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Saturday's action featured two coaches who've both managed to dramatically overstay their welcome, Fabio Capello and Bob Bradley. Herewith some thoughts on two not-so-pretty games for the English-speaking sides:
o Wembley was declared a "sell out" for the England's Euro 2012 qualifier versus the Swiss on Saturday. Amazingly, a number of fans came dressed as empty seats.....
o You're kidding me, right? Ads on the sideline at Wembley stated that Carlsberg is the "Offical Beer" of the English national team? What's next? Newcastle sponsoring Denmark?
o There was some shocking defending by the Three Lions in the first half. Memo to Fabio Capello: Do not use James Milner in a two-man wall. In fact, don't use Milner at all. He's terrible.
o England's vaunted midfield was predictably poor. So much for English player of the year Scott Parker and Youth Player of the Year Jack Wilshere. They are both, just like their country, hugely overrated.
o England's 2-2 draw at Wembley should be declared an utter failure. The team is composed of a bunch of overrated primadonnas and coached by someone who can't figure out his best XI players. Michael Owen would have finished off virtually all of the chances that Darren Bent spurned, and how Capello left Ashley Young on the bench until the second half in favor of Milner is a topic best left unexplored.
o The US didn't fare much better in a 4-nil thrashing versus Spain. Tim Howard was "protected" by the leaky sieve that is the US backup defense, which the Spaniard went through seemingly at will.
o If Bradley was hoping to get his team psyched up for the upcoming Gold Cup he made a huge coaching mistake -- not unusual. Three goals in 13 minutes of the first half was only the beginning, as one goal was incorrectly ruled offside, and the Spanish rattled the cross bar, as well. It could have easily been 5-nil at halftime, and the US didn't threaten the Spaniards at all despite playing on home soil.
o One statistic will tell you all you need to know about how bad it got: Fernando Torres found the net in the second half. This is a guy who didn't threaten to get on the scorer's sheet for months. I guess even the blind squirrel gets a nut, as they say.....
o It's time for both Bradley and Capello to go. Neither has his team headed in the right direction, and mediocrity is the best either one of them can expect. At least Bradley appears to want to be there -- Capello looked bored by the whole experience on Saturday, and until he's shown the door it'll be more disappointment for England.
I actually think Wilshere looked like the only English player on the pitch that thought running was a good idea, and his pass to Bent (which Bent couldn't convert) was brilliant. I don't see how you can call Wilshere overrated -- he's a star and I'd take him on the US side any day. Michael Owen? Well, last I checked he hasn't had meaningful minutes on any team since the Y2K bug hit (or didn't, or whatever).ReplyDelete
I will agree regarding Milner -- you can have a guy like him if you have speed elsewhere, but when you don't (see Lampard and Parker etc), you need Cole. By the way, did Lampard play? (I know you like that thought). Capello is terrible; I don't understand his hire; I don't understand many Italian coaches (isn't the world going dutch when it comes to soccer?). Strangely, though, I think no one in England wants the job despite the high pay and little work that's associated with it.
As for the USA team, you're forgetting that Sir Alex got hammered by a very similar Spanish squad not so long ago, at home, and despite the fact that he had a much better team than the USA going into their match. Spain happens to be really good right now, and the USA's backups are pretty much guys that couldn't make it at West Ham. Once Dempsey and Bradley came in -- people Coach Bradley rightfully wanted to rest -- the game changed for the better for the USA. The younger Bradley actually looked quite good. When I see the talent of the USA verse other squads, I don't see the USA under-performing -- I actually think the opposite is usually occurring. Conclusion -- don't fire Bradley unless you get someone with a great pedigree to replace him.
Just thought I needed to clear things up for the readers of this prestigious blog.