One aspect of England’s woes cannot be blamed on Capello though. Throughout the past week all the talk has been of England’s lack of a front man to lead the team’s attacking stars. But surprisingly it was the defence which attracted more quizzical looks last night. For such quality individuals they looked a terrible collective last night. The Czech forwards ran rings around them with their effective runs and passes all evening, and they looked capable of scoring during almost every attack. The four stars, who were all from either of last season’s European Cup finalists, endured one of the most embarrassing experiences of their careers against the Czech attackers, including Premier League flop Milan Baros.
Up front things did look slightly more promising for Capello, with many chances being created especially in the first-half. Defoe and Rooney were not spectacular in any way, but at least they did their job to a certain extent. If Michael Owen ever gets back to full fitness and regains his top form at the same time then he will be the frontman to lead England’s World Cup qualifying campaign. Without him though, and Capello may have more problems.
England were extremely fortunate to escape with a draw last night, thanks to Joe Cole’s late scrambled effort, and Capello’s clenched-fisted celebrations at the end were laughable considering the context of the game.
If World Cup qualification is to be achieved then major improvements are necessary. It will not be the game against Andorra in early September that Capello can finally be judged on, but the trip to Zagreb four days later. Lose that one, and the Italian will be put in the same bracket as McClaren until he proves his worth.