What I'm trying to get at, is that England's team, in recent years, have often been
selected based on reputations or sentiment.
There are some players who have been clearly below their best for quite some time,
yet are still a permanent fixture in the first 11. At the same time, others who have
been on good form for their clubs, get ignored, simply because they play for smaller
teams, or may not be as glamourous as the established stars.
The lack of competition for places makes these multi-millionaires complacent, and
such a situation is hurting the England team's chances of success, as shown by the
failure to qualify for Euro 2008 and the pathetic display at World Cup 2010.
Sure, even big stars have off days, like Messi and co. in the 4-0 drubbing by
Germany. That can be forgiven. But England's case is a rather different story.
It's not a one-off, rather some poor form that has been going on for quite some
time. Clearly, something isn't working, and some changes are needed to freshen
A coach should decide on a system, and then select the most *suitable* 11 men that
is able to play that system. Unfortunately for England's case, they seem to select
their best 11, and try to make them fit into the system instead.
Take the times when Gerrard was thrown onto the left wing, not his natural
position. Lampard had to play, but so too did Gerrard, there was no leaving either of
them out. The only vacancy was on the wing, so he got dumped there instead.
If a team containing Messi, Tevez, Mascherano, Cambiasso, etc, fails to perform and
stutters game after game after game, at some point the coach has to change things.
He has to be bold enough to say, I don't care how great your reputation is, if you
don't perform after so many chances, or can't fit into my system, I'm giving a chance
to someone new.
I'm afraid I don't see Capello doing that anytime soon. He is content to pick the
same bunch of underperforming players, stick them in game after game, and hope
that they'll eventually come good.