Top 10 Excuses to Expect from England and its Supporters

June 19, 2010 - 06055389 date 28 10 2009 Copyright imago BPI The England team PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRAxNEDxESPxSWExPOLxCHNxJPN Football men World Cup National team international match Cape Town long shot Team picture Vdig 2009 horizontal premiumd Football.

England is one game away from being knocked out of the World Cup. And while England’s supporters are still reeling from the abysmal performance against Algeria, they’re now looking for excuses. They need someone to blame. What else can explain the dire performance in a game that most people (myself included) predicted they would win comfortably?

So, here are ten excuses that you can expect to hear over the next few days to weeks to months that England players, fans and officials will share:

  1. Premier League footballers play too many meaningless FA Cup and Carling Cup matches,
  2. The Premier League needs to have a winter break to allow players to rest over the holidays,
  3. Fabio Capello is not a competent manager at the international level,
  4. The Jabulani ball is horrible,
  5. There are too many foreigners in the Premier League that are keeping English players out of teams,
  6. David Beckham’s injury dealt the English a massive blow,
  7. England plays too many meaningless friendlies,
  8. Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard can’t play together in the same team,
  9. The Premier League is too physical and played at such a fast pace that players are exhausted,
  10. The Football Association has a poor coaching and youth system in place.

Despite all of the excuses, the bottom line is that England is simply not good enough.

Of course, it’s quite possible that England may beat Slovenia and make it through to the round of 16. And then start playing well. But based on how terrible they have been thus far, even if they qualify for the second round, they’re bound to get knocked out soon because there’s no way this England team can morph from abysmal footballers to world beaters in the space of one to two weeks.

In the past couple of years, I grappled with the question whether England was a decent team or not. After England failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championship, I was glad that someone with the experience of Fabio Capello was chosen as England manager. That’s because, finally, we would know whether England was a decent team or not. For too long, they had England managers who weren’t able to get the best out of the side. But if Capello couldn’t do it, then no one could and we would then know that England was definitely in a decline.

But the qualification campaign by England for the 2010 World Cup got us believing in England again. Sure, there were the faults that we often see, but the confidence was back in the team and they played like winners albeit against inferior opposition.

Now at the 2010 World Cup, their confidence has stooped to new lows. In their first game in the 2010 World Cup, they played the one team in the world which could destroy their confidence as much as any nation, the United States. This was a country that many English fans, pundits (and presumably players) scoffed at as being inferior, so the draw dealt a massive blow to England and got them thinking that if they couldn’t beat the United States, they must be in a much worst state than they believed.

Most of us, as readers, know that the United States has advanced as a soccer nation and is a force to be reckoned with. But many Englanders love to live in the past and believe that England is still a soccer empire. At the end of the day, it’s not. The England players are psychologically very weak, succumb to media and fan pressure far too easily and can’t play football very well as a team. When they’re playing as individuals next to some of the best players in the world, they elevate their game. But when they play together on a national level, the ghosts of England’s past failures come back to haunt them.

On Wednesday, England has an opportunity to exorcise their demons by defeating Slovenia. And to win against them will require a world-class performance against the best team in Group C. If England players and supporters truly believe that they are a quality team, they need to prove it in a few days time. Otherwise, they’ll be cast away to the dregs of football’s past and dismissed as a footballing power for years to come.

58 thoughts on “Top 10 Excuses to Expect from England and its Supporters”

  1. I wonder how many of the English fans would like to see Beckham playing. I know there was a resounding opinion that he was a puppet, a mascot, and a distraction. Personally, I think England are missing the leadership that he provides (on the field). No matter how you feel about him and his celebrity popularity, there is no doubt in my mind that Beckham is one of the best distributors of the ball in recent memory. I feel that having him play an anchor type role at RM would really open up the lanes for the likes of Rooney, Gerrard and Defoe/Crouch/Heskey. I know it is kind of pointless to even speculate but when he went down with injury I knew it was quite a devastating blow to England’s hopes. I am not sure if I would even start him but his playing style is so different from Milner, SWP, and Lennon that he would have made an excellent substitution in the Algeria game where it was quite obvious the original game plan failed. What do you think?

