The Cowardly Three Lions - If They Only Had The Nerve
So. England’s mollycoddled, manicured, pampered millionaires were a little tired and that is why they did not perform in South Africa. Stanco is Italian for ‘tired’. Fabio Capello finally got one thing right – England certainly ‘stanco’. But was it really a long, hard domestic season that put paid to England’s chances of progressing towards the World Cup final or was it something a little closer to home?
At the end, the players looked shocked and tired but not one of them looked devastated and, on the coach afterwards and getting off the plane back home, there looked like a mixture of apathy and irreverence.
Barring injury sustained in South Africa, there is no excuse for not having the fitness. But nothing I have seen appears to be anything other than a blatant lack of desire – it was as if the England players simply didn’t have the nerve to take this any further.
It has been said on more than a few occasions that the Premier League players care more about their Premier League status and Premier Bank accounts than playing for their country. The reactions shown on the pitch and the arrogance of certain non-performing individuals afterwards do little to dispel this. There are some out there who will not pull on the Three Lions again. There are others who don’t deserve to.
England’s dire performances, or should that read lack of performances, in World Cup 2010 will haunt them for a long time.
Some individuals have not necessarily done themselves harm – James Milner provided some half decent crosses, Peter Crouch was offered only a fleeting chance to further enhance his international scoring record so remains blameless for the lack of goals, David James played well and was blameless against Germany although he may decide to hang up his international boots before the next tournament, and David Beckham’s halo is still intact – I wouldn’t be too surprised if, after all this, part of him was quite pleased to have been injured.
Some individuals, whose halo’s were never too straight anyway, have done themselves major damage that will take a while to repair. Robert Green, possibly one of the Premier League’s best, will pray that he does not go the way of Scott Carson, Lampard and Gerrard abjectly failed to prove that they can play together in the same midfield, and Wayne Rooney seems to be believing the hype too much – arrogance towards your peers, fans and country does not endear you to anyone.
Whether Fabio will get the chance to make amends is now up for debate. Who will get that chance from the playing staff is also a major question. The biggest question, though, is who actually has sufficient nerve to try?
Tags: England, Fabio Capello, World Cup, Premier League, Three Lions, James Milner, David James, Wayne Rooney