It took a couple of days of sharpening but the knives are finally out for the under performing England stars. Harry Redknapp’s latest claim of reticence for Internationally picked stars to play for the National team has provoked media induced outrage but it is hardly surprising.
The English Premier League rockets ahead of international football in terms of kudos and wealth for the majority of football fans in the United Kingdom. Quite simply the EPL has it all and for many fans club comes first. So why should it be any different for the players?
Personally I think the World Cup is the pinnacle of all football but not everyone shares this sentiment.
As soon as one of the home nations under perform, whether it be England performing at tournaments or the other nations not even qualifying the old club vs country debate is reignited as the major cause.
And yet nothing ever happens as soon as the season kicks off a international football is put on the back burner.
In regards to England’s performance in my opinion they were unlucky not to get two draws but you cannot argue with the results. In many ways they were like a boxer trading well until the championship rounds but then getting knocked out at the end. Sure they did well in parts but they were still on their arse and counted out of the match and ultimately the tournament. Everyone knew that Luis Suarez was going to be the difference between the teams so the defence has very little excuse for their apparent dereliction of Suarez duty. Similarly in against Italy, Pirlo and Balotelli were the recognised danger men and both contributed to their goals.
Next up is Costa Rica who, on Friday’s match showing may leave England pointless and distraught. In many Los Ticos played the way England should have : built on a solid defence and fast counter attacking strikers together with a talented but limited midfield. Costa Rica do not have a Rooney or Gerrard but as a unit they are very organised and impressive.
I would have honestly liked to have seen the English go through-mainly because I would have seen them in Recife rather than Costa Rica or Italy again- but England simply did not deserve qualify for the next round.
For the first time ever the English team will be home before this and many more Scotsmen at the World Cup.