    1. I would go one step further and say he would have provided a better option than Milner or SWP….his desire and work rate is unquestionable…you can see it from his reactions on the bench…and the output he provides from crosses and freekicks could have been useful for England…while often maligned and underrated,his quality is undoubtedly world class…too bad the english media loves a scapegoat in the shape of Beckham…I wuldn’t be surprised if they actually blame England’s failure on him again

  2. You are sounding more like Kartik every day Gaffer. Maybe you should do one for the U.S when they choke again and fail to get to the knockout stages, just like they did last time.

    Just imagine how arrogant American fans would be if their team had actually ever done anything in the world cup. Have you ever actually got out of the group stages? FFS you get a walk into them every 4 years by being in crapcaf section.
    It’s time for a reality check for you boys.

      1. Are England even out yet? is the U.S through? Unless I’m missing something here both teams are on two points and neither is out or through. And actually as much as he slagged the England team off he did predict the team to go through to the last 16.
        As for Kartik getting things right, anyone who talks as much shit as he does is bound to get the odd thing right, ffs even a broken watch is right twice a day

        1. Nice job of projecting. The fortunes of the US have nothing to do with how awful England’s looked.

          Here’s the song you’re singing Wednesday.

          “We’re going home. We’re going home.

          Ingerlund’s going home!”

  3. 2002. We went to Quarter Finals. You lost in same stage to Brazil (remember Seaman?) and we lost because Frings had a blatant hand ball on the goal line to keep us out of semi’s. Do some homework before you post such nonsense. Yes, football or soccer is new to the USA as far as development but wow, why so pissed at us, son?

    1. Oh, so you have managed to get out of the group stage once in your history?

      Wow, I thought you lot must be the new f**king Brazil the way you’ve been talking shit.

      Why don’t you come back when you’ve actually got something to shout about, until then, STFU

      1. Yep. About the response I was expecting from you. Thanks for the input, my friend. I’ll be rooting for my USA team and your England team next week. Good luck!

      2. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Such anger.

        Don’t take your frustrations out on us. We’re not the ones who said England should go all the way and are shit if they don’t. Personally, I hope we both go through. I love England…..right after the U.S.

        I said elsewhere that the difference between us is that we have “hopes” and you have “expectations”. If we fail to go through we will be bitterly disappointed. If you fail to go through slit wrists won’t be enough. For us there will be explanations. For you there will be excuses.

        Maybe that *is* because we don’t have anything to “shout about”…..but at least we know it.

      3. I believe the US has one exactly one less World Cup than mighty mighty football power Ingerlund.

        Someone should STFU. Brad ain’t who.

        1. I’d concentrate on learning to get out of the group before you actually start thinking of winning the thing. OMG get a grip, you’re shit. You’re a F**king world away from even thinking you can win this thing.

      1. H shut it you American hiding in England colors (sorry colours). They have made the knockout rounds a couple times, not bad for a country that doesn’t have much of a illustrious history as the win at home crash and burn away English side. The fact that you’re so smug about a mediocre history is hilarious.

        The US was robbed, and the bottom line is England don’t deserve to go through and you know it. The only nations struggling more are France and Italy, and that’s not saying much right now. So once again, stop having such high expectations for a mediocre soccer nation. We’re not that far behind you and “your” star yet team-ineffective players.

  4. the thing about confidence is that it can be turned around in an instant. If England grab an early goal against Slovenia and then build on it, the confidence will be back and we’ll go into the 2nd stage fearing no-one.

    For an example of what I mean, look at Portsmouth v Chelsea from last season… the match was rather even and Chelsea were looking uninspired and then a fluke bounce gifted Drogba a goal and Chelsea went on to win 5-0

  5. I’d like to add one with the help of Soccernomics..”The English Conclude That the Game Turned on One Freakish Piece of Bad Luck That Could Happen Only to Them.” – This of course, would be Green’s blunder. Not the failure to beat Slovenia or potentially Algeria if that happens.

