Terry Pierce - Groundhog day for England

By 15 June 2010 07:55

Four years have gone by since the last World Cup but if Saturday night is anything to go by, nothing has changed.

Sill the same problems, the injury woes, the ridiculous over-ambition of the fans and the incessant desire of the media to build up and then destroy our heroes.

And still the uninspiring and deflating performances.

It was all meant to be different under Fabio Capello. He's actually meant to be worth his reported wage of £5 million a year, but the similarities between his side's performance on Saturday and those from Sven Gran Eriksson's team in Germany were stark.

We still lack a world-class, even a Premier League standard, left midfielder in the squad. It's worrying times when Shaun Wright-Phillips is seen by Capello as the best option to replace the clearly unfit James Milner on the left.

- World Cup Match Centre
- Group C fixtures
- Group C table
- Group C focus

God only knows what was going through Joe Cole's mind when he was omitted from the starting 11 and then overlooked as Milner's replacement while Adam Johnson was subjected to an evening with James Corden, presumably as punishment for failing to make the squad despite being the only left-footed wide man in contention.

We still lack a decent partner for Wayne Rooney. Emile Heskey played well but summed up exactly why he shouldn't be anywhere near the squad by blowing England's one real chance to regain the lead.

And by playing Heskey as the out-and-out striker Rooney played too deep, a problem Sir Alex solved by playing him on his own.

We still can't get the best out of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the same game. Gerrard was outstanding at times and captained the side admirably.

Lampard, on the other hand, was ineffective for the most part and was only really noticed when he wasted a set piece for the umpteenth time.

We still have terrible defensive frailties and no goalkeeper worthy of being number one. The obvious gripe is with Rob Green for his howler but after the farce surrounding exactly who would stand between the sticks in Rustenburg there was always going to be a twist. With such a blatant lack of trust in any of the three candidates it is easy to see why Green was a nervous wreck.

In front of the latest incumbent in the England goal Rio's crocked, King's crocked, Carragher has the turning circle of a cross-channel ferry and Upson hardly inspires confidence.

But despite the doom and gloom, the world isn't about to end and nor are our World Cup hopes.

Against Algeria Capello needs to prove his worth and earn his corn. He needs to be brave with selection and choose a side with dynamism, imagination and creativity. He needs to be positive and bold.

And he needs to win.


Source: DSG

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