international manager choosing between Tevez and Rooney, I'd go for the Argentine.


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