Thursday, June 8, 2023

Bleak times ahead for England

Graham Fisher in Editorial, General Soccer News 8 Feb 2011


Not much to choose from

If you wanted to know the reasons that England are struggling at international level you only need to take a look at the current England squad for their friendly against Denmark on Wednesday.

Now that Steven Gerrard, Peter Crouch and Ben Foster have all been released because of injuries and Gabby Agbonlahor has not joined up with the party for personal reasons, the squad looks average at best.

  • Goalkeepers:
  • Joe Hart. Top young keeper with a long international future.
    David Stockdale. Fulham reserve.
    Robert Green. Surely no comments required!

  • Defenders:
  • Glen Johnson. Dubious international pedigree. Playing left back for Liverpool, right back for England.
    John Terry. International class, but probably past his best and tried and failed at international level.
    Gary Cahill. Untried.
    Joleon Lescott. Manchester City reserve. Not good enough.
    Ashley Cole. International class. 30 years old. Tried and failed at international level.
    Michael Dawson. Potentially top class but 27 already and struggles with injury.
    Leighton Baines. Good Premier League player but has failed to step up a level in the past.
    Kyle Walker. Promising player but called up after just three or four Premier League games.

  • Midfield:
  • Gareth Barry. Capello must be the only man in England who thinks Barry is international class.
    Stewart Downing. Been around the England squad for six years. Never quite been good enough and no better now than he ever was.
    Frank Lampard. Too old and never fulfilled his international potential despite earning eighty-three caps.
    James Milner. Manchester City reserve. No more than a journeyman.
    Scott Parker. Great player for West Ham but 30 years old and not really deemed good enough before now.
    Theo Walcott. In and out of the Arsenal side, but a genuinely good player. Has shown he can do it at international level.
    Jack Wilshere. A very promising young player who deserves his chance.
    Ashley Young. A fine Premier League player but hasn’t been able to reproduce it yet for England.

  • Strikers:
  • Darren Bent. Great Premier League striker but another who looks out of his depth in international football.
    Carlton Cole. West Ham reserve.
    Jermain Defoe. Has done it in internationals but in poor form.
    Wayne Rooney. World class but woefully short of his best.

    That may be a very harsh assessment of the squad, but I think it is realistic. There is very little in that group of players that fills me, as an England fan, with any optimism that the title winning drought is likely to end any time soon.

    From the squad I would say that Joe Hart, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshire and Wayne Rooney are the only ones who could take England to the top. I suppose you could add the potential of Gary Cahill and Kyle Walker, but that is far from clear and it stops there. Steven Gerrard would be worthy of a place in the team and Ashley Cole is probably still good enough to persevere with.

    I fear that we could be in for a fairly bleak time at international level following the debacle of last Summer’s World Cup.


    Graham Fisher



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    wayne higgins
    wayne higgins
    12 years ago

    DAVID NUGENT or what ever your name is,sorry i forgret…..mate,that is by far the worst piece ive ever read from this site in the years iv been visiting……i know people write stuff for it to be a hot yopic and cause little debates,which all fans love……but this……BRUTAL……what u tryin to do here…..?? im shocked

    Vishnu Raj
    Vishnu Raj
    12 years ago

    England can be a top team.., for that they should play with same and cosistent team for the next 3 years with world i mind..,
    The perfect squad to be raised for next WC.
    Joe Hart, Ben Foster
    Glen johnson Cahill Smalling Kyle walker Gibbs
    Walcot Wilshere Henderson Adam johnson Ashley young Jack rodwell
    Rooney Carol Welbeck..,
    Play with this squad regularly and make them a well settled unit by the WC, till euro 12, from seniors terry cole and gerrard should be allowed, after that they should be droped..,
    Readers pls post ur opinion on this..

    Graham Fisher
    12 years ago

    Vishnu, I think what you say makes sense. We really must try the young players and not rely on the older players who have never actually produced when it mattered anyway.

    Wayne, I can’t let you blame David, it was me who wrote it! With hindsight it wasn’t a great piece but it was aimed at sparking some debate. Having said that, I do think the future looks no brighter than the recent past.

    12 years ago

    Graham, have you ever read a book called “Soccernomics”? If you haven’t you should get it, good read. One chapter shows that England are actually performing more. . . up to standard, though this squad list seems to be below standard. England’s real problem is that they win more friendlies than they do Euro Championships and WC quarterfinals+semifinals, from what that book says!

    12 years ago

    I hope it is abject misery in England games. I want them to suffer as much as they made me suffer in that world cup.

    It’s not even a matter of mediocre players. It’s that our top players, players playing in the champions league like rooney, cole, terry, lampard, gerrard always under perform for england.

    I won’t be supporting england again until there’s hope and at the moment its bleaker than a room full of meth addicts…

    12 years ago

    How’s that the answer Jon? I’ve heard a few people take that attitude recently! But if your club team were playing poorly, would you stop supporting them all together? i doubt it, no real football fan would dream of it.

    What we need to do is start bringing these young players through and really get behind them, convince them, as a nation, that they are good enough to be the side that breaks this bad spell.

    Graham Fisher
    12 years ago

    Thanks Brad, Soccernomics is a good book, as is another book I recently read called, why England lose. That too shows that England actually perform about as well as they should do, taking everything in to account. I agree with Jon and Bacon 310, in as much as it is hard to summon the energy to continue to support players like Terry, Cole, Barry, Lampard and Gerrard, when they have never managed to achieve what we thought they would and are now coming to the end of their career yet still get selected. We need to blood the younger players… Read more »

    12 years ago

    Jon, why be like that? You MUST take into account quite a bit. Rooney’s still trying to find his form from last season. He and the rest of the guys you mentioned, along with others, play a lot in the grueling Premier League, not to mention the Champions League, Carling Cup, and FA Cup. Many English players, as the book “Soccernomics” states, throw everything they have into the game as soon as it starts. They must remember, there are two 45 minute halves, and this isn’t baseball or American football, where you can get all those little breaks and get… Read more »

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