England Expects. Again.
The England players and Fabio have had their meeting to discuss the performances, lack of passion and no doubt selections, formations and tactics. Doubtful it will be confrontational. Can you see it being confrontational? As long as they all pull together and the gaffer resorts to back to basics (i.e. players playing in the best positions), we'll be just dandy. That and some clarity on player instructions. You know, the stuff that should have all been ironed out and understood clearly pre-World Cup.
It's obvious morale has been hit. Based on what we've witnessed. And it's all - from the outside looking in - farcical if the players are genuinely upset/lacking motivation with Fabio's selections and instructions. Farcical because of the contract extension given to him and the fact that apparently the FA (an alleged source) expect him to resign if it all goes to shit on Wednesday which is easily the most stupid rumour leakage to have broken into the news headlines. Because, you know, all this team stuff should have all been ironed out and understood clearly pre-World Cup.
Glitch in the matrix.
Tactically, positionally we are a mess based in the game against Algeria. And the fact that players were at times incapable of finding a white shirt with a simple pass would suggest they are equally uncomfortable on the pitch as we are watching them in our living rooms/pubs. Which makes them a tad too weak in the head. Fragile. IMO. It's hard to fathom. I know it's easy not to love certain England players, but I don't buy the suggestion that they don't care enough. Although it's unacceptable for them to sulk/feel sorry for themselves/be down-hearted on the field once the whistle is blown for kick-off. We're not French. And yet here I am weaving a thread of uncertainty and contradiction.
If it turns out we're just shit, then fair enough. We - as a Nation - will have to stop banging on about the sixties at any given moment.
The players are surely equipped enough to apply more effort and application, no? They can't be that confused that they can't adapt on field and play akin to their Premier League form.
So stick Gerrard behind Rooney and drop Heskey. If you're going to play Lennon, perhaps Henry Winter can request a DVD for Johnson on how best to aid Azza down the wing in a supportive over-lapping role rather than run into an offensive position constantly, leaving our little man stuck in right-midfield completely redundant. No wonder he looks scared. Don't play him at all (including SWP) if there is no desire to release either of them down the flanks. And Joe Cole is required because we lack spark. Obviously, we still need Rooney to stop trying so hard and allow himself the patience and composure that's required in and around the penalty box to do the necessary damage.
He's struggling with it. No goals for England in a while. He needs a hug and a quick word in his ear. Wonder if Harry can be drafted in for a cheeky prep talk?
Smile. It might never happen.
But alas, I'm sure nothing much will change. Other than Upson starting alongside Terry and probably SWP in for Lennon. Fabio is stubborn. Imagine if we get the starting eleven we are all banging on about wanting to see? Player power winning the day? Won't look too bright for Capello. At a push, we might see the Gerrard inclusion in the middle rather than stuck out left. I hope player power does win. At least then, none of the buggers can hide on the day.
Regardless of what transpires, it will come down to the players anyway. Pride and absolute determination please. None of that apologetic crap we got in the last game. Other nations are struggling too. But that's no redeeming excuse for our standards. In fact, it should be positively inspiring, because if we did manage to get our act together...ah, I won't go and say it.
I will however say this: Believe. I used that word a few times in this past season for Spurs. If the players don't have any belief, any faith - won't matter what the line-up is.
I know I've danced a little around the crux of the issue(s) at hand, but that's mainly because we are all making assumptions based on what we've seen, what Fabio said post-Algeria (lack of passion) and what John Terry said in the press conference today. It's obvious where the problems are - as a collective of players and also individually.
I don't care what is causing these problems because I have no direct input, neither do you so the responsibility is where it's been all along. With the manager and his players. Get them fixed, get them sorted out. And get focused.
Get a f*cking handle on it, and give us something to smile about.