Looking ahead to 2014

I’ll be brief. I didn’t see the England versus Germany match because I was watching Lolli’s gymnastics competition (where she picked up a silver medal). I did see the post-match analysis and the obvious talking point was the ‘goal that never was’. I hope that the match officials feel suitably ashamed this morning, and I hope that stubborn old git Sepp “we don’t need video replays” Blatter had a sleepless night. In a game in which the outcome is essentially based on the number of goals scored, making a correct decision of whether a goal has been scored would seem to me to be fairly crucial.

The what-if scenario… if that goal had been given (as it should have been) then England might have gone into half-time at 2-2. That could have changed the second half – when you’re behind and chasing a game it can leave the defence exposed, and the risk is conceding more goals… which is exactly what happened.

However… let’s be honest. We can sulk about that goal and the what-if scenario, but it doesn’t change the fact that England were massively disappointing during the World Cup. Robert Green was the scapegoat after the first match, but show me a goalkeeper who hasn’t made that sort of blunder during his career – poor old Greeny just chose to do it at the most inopportune moment. England’s real problem wasn’t their goalkeeper, it was the fact that they then couldn’t go on and score a couple more against a USA side ranked below England.

After the poor performance against Algeria (ranked twenty-two places below England), it was relief rather than admiration when England beat Slovenia (ranked seventeen places below) by one measly goal. And there you have it… four matches, four goals (if you count the one that wasn’t but should have been). Matthew Upson out-scored Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch. After the same number of matches Argentina had scored ten goals. That’s how to progress in the World Cup.


  1. Where’s the flair and the “feeder” players? Gary Lineker had Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle and Gazza at various points in his England career. Shearer had Teddy, Gazza and McManaman.

    I see no players like these in the squad, let alone the pitch (maybe Joe Cole).

    Will we even qualify for 2014?

  2. Will we even qualify for 2012 (European Championships)?

    It was all the more annoying that England sailed thru the World Cup qualifying with more ease than I can ever recall… and then played crap when they got there.

  3. Hi,

    feel really kind of sorry for the English.
    Yesterday they played to their potential only between minute 35 and 42. And that looked pretty scary for me as supporter of Germany.

    Nevertheless I’ve heard this morning in the radio that
    a) in the FIFA commission that voted against the necesary video replays UK was heavily overrepresented (4 out of 8)
    b) all UK members voted against video replays!

    Better luck in 2014

  4. UK should vote “For” video replay’s next time. This is the second time the same type of shot happened and if a video review was allowed the goal would have surely been accepted. I noticed a loss of energy and focus after the UK did not get the goal, so, was very important.

  5. Yes it was pretty bad. You can take a view on whether the goal that never was was crucial but equally Germany could have had more goals going into the second half. If what Axel says is true I can’t understand why anyone would not vote for Video replay. It works very well in Rugby Union (except the time that England were playing the All Blacks – I reckon that English try was good). BTW UK was not overrepresented – it doesn’t exist in football – there are 4 national teams. 🙂

  6. Yes. The simple truth is that England never got going apart from some brief flashes of competence. You are correct not to blame Green. These things happen. But he did not cost us the tournament, Remember that our best player for the other 3 games was David James and he used to be called Calamity James because of the frequency of his howlers. Rather than blaming the disallowed goal we should be grateful that we even got through the group stage against opposition we should have beaten comfortably. Disappointing.

  7. Just some thoughts.

    There are too many foreigners in the Premier League. The young home grown talent doesn’t get a chance to play and grow. Therefore, we end up taking the likes of King, Upson and Heskey to the World Cup. The pressure to win means that talent is bought, not developed.

    We don’t have a number 1 goalkeeper anymore. What happened to the days of the likes of Shilton, Clemence, Seaman and Banks. They were the acknowledged best we had and were first on the team sheet. This year we took James ( past it ) Green ( prone to mistakes ) and Hart ( good but inexperienced for the world Cup )

    A complete lack of pace. Sure, we took Lennon but surely there must be a good old fashioned centre forward out there with pace and a poachers instinct. Walcott is quick, but wasn’t even there.
    Our midfield is too slow. The last goal was a shining example of that. Barry was left for dead.

    The silver lining is that very few of this team will still be capable of playing at this level in 4 years.
    Capello will go…. soon. Let Psycho Pearce have a go for the run up to the Euros. He is a motivator and will bring in young talent and best of all…. he is English. No more foreign managers for the national team.

    Finally, we need to cut down the number of games the top pro’s play in a season. Some of this bunch had close to 70 games under their belt this season without the benefit of a mid season break ( like the Germans ). No wonder they looked knackered.


  8. Speaking of Psycho, I’m reminded of what Frank Skinner said a couple of days before the match. He mentioned that Stuart Pearce would be on the pitch motivating the players should it go to penalties (of, if only). Skinner said that would be like going on a long-haul flight with your mates and asking “do you mind if I dress like Buddy Holly?”.

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