  6. I am home in England for the tournament, left right after the US game.
    I hope this piece is premature Gaffer.

    There is no excuse for England for going out in the group stage if we do. I suspect it will harm Premiership attendances in August/Sept if it happens as I think this will shake belief in English football.

    I wont give excuses but there are reasons of course. Crucial to recognise the difference between excuses and reasons. This blog will be one of many that will be posting articles on what needs to change in England to avoid it happening again. Even if England go on to win the Cup (they wont) there do need to be some changes. For now the only change I’d like to see in the short term is starts for Crouch and Cole – everyone here is clamouring for Cole to get a game and Crouch. Baby steps.

  7. I don’t understand why England fans think their team is always so great. Most England players are only “superstars” because the English press loves English players so much. I really like England and the current England squad, don’t get me wrong, but a lot of the players are perceived to be a lot better than they really are. Plus, the English press builds up the massive egos of these players, so it isn’t very surprising that they don’t play well together.

    I guess I’ll put it this way: If I had a limited budget with which to make a club team, I would not want any England striker except Rooney (who doesn’t play well on the international stage for some reason). I wouldn’t really want any of the midfielders except Lampard and Gerrard, though I think Gerrard is either getting tired of the game or just getting old. The only defender I’d be interested in would be Ashley Cole. Lennon/Walcott are good too, but both are not typically starters.

    I’m not trying to make anyone mad or poke fun at someone when they are down. I’m a USA supporter but I would like to see England do well also. I am simply offering a point of view that personally I find to have some substance.

    England is expected to be good just because they are England. If you take a critical look at the players though, they aren’t actually all that impressive compared to Brazil, Spain, etc.

    1. spains a 1 sport country so it should be good cuz all they have is football lampard scored 22goals and 17 assists in 38 prem games if a german or a septic tank(yank) etc done that weird virgins like kartik wouldlnt shut the fck up about it but because hes english an ur all bitter sssh,jay demeritt your defender not getting his contract renewed at watford a team who finished bottom half championship says it all

      1. no 1 takes the bandwagoning american fans seriously,america bought uo all the tickets in the world cup,funny when eng v usa 90% of the stadium was english took the stadium over,yh were a shit team but dont say we have shit players only spain argentina brazil have better players so ssshhhh

        1. I’m not sure where your conspiracy theory comes from about the US buying l the tickets. We’re in the middle of crippling recession here and South Africa gouged both airline and hotel prices to the point where many of us couldn’t afford to go. From where I’m sitting, it was the Europeans who bought up all the tickets. Well, and the fans China paid for North Korea.

          I’m an England supporter, but let’s face it, this team isn’t living up to expectation. Sure, they’ll probably go through, but how long can they last? They look dog tired out there, Rooney especially.

          1. I think the problem is the American fans are talking about how terrible is because they are unlikely to get very far in the world cup.

            I agree with their assessment. The world cup is very unlikely to be won by England but at the same they insist on blowing their own horn.

            I’m keeping quiet because I want to see what they come up with when they get knocked out of the tournament.

            The funny thing is English and American fans are fighting like either of them is honestly going to go very far. Winner takes all and the US and England are both looking like they will lose long before they catch a glimpse of that trophy.

            Truth of the matter is we are in the same boat but this blog has a tendency to try and get fans to fight each other as it drives traffic to the blog as people come to and return to flamebait articles.

            A lot of childish comments coming from both sides lets enjoy it while we are still in it because the truth is neither side is likely to be in it for another week or two.

      2. I agree. Jay Demerit is garbage and it is really hurting our team. Do you have anything constructive to add?

  8. Why do the English fans relish in the past? The 98 and 02 teams were good, this team is not.

    Besides Rooney(who has yet to show up) and Gerrard, the rest of the players are mediocre. The US could have beat them and Algeria was more entertaining than the British side… not saying either team is better than the English, but they should have one both games.

    Until England beats a powerhouse team in the World Cup, stop thinking they are contenders.

