Who's To Blame For England's Failures In International Football?
The English national team goes into every major competition with high expectations, however they always seem to disappoint. Despite having many of the biggest names in football, names like: Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard, Beckham and Owen, they consistently fail to achieve any success in international competition. English fans are left wondering who to blame for such a poor showing at major international tournaments. do you blame the players or the coach, who is at fault?
Back in 1998, at the World Cup in France, fans blamed David Beckham for getting sent off in a quarter-final match vs Argentina after kicking at Diego Simeone. England went on to lose the match on penalties, and were eliminated from the tournament. The English press printed headlines such as "10 Heroic Lions, One Stupid Boy". Beckham certainly showed a lack of maturity when he kicked out at the Argentine player, however the controversial sending off seemed like the wrong decision, in light of the fact that Beckham barely made contact with the other player. It might be fair to say that fans could just as easily have blamed the referee for this incident.
In the next World Cup in 2002, there was no doubt who was to blame for England's early departure, goalkeeper David Seaman allowed Ronaldinho to score a shocking goal on a free kick from 35 meters out. With the score tied 1-1, England looked to be in a great position to pull out a victory, but that all changed when Brazil was awarded a free kick early in the second half. Ronaldinho sent in a twisting shot at the top corner, and Seaman was caught out of position, a goal that should probably have been saved. Despite Ronaldinho being sent off just moments later, Brazil was able to hold onto their lead with only 10 men, and handing England another early exit in The World Cup.
In 2004, at the European Championships, England appeared to be on top form, getting great play from young players like Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard. This England team was certainly the most impressive in recent years, however their downfall was likely due to poor coaching from Sven-Goran Eriksson. The questionable selection of youngster Theo Walcott raised a lot of eyebrows, and in the end Walcott was never given a chance to play. Many fans felt that Walcott was taking up a spot on the roster that could have been filled by a veteran player that would have actually seen playing time. When the English were eliminated by Portugal in the quarter-finals, it had appeared the Eriksson shut down the offense with his team leading 1-0 in the second half, with England sitting back, the Portuguese were able to tie the match, then went ahead in extra time. Frank Lampard managed to send the game to penalties, however Portugal went on to win, eliminating the shell shocked English once again.
Since 2004, England's football team has been in complete shambles, Wayne Rooney has been the scapegoat in both World Cup 2006, when he was sent off after a heated dispute with Manchester United teammate Christiano Ronaldo, and then he followed that up with an uninspiring performance in 2010 in South Africa. Their failure to qualify for the European Championships in 2008 seemed to a a group effort, or lack thereof.
In early 2012, English football looked to be in good shape, coach Fabio Capello seemed to have righted the ship, easily qualifying for the Euros and establishing the most winning record of any England manager in the process. In February, 2012, everything fell apart for England's football squad, The English F.A., announced that they were stripping John Terry of the captain's arm band over an accusation that Terry made racist remarks in a match vs QPR back in October. Terry has not yet been found guilty of any wrongdoing, and originally the F.A. had decide to allow the courts to make a decision before taking action, however when the trial was delayed until July, they decided to act as if Terry was guilty until proven innocent.
The decision to remove John Terry as captain did not sit well with manager Fabio Capello, who openly criticized the decision in the media. When the English F.A. summoned Capello to a meeting, and scolded him for his remarks, Fabio had heard enough, and he offered his resignation. Now just a few months away from the European Championships, England is without a coach, and without a captain, all due to the arrogance of their governing body.
In light of how they treated Capello, their most successful coach in history, who in their right mind would accept a job with such an employer? Fans and players have already suggested that Harry Redknapp is the best man for the job, but Redknapp has already said he intends to finish this season with Spurs, and will not consider the job until after the season ends. This leaves England in a complete state of disarray, all over an alleged remark that may or may not have actually been made. The English F.A. have horribly mismanaged the situation, by taking no action at the time of the alleged incident, and then deciding that Terry is not fit to represent England as their captain, but suitable to remain as a player. They abandoned the idea that he is innocent until proven guilty, and they refused to stand behind their captain, setting a poor example to the rest of the team. Any failure at this years Euros, will have people pointing fingers at England's Football Association.