Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Alan Hansen's take on England

Steve McClaren has taken a lot of stick after England's 0-0 draw in Israel and the buck has to stop with the manager.

But it is not the coach who is to blame if a player cannot pass a ball properly.

England midfielders Steven Gerrard (left) and Frank Lampard
Gerrard and Lampard train together - but should they play together?

If you are a good player, passing from A to B is pretty standard. You cannot have a go at the boss if you play badly and pass it poorly too.

In Tel Aviv, England produced yet another massively disappointing performance. They were on top for most of the game but they did not win and Israel did not offer much.

Creatively, there was nothing happening. They had half-chances but that is all they were. The display was poor, considering they have got multi-talented players in the team.

But the whole side is struggling. They are not playing with any confidence, they are not scoring any goals and everyone is underachieving.

If they are going to qualify for Euro 2008 - which I still think they will do - they need to start improving quickly.

But the recovery will not start on Wednesday against Andorra. You cannot get things back on track when you are playing such poor opposition and England will prove nothing in Barcelona.

What it does is give everyone some respite. If they were up against a better team, they might struggle a bit.

As it is, England must now wait until June to try to rectify what has gone wrong.

Wayne Rooney is one of the players who underperformed yet again. By his standards, his touch and the technical ability we have come to expect of him did not come through.

He saw a lot of the ball and did not perform. I have said before, you cannot expect one man to bail you out all the time and he is still only 21, though granted he has not played well for England for a while.

Well done to Alex McLeish for making a substitution that came off in style

Because he burst on to the scene at such a young age and was so brilliant, people expect him to be a superstar every time he steps out on the pitch and it is just not going to happen.

If Rooney is off-colour, there should be others who step up. For a long time we have talked about the golden generation of England footballers but that was probably a bit wide of the mark.

Two players who have come under more scrutiny are Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard but I do not think it is a question of pointing the finger or dropping one of them.

They combined really well for England's best chance when the ball got stuck under Frank's feet but we all know Steven can play a zillion times better than he did.

If I was the manager, I would stick with them. Before you think about dropping one of them you have got to show me a better alternative and, at the moment, nothing stands out.


Jordan Oye Oyediran said...

I completely disagree... England has been struggling with both Lampard and Gerrard in the middle of the park since Scholes retired and even before then Erikson started playing him on the left side. I think it is time you give creative passers like Michael Carrick the chance to feed him club mate Wazza the ball. I am tired of all the excuses being made for a pair of midfielders playing below par. Keep one on the bench and play the pair of maybe Gerrard at attacking and Hargraves at holding. Try something different. To me McStupid is the English version of Sven no changes in style or strategy.

Glendon said...

You are right, there is not difference between the two. Probably because McClaren was Eriksson's apprentice for a few years. Basically everything stayed the same. He should have tried to mold the team to his strengths as a Manager. I'm afraid there is no place for him in the team anymore. The FA better start writing up their shorlist.

AdeyKop said...

It is the manager's fault for chosen useless players that cant pass or play the ball. Lampard and Gerrard cant play together, so drop one. I dont even think the guy has a brain. Then again look at his resume, what has he ever achieve? NOTHING.