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All Things Footie | Sunday, March 30 | Jordan

Embarassing

Let us get something clear right from the beginning. A 2-0 victory over Lichtenstein — particularly in the way England achieved it — is nothing other than an embarassment. An embarassment and nothing more. Anyone who thinks differently has been brainwashed by gormless BBC punditry about the importance of claiming three points. While I’m on the subject of the bloody BBC studio (and they’re getting on my nerves more every time I watch them); how are we supposed to get an honest appraisal of the performace by ‘Liverpool through and through’ Alan Hansen and Jamie Redknapp? Liven up BBC, lets have some unbiased punditry. It would have been great at half time to hear some honest views from people who didn’t know half the players personally.

‘Well Gary, I thought that first half was thoroughly wank. Luxembourg scored three against them, so how come we only managed one? and we were lucky not to concede! Southgate was awful, Emile Heskey has got the grace and first touch of a hippo that’s had his legs chopped off and if Steven Gerrard hoofs the ball aimlessly forward once more I’m going to go down there an d poke him in the eye. I’d also like to know why we’ve managed to have three players nutmegged so far, it’s meant to be us taking the piss.’

In my opinion, Paul Scholes is certainly England’s most technically gifted player, as well as being hard working, dangerous and a lethal finisher. I would go so far as to say that Scholes has the potential to be our most important player, and the one who could be key to bringing home a trophy to England. Have you ever seen Paul Scholes play well for England under Eriksson?

Just as I think that Alex Ferguson’s major mistake over the last couple of years is marginalizing this wonderful player for a lazy, over-rated Argentinean, so Sven could end up regretting not making Scholes more important. Aside from whatever's going wrong with Scholes, I still think it’s a criminal waste to put the best English midfielder this season in the nowhere left wing spot. Drop Gerrard, put Dyer through the middle.

What the hell was the point in bringing Nicky Butt on? Shore up the midfield? Keep it tight? (If you’re not laughing now, you should be. Think about it.) Why leave it until the 80th minute to bring on Wayne Rooney? (who created more, had more shots on goal and looked far more entertaining and lively in his ten minute cameo that Michael Owen and Emile Heskey have in their last 5 matches combined).

I’ve just been watching a programme about Sven Goran Eriksson. If you missed it, here are the highlights.

Early in his managerial career, Sven Goran Eriksson was accused of killing IFK Göeborg by forcing them to play boring long ball football. In the last game of the 1986 Seria A season Sven’s Roma team needed a home win against already relegated Lecce to claim the Scudetto. They went a goal down just before half time, and failing to motivate his players sufficiently during the break, the team slumped to a 1-0 defeat with the title handed to rivals Lazio.

Am I the only one seeing a pattern emerging?

Sven is a lifelong Liverpool fan and — with the exception of David Beckham — builds his team around Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen, regardless of form. Despite being England’s worst ever goals per game striker; and generally being one of the most technically inept and poorly refined professional footballers I’ve ever seen, Emile Heskey is still practically guaranteed a start.

Back to Eriksson. Sven’s wife Nancy Dell'Olio is a racist and a member of the Italian Fascist party; she even stood for election in 1998. Sinisa Mihajlovic is a violent, fanatically racist close personal friend of a Serbian war criminal. Sven Goran Eriksson counted Mihajlovic as one of his most important players and categorically defended his repeated calling of Patrick Vieira a ‘F*****g black monkey’ in the 2000 Champions league match in the Stadio Olimpico.

To be perfectly honest, I think there are a number of people I’d rather see in the England job. There’s absolutely no doubt that England have a collection of some of the finest footballers in the World; technically gifted, committed, hard-working and tactically more astute than many other country’s representatives. So why are they performing consistently awfully for their national team? Don’t give me this rubbish about highly paid players not caring about playing for their country. What absolute tosh. Negative, defensive long ball football is killing the English national team; we don’t even feel we can try and play football against a mickey-mouse team of builders and wine makers.

If Turkey don’t hammer us on Wednesday it will only be because we bore them to death.

Oh, and Clive Tyldsley is a twat.

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