    1. Coulda woulda shoulda, you can’t come out with shit like that, I could quite easy sit here and say England should have beat the U.S and should have beat Algeria.
      Lets get the facts right:

      England vs U.S, England had more shots, more shots on target, more possesion and oh don’t forget the stupid shocker that actually got you your goal.

      As for Ageria, this was their world cup final, they were jumping up and down after the match for getting a draw, they had one shot on target in 90 minutes and basically defended for their lives.

      All this with the England team playing some of the worst football i’ve seen in a hell of a long time.

      If we don’t beat Slovenia then we don’t deserve to go through, it’s that simple. I wont be sat here saying shoulda, coulda, woulda

      1. Let’s ACTUALLY get the facts right you f**king idiot – the U.S. hit the post in the second half, soooo technically we came closer to beating you than you did us. I thought English fans knew better than anyone that possession, shots, and any other stats mean jack shit compared to the SCORE. Don’t be bitter just because the U.S. knows how to play as a team and leave everything on the field. Your starting left back takes naked pictures in a mirror and then jerks off to himself for fuck’s sake. Classy. Maybe if Lampard and Terry stopped being so full of themselves you might have a chance. Not happening.

        1. ‘stats mean jack shit compared to the SCORE’

          What was the score you f**king retard, did you win the game? You got your arse kicked and were lucky to come out of the game 1-1.

          You F**king donkey, you don’t know shit.

      2. Poker
        You bash everyone else’s team and are far too defensive about your own. Your words are getting quite harsh on here. The people who come back at you with harsh words are equally wrong, but dude this is a football site for people who love football to talk about football. The venom is completely unnecessary. I hope you learn to enjoy watching football regardless of what happens on Wednesday.

  9. and the number 1# excuse is rooney is irish and not english and he is playing bad on purpose so the irish lads can laugh at the english. conspiracy theory anyone. lol

  10. I think this latest in along line of world cup failures might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back as far as the fans are concerned. The anger on Talksport last night after the game was something else. The support that England has enjoyed since Gazza cried and from Euro 96 may be over. No more world cup songs on Youtube. No more flags on cars. No more fat bods in Rooney shirts.

    The amazing thing is we can still salvage something. Signor Capello, here is your team for Wednesday.

    James – about the only thing Capello got right against Algeria

    Johnson & Cole – full backs with license to get forward and give England some width.

    Terry – who else is there?

    Dawson – time Mr Capello to start picking players that are either in form or performed well all season for their clubs.

    Barry and Carrick – Yes, not one but 2 holding midfielders. Barry to help protect the back four; Carrick for his uncanny PASSING ability and DISTRIBUTION, two qualities sorely lacking so far.

    3 attack minded midfielders. Gerrard in the middle, where he belongs. Joe Cole on the left. James Milner on the right. Lennon & Lampard, take a seat on the bench.

    One up front. Someone with pace, trickery and an eye for goal. That someone is Defoe. Rooney, take a seat and think about what it means to play for England. Heskey, your international retirement starts right now. Crouch misses out because his presence causes England to revert to long ball bullsh*t. And he is absolute rubbish in the air.

    Mr Capello, if you do not shake it up like this on Wednesday you can start packing your bags.

  11. All this Yank b@@lsh@t!

    What the f#*k have the yanks ever won?

    We have the bets team in the world. Look at the squad, and look at the clubs our boys feature for!

    We get screwed constantly. Screwed by refs, screwed by penalties and screwed by Ronaldo. Oh yeah and screwed by Yank baseball and war lovers destroying the sanctity of football by commenting on something they could never understand and have so little true respect for. Kartik, Gaffer, Richard, Eric, and company all lack respect and understanding for the game we love and the game we live everyday of our lives.

    Becks injury problems also started because his yank/mls team had no clue how to manage his body or treat his injuries. America literally sabotaged our national team.

    1. MLS has one of the longest offseasons in the world! Do you think LA wanted their highest paid player to play in Europe the entire offseason and run his body into the ground? It was Capello who insisted he must play in Europe to make the squad.

