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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:48 am

Don't blame this loss on our players. They were just following the orders of useless boss Eriksson.

Do not pin this debacle on our players

3rd July 2006

One for the future: Aaron Lennon, aged 19, cut open a Portugal defence anchored by Ricardo Carvalho on several occasions and could be a key man in 2006

Ex-England star Jamie Redknapp picks through the bones of England's World Cup exit... and lays the blame firmly at the door of Sven Goran Eriksson.

Blame the boss

England should have played with freedom, instead they played with fear. What have we got out of Sven Goran Eriksson's reign, apart from another missed opportunity?

Even watching him on the touchline was a cause of great irritation. He was always last to move when the rest were off the bench anticipating a chance. He just didn't see the game quickly, a fact that was reflected by his use of substitutions.

Because of Eriksson, England simply haven't played in this tournament. It's a great shame because I do believe that we have a terrific group of players, but they have been in the wrong hands.

They are players used to dealing with managers of the calibre of Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson.

France came into the World Cup in a state of disarray, with a demand for their coach Raymond Domenech to change his tactics, because their system doesn't get the best out of Thierry Henry.

He has stuck with those tactics and Henry scored the winner that beat Brazil.

People say that Eriksson had no plan B, but I still haven't seen his plan A.

The France squad has five strikers; Henry, Trezeguet, Saha, Govou and Wiltord. England had Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney, both with injury doubts, and Peter Crouch.

The decision to take Theo Walcott was shocking. What was Eriksson thinking and should Arsene Wenger have encouraged it?

I hope he doesn't regret that. I've trained with Theo and he will become a special player, he's an outstanding hope for the future. But to take a player to a World Cup when you haven't seen him play was irresponsible.

England are out because they didn't take enough cover in attack. Eriksson, an experienced man, didn't have enough options.

With Rooney suspended, what would have happened if England had reached the last four, leaving them with Crouch and Walcott?

His tactics were wrong, he couldn't get the best of star players like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and he didn't once convince me that he could change a game with a tactical adjustment.

Remember, this was a Portugal team without their best player, Deco. And still England didn't go for the kill.

I'm glad England are changing coach; they should have gone into the tournament with a new man. Now Eriksson's assistant has the job.

When Gerard Houllier came to Liverpool to work with Roy Evans, we all wondered what he was doing there. He didn't do very much, he didn't say very much, he just watched.

Then he took the job and used the information he'd collected to change the club. We can only hope that McClaren can do the same. He has a lot of work ahead.

Here comes McClaren

Aaron Lennon is a player who could have an important role for the new England coach, a man who starts the qualifying campaign for Euro 2008 without the injured Michael Owen and suspended Wayne Rooney.

Steve McClaren needs to bring something different to the party. He will be anticipating a rough ride because, as Eriksson's No2, he's guilty by association. Steve also seems to prefer keeping it tight.

It was only when Middlesbrough went behind in Europe that they had a go, but let's hope he will adopt a different style when he takes on the best players in the land. He has certainly made an impressive move by asking Terry Venables to join him.

Did you see the way the Portugal players looked towards 'Big Phil' Scolari — it's the contact a group of players have with a manager they love and respect, waiting for his advice or endorsement, hanging on his every word. Terry inspired that reaction from players, too, and this group will benefit from his presence.
The four tops

Four players emerge with enhanced reputations. Rio Ferdinand was England's star, their best player. That's another terrific World Cup for him. He just defended, nothing flash or fancy, with supreme concentration.

Ashley Cole grew as the tournament progressed after recovering from injury, while John Terry delivered a big performance against Portugal.


The Beckham legacy

How much more would David Beckham have given the England team if he had stayed at Manchester United? The move to Real Madrid was great for his status, but professionally it hasn't helped him.

David has never been the quickest, but he was the fittest when he was at United. He would run all game, driving and powering forward, inspired by Sir Alex Ferguson and United's fierce training methods.

I've spoken to players who have played for Real Madrid and the regime doesn't condition them enough. Perhaps that explains why they haven't won a title in three years, while Zinedine Zidane is the only Galactico left in the World Cup.

The players are very powerful, the president wants to be the big noise in the orchestra and the coach can't afford to upset the superstars. It's an unhealthy situation.

David has never been like that, always thriving on hard work and enjoying his training, though he didn't look fully fit in Germany.

That said, he didn't have a bad tournament, with a goal and three assists, but he is England's chief supplier and we scored six goals in five games. That's not enough.

He was right to step down as captain yesterday. New coach, new captain. It was a commendable act.

He has been a good skipper, who had a presence and a respect, living the dream, thriving on the responsibility and achieving an iconic status among the young people in our country.

Kids have the boots, style their hair, take time with their grooming and he has influenced that. He has been a proud captain, it has meant everything to him.

Perhaps he has been too involved in other areas, such as where the team stay, what they wear or even how they play, but that's weak management.

The next challenge for him is to win 100 caps and then try to beat Bobby Moore's outfield record of 108 caps. He'll want that.

My dad, Harry, calls Bobby 'The maestro' and as a World Cup winner he was the ultimate England captain.

David has fallen short of that ambition, but I'm certain we haven't heard the last of him.

Charge of the cheats

You can't beat the cheats, so do you join them?

As sickening as it is to watch, should England embrace the fashion of rolling around and staying down to get a player sent off and to gain an advantage?

I hate it, but it's in too deep now. It's not how I was taught to play, but the game has become infested; the playacting, the gamesmanship. It shouldn't shock us, because we see it every week in the Premiership, but the World Cup has been full of it.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a player who has fallen too easily and has tarnished his ability with his theatrical manner in the past, but I don't agree with making him the scapegoat for England's demise.

Have we seen the last of him? He has been quoted saying he wants to join Real Madrid and may be trying to engineer a transfer, but he didn't influence Wayne Rooney's red card.

He is a terrific player, I hope he stays. We need the best players in our league.

If he does, the next time he plays Rooney in on goal, or sticks one in the top corner himself, all will be forgiven. That's football.

Sadly, just like the cheating.

Rooney is England's Zidane

Watch the way France play, with one striker and Zinedine Zidane as the link with midfield, the playmaker, with everything going through him. They've taken their best player and made him the centrepiece.

England took their best player and asked him to run around like a dog.

I felt Wayne Rooney's red card was harsh but, regardless of my opinion, he gave the referee the opportunity to send him off with his reaction to Ricardo Carvalho's challenge.

It summed up Wayne's frustration at being asked to play in an unfamiliar role — the carthorse job. Rooney was asked to play alone up front, chase after everything, take the kicks and set up his mates.

Wayne wouldn't have complained, he's that sort of kid. Ask him to play left back and he'd have a go. Peter Crouch was better at it when he came on. Why? He plays that position every week.

Rooney should have been one of the five midfielders, the clever link man, facing the goal rather than with his back to it, inviting kicks from Carvalho, who was all over him like a rash.

Rooney plays with fire and aggression and eventually he retaliated.

Meanwhile, Zidane has been the daddy of this World Cup. He took on the Brazilians and played like one of them. If there is one thing Steve McClaren learns, I hope it's that you build your team around your best player.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:03 am

Don't blame this loss on our players. They were just following the orders of useless boss Eriksson.

Did he tell them not to score their penalties? Maybe it's just cos they ain't good enough, never occured to you?

CKA Uber
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:15 am

Typical. :roll: Blame everyone else but yourselves... :roll:

CKA Uber
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:25 am

GreatBriton wrote:
Don't blame this loss on our players.

Why, did someone else play for the English?

Suck it up Buttercup!

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