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Sunday, July 02, 2006

First the turnip, now the swede...

Must say, i think you've got to put most of the blame for England's abject failure at this tournament squarely at the feet of Sven Goran Eriksson. The mistakes were made right from the off when he decided to only take 4 strikers, two of which were struggling with injuries, one of which had never played a Premiership game. Going to a major final with only Peter Crouch as a fit and recognised striker, was madness to say the least.

But once that decision was made, too many players just didn't play well. Beckham, particularly in the last 3 games, was simply invisible. Even his set-pieces were very, very poor. But even though Aaron Lennon was in top form, Sven would still not drop him.

And Lampard had a shocker. But still Sven stuck with him, changing the system to 4-5-1 to include both him and Gerrard in the team. And why Carrick wasn't included...

The team didn't seem to know what they were doing, too many players were out of sorts and out of form. But Sven did not seem to know how to deal with it, and continued with those players, to England's detriment.

Playing Rooney as a lone striker was simply crazy. You can't really blame Rooney for getting sent off. You can't even really blame the team for underperforming. I don't think they were comfortable with the system. I don't think they were comfortable with what they were doing.

And at the end, the rot just went through the whole team. Joe Cole started to fade away. Even Stevie G didn't seem to know what to do. Only Hargreaves and the defence seemed to be strong, but we were simply toothless in attack. All in all, a very disappointing tournament, and I'm glad to see the back of Eriksson.

We were lucky to get as far as we did.

Although whether MacLaren will be the answer, I seriously doubt it. I suspect it will be more of the same. I am not excited at the prospect of England's future.

Sadly with the players we have, we should be doing a lot better. But unless we get a manager that knows how to bring out the best in his players, playing the English way, we're always going to underperform.

Keegan was a great motivator, his enthusiasm and man-management skills were excellent. But he was tactically naive. We shall see what happens from now on.

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