    2. Wow talk about deluded…I thought Poker was that but you sir have taken the cake. Any other excuses you would like to give as to why England have been utter crap during the World Cup or would that involve far too much reality for you.

  12. When it comes to England, I never ever thought all of the famed players are good at all. If at all they are average, Gerrard, Rooney, Lampard, Cole, Becham, Everyone of these guys are made to look good by other international players and most of all by the Media as I see it.

    Maybe its just I don’t like British football or that I hate the brutal fast paced meaningless mess of a league in England, I never took these guys anymore than average.

    Now there has been some excellent players from that region, Glenn Hoddle, George best, Ummmmm… that is it.

    Germany has become an attractive team because they worked on their problems, so can England but they have to admit they are just an average football nation.

    1. “Now there has been some excellent players from that region, Glenn Hoddle, George best, Ummmmm… that is it.”

      They have produced a few more than that (Gordon Banks, Bobbie Moore, Alan Shearer, Gascoigne, to name a few), but I get your point.

      Could not agree more about Glenn Hoddle, brilliant almost continental type skill, but its also telling that he did not fit the English national team system with its rigid play, and more up tempo kick and rush style.

  13. It’s hard to take the article seriously when it calls Slovenia the best team in the group. They wrestled down half the players in the box on that free kick, and their coach said the referee didn’t affect the outcome. Please England beat them to a pulp and let them only be remembered for their gay goal dancing.

  14. Sorry Gaffer, but this is bollocks. I haven’t heard anyone saying anything but England are playing rubbish.

    I think the bottom line is that we’re lacking quality at various points around the pitch, and countries you could write off 10 years ago have reached a point of competency that means winning isn’t easy.

    Beating Slovenia won’t require a ‘world class performance’. That’s pure hyperbole. Beating Brazil would require a world class performance. Beating Slovenia will require our good players to play well – pass to each other and make the most of the opportunities that will come along.

  15. Why are there so many posts about the English national team on here?

    This is supposed to be EPL Talk, not England Talk.

    1. “Why are there so many posts about the English national team on here?

      This is supposed to be EPL Talk, not England Talk.”

      Perhaps because firstly, the worlds best football tournament is being played right now, secondly, ALL the English team players come from the EPL, and thirdly, the EPL has a big impact on the type / quality of team that England sends to the world cup.

  16. How many England internationals play outside of England? How many top European clubs have English managers? The problem isn’t foreigners in the prem holding back young English players b/c I think that by playing against the world’s best (which the prem is) you get to be better players. You want to make it in the Prem as an Englishman? Fine, be better than anyone we can import. That’s what makes the league so great and competitive but why does every European nation have their players scattered throughout La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Prem, etc yet England don’t? Michael Owen left and bombed and off the top of my head I can’t remember another top player leaving to play elsewhere. When Inter Milan/Real Madrid are hiring managers they only speak of non-English managers.

    My point is that when you only have a domestic perspective on the game through players and managers then you will have a myopic team. Sure they have embraced a foreign national coach but it’s only one step.

    I obviously feel the long long season, large # of games, etc. play a role that should not be overlooked.

  17. If England wants to go far in internationals, they need to get their young players into loan spells in foreign clubs and at a least a few of the stars into foreign leagues. Exclusively playing domestic football is the single greatest hindrance England has.

  18. This site seems to have turned into a free-for-all, England bashing forum.

    I just get the feeling that a lot of the Americans on here would be shouting about how England is “their” team (or second team) if things were going well for them. If you bash England today, don’t come back supporting tomorrow. :)

    Excuses always come from all sides (not just England). If Spain go out (as they may), they will have excuses too. The US will have that disallowed goal to fall back on if they fail to advance. All countries do it – not just England.

    As for the question of England being good enough – I don’t think anyone (other than those that are totally biased – like Kartik) can say these players aren’t quality players. Many of these players would walk on to most World Cup squads.

    The problem with England is that they aren’t there mentally and haven’t gotten back the team unity they had during qualifying.

