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England Still Has Plenty Of Issues For Capello To Sort Out

England manager Fabio Capello talks to his players during a team training session in London Colney

England have qualified. I suppose, that is the main thing. However, they qualified with the same typical tendencies that usually send us out of these major competitions. Firstly, Wayne Rooney, and his red card. He is under a barrage of criticism from the tabloids and rightly so. Some of the headlines include: ‘“We will Roo this moment,” “Roo Fool!” and “An Idiot Abroad”. Rooney can’t hide from what he did in his moment of madness. It was completely and utterly unnecessary and immature. He’s shown so much maturity of late. He has been on ruthless form for Manchester United, scoring nine goals from the opening seven games, not only presenting himself as a leader but showing off the raw talent that he possesses. But the tackle on Friday night showed he hasn’t quite grown up.

Rooney is blessed with an unpredictable and spontaneous nature, and it’s this that makes him the fantastic player he is, but he has to learn to control his erratic temper that often has consequences for others. In this case, it’s England. They need their finest player starting all of their games, they cannot live without him, and it will be a huge disadvantage for Fabio Capello going into the tournament next summer without their main man. We still don’t know if he’ll be suspended for more than one game but, it is not like this hasn’t happened before. Mr Rooney and major tournaments do not get on. He was sent off for kicking Portugal’s Ricardo Carvalho in a losing quarter-final in 2006. In South Africa last summer, out of form and crushed by boredom, Rooney was almost a passenger at the World Cup. Nonetheless, if Rooney can shake off his temper that occasionally tends to creeps into his game, he’ll be unstoppable.

Secondly, England were leading by two goals against Montenegro, cruising, and heading towards Euro 2012 in style. Would Spain have suddenly conceded a stupid goal and consequently ended up drawing the game? Germany? I doubt it. If we forget the idiotic sending off for a moment, just how far away are England from being able to compete against Europe’s heavyweights? England have some superb individual players in the potential starting eleven. Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Jack Wilshere, Frank Lampard, Ashley Young, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Joe Hart. Those footballers are quite easily some of the best in the world. But Capello has a big job on his hands, to make sure his team stop giving away easy points and clumsy goals.

It looked great, as Capello said “for 35 minutes” in Montenegro. Then the red mist took over again, and most of it is self-inflicted. There are still some big issues for Fabio to sort out, and the friendly against Spain at Wembley on November 12th will be huge. It’ll show exactly what England still have to do. They need to treat it as a cup final, not a friendly. Yes, England do have a long way to go, but if they can pull everything together and play as a complete team, ridding themselves of mistakes that usually lead to their downfall and manage to sort out their leading striker, who knows what could happen in Ukraine and Poland. We may get a surprise.

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  1. Bros United

    October 12, 2011 at 1:59 am

    I dont know what its like at the England camp but I know what its like when these players go against each other for their club teams. Maybe its as simple as them not liking each other. I know many England fans dont like John Terry, and it could be the same for the players. These players hate each other during the regular season and they are expected to play amazingly just because they are individually good players? I think this has something to do with it

  2. scrumper

    October 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    England were hopeless in the second half. They gave up. No effort, didn’t care. As the game wore on you just knew Montenegro were going to equalise. Just look at the England’s positioning for the second goal. Hart and the defender (can’t remember who) were way out of position, even though the big Montenegro fwd had been winning every header in the box throughout the second half and with seconds to play and the ball on the wing nobody thought to pick him up as he came cruising into the box. My Grandmother could have marked him better and she’s been dead for ten years.

    As for Rooney, he simply had enough and lashed out knowing full well it would be red card time. Totally underlining that playing for your country is okay when it suits the player but on a wet Friday night it didn’t suit him.

  3. Andrew

    October 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Rooney’s red card will have nothing to do with England’s inevitable failure at EURO 2012. They aren’t good enough, plain and simple. Good players, poor team.

    • Guy

      October 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      “Good players, poor team.”

      And there you have it in a nutshell. The man who solves that conundrum will be a genius, for a while anyway.

  4. RBP

    October 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    You put Ashley Young up there as if Leighton Baines isn’t a superior LB.

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