England Ė we should be doing better - 17/10/2002
I watched last nightís game and was very disappointed. I seems a number of players just turn up to play their own game, a team of individuals instead of an individual team. Let's get this into perspective, we should be beating Macedonia with ease Ė especially when weíre playing at home. But this isnít a one-off is it? Saturdayís result was an indication that England are under performing, and there are numerous other examples from Svenís reign. In fact, baring the obvious game in Germany, and the win against Argentina, can we say that England are one of the best teams in the world. We had David Beckham to thank in getting to the World Cup, no disrespect to Greece, but 2-2 at home is a disappointment.
It was good to see Cole and Bridge link up, for once we played left footers on the left Ė but then Sven subbed Bridge!? Not only that, but we moved to a 4-3-3 formation and Macedonian found it easy. I disagree with playing two strikers up front, you need more guile at this level. Itís easy for central defenders to pick up two out and out strikers, why not play someone in the hole behind a lone striker? Iíd have rather seen Scholes push up and start to run at defenders. As well as dragging them out of position, the moment you start to run at centre backs, youíll pick up free kicks. With David Beckham on the pitch, itís just a matter of time before he puts one away.
For me, the full backís are capable of getting forward more, Neville got in one or two crosses, as did Ashley Cole. They should be looking to overlap on a far greater scaleafetr all, thereís plenty of cover, especially when Cole and Bridge linked up. OK, so we open up a little, but weíve got the players who can cope. Itís about asserting your quality on opposing teamsÖand we just arenít doing this. Again, I go back to performances over the last couple of years. I donít know the stats off the top of my head, but I really donít (excepting the above examples) recall us dominating games and winning easily. Iím disappointed, and I really donít know if Svenís got the tactical thinking that his reputation suggests. A manager is judged on performance and in particular results, so when you pick up the papers and the headlines are all about David Seaman, Iíd say that the Svenís been very lucky. How much longer has he got before criticism is levelled at him? Not that long I think!
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