    Then again, England always seem to barely squeak by the group stages. Maybe we’ll see the same again this year. Hopefully, the US and England both get a win on Wednesday and advance so we can get on with it.

  19. Excuse #11: Fabio Capello is too strict with the lads. You can’t ask the poor players to stay in a boring 5-star hotel instead of going out sightseeing. That’s what breaks these poor lads’ psyche.

  20. England need to totally revamp how they teach youngsters to play. Instead of having them play on full length pitches they need to play on shorter pitches so they learn to pass the ball and develop technique which is very much missing by English players. English players need to play abroad so they learn to play for and against other types of football as well. England have good players but they are not “World Class” with the exception of Rooney who has totally vanished so far. Unless England find something deep inside them I think they won’t beat Slovenia, they may draw and that may be the end to the World Cup for them. Has anyone asked why players like Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard, Terry ect play so well for their clubs yet seem to choke when they put on a 3 Lions shirt? It seems to happen in major tournaments. England’s so called “Golden Generation” has done nothing for England and I am not sure why they deserve that title.

  21. You know what is great about all of this? During qualification and the time leading up to the World Cup all I heard was the Capello was a great coach and he had the English team finally playing as a team. They were able to win against all sorts of opposition (shown in qualifying unlike Euro 08) and the team respected him.

    Fast-forward not even two weeks and you have ex-captains talking shit about the managers tactics, selections and other processes, a bat-shit crazy manager to begin with that monitors the teams whereabouts through boob-tube-hidden cameras. Capello’s unique ways was something the English were bragging about and blaming for their teams success in the past two years. And now it’s an issue?

    You guys scream bloody murder when you get outclassed, out ran and sometimes even out managed by another country that wants it more than you. So instead of just realizing maybe others want this just as bad, you try and point the finger at the very person you were defending not even two weeks ago.

    Short memory all of you English supporters, and players even, have for this national team of yours.

  22. How about this “beauty” of an excuse from the BBC website:

    “Tonight’s 7-0 rout by Portugal confirms my view that the problem is ball/pitch not the players, systems or management. The rain and the wet pitch slows the ball both in the air and on the ground and neither does it bounce as high. This allowed Portugal to play gloriously weighted passes, disecting (yes, I mean disecting) the Korean defence, all of which was a delight to watch. They anialated a defence that had previously (on a dry pitch) held the world’s number 1 team to a 2-1 win when, on paper, it was a missmatch of almost biblical proportions. Portugal’s strikers previously could only manage a 0-0 draw against Cote D’voire. Had it not been for the rain then I believe that most of those wonderful moves would have broken down with overhit passes or throughballs going behind for a goal kick. I also believe that I am right in saying that no goal was scored from further out than a couple of yards outside the 6 yard box.”

    Hopefully the powers that be in English football, do not share this “logic”, or it will take more a miracle for England to even come close to winning a major tournament. The ONLY thing preventing England from winning the World Cup, is their lack of truly world class players.

    I watched Spain play against Honduras, and you know a team(Spain) is deep in talent, when their substitutes are almost as good as the starters they replaced.
    ALL of these Spanish subs are more skilled, than any of the England starting 11.

  23. “All this Yank b@@lsh@t!

    What the f#*k have the yanks ever won?

    We have the bets team in the world. Look at the squad, and look at the clubs our boys feature for!”

    The EPL is the best league in the world, certainly not because of the English players, but rather the huge $$$ revenues (and deep pocket foreign owners) to buy the best foreign players.

    Also the USA has come a long way over the past 16 years (since hosting in 1994), and I predict by 2020, the US national team will be better than the England squad. The number of high quality English players has been steadily declining since 1998 (when the foreign player invasion started to become MASSIVE), and unless something is done to change this, the England national team is in danger of slipping in the FIFA rankings to the 20-30 spot.

    I am not American, but rather British, that wants to see England win the world cup sometime over the next 30-40 years, but unless we develop much better players (or get extremely lucky), it AIN’T happening.

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