Wednesday, 8 February 2012

German solution to English football

Big news has rocked the nation.

Fabio Cappello has quit as England manager months before the Euro 2012 competition over a spat with the English FA over the John Terry Racism case. This leaves the English National team in serious trouble ahead of the International tournament and surely dooms them to fall at a very early hurdle.

Back in my player days for Stanmore Rovers
As a fan (not fanatic though) of Football and as someone with a deep, unquestioning love of the German national team, I have observed the English team from an "outsider's" point of view. I've seen them at the best of times... 5-1 over us in Munich. (We're still not talking about that...) and more notably the worst of times 4-1 in the last Weld... sorry World Cup.

Now, please take it on the chin when I say that England are where Germany was a decade ago. After the 98 World Cup when footballing legends Klinsman, Kupke, Eilts, Sammer all retired from international football. Only Lothar Matias trotted out for Euro 2000 and lets be honest he sucked and so did the rest of the team as we bombed out due to lack of experience, even the 2002 World Cup we were lucky to get as far as we did. Germany was no longer the force it had once been. Even in the World Cup in Germany, where I truly believe we were sublime, pundits described how it "Wasn't the Germany of Old."
Only the last World Cup has changed that opinion.

England are in a similar position, tired older players like Terry and Lampard who are no longer giving their all or, sometimes seemingly not interested at all. Then there is the Lothar Matias shaped spectre of David Beckham often being touted for a return or, y'know, just a half - he scores a blinding free kick.

NO, I say. Change is needed and change is good.

The team plays like 11 super stars when it needs to play as one team and the manager, whomever takes over, needs to ignore the press and endless speculation and take 11 players who play as a team, even if they lack the individual quality. Look at how well Germany did in the last world cup, apart from some obvious talent in the form of Ozell the majority of the rest of the team is mediocre - Podolski, Mertesacker, Metzelder all average. Indeed Klose and Podolski had only scored a handful of goals in the Bundesliga in a year but as soon as they don the White and Black of Germany they become electric. It appears to be inverse for England players who can score braces of goals in a season for their clubs but as soon as the White of England comes on nothing. The team have to be proud to don the shirt and to play representing the country they love and shine.

Indeed any new manager has to realistically take time to build a decent squad and should be ignoring the press and the pressure they pile on for Victory because "We are England" the target should be the World Cup 2014 and beyond. Time needs to be taken and pressure needs to be taken off, I know footie is "more than just a game" for many people but like club level, national teams need to be grown and instant results are not instant. Time and effort is needed and young players cultivated and brought up with a mixture of experienced players in friendlies and tournaments.

Who could take the position? Well, I'm available I've played a lot of Championship Manager and if I can get Gillingham into the final of the UEFA cup final or Margate FC into Division 1 playoffs for the Championship, I'm sure I can mastermind England's victory over Andorra.

But seriously Harry Rednapp is an option, though I doubt he'll leave Spurs before the end of the season.
Gareth Southgate is a good choice as is Stuart Pierce, Neil Warnock or even Sven as a holding position manager until a full timer can go in. What is needed is a manager who can get the team working as a team and not as a group of "Galicticos" if they can do that who knows? You may beat us again in a serious game and one day earn your Three stars!

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