In the build up to the England v Israel game last week, I read various articles suggesting reasons why England could be under performing in major tournaments, and in all other matches.
Most of the articles were by fans of one of the top 4 teams, and most placed the blame on teams like Pompey. So, I decided to have a look at just what they were complaining at. The article that really annoyed me was on a Manchester United fans site, that targeted Pompey as some of the major culprits, and I really can’t see why.
The first point brought up said that players such as Traore and Benjani should not play in the English leagues, as surely there are better English players. I would agree to this. There are better English left backs than Traore. I would take Ashley Cole, over him any day, but unfortunately, he is taken. Benjani is similar; there are many good English forwards. Michael Owen for example, and I wouldn’t mind that Wayne Rooney either, but apart from them, it seems hard to sacrifice Benjani’s pace and effort for a few more goals (which I believe he will get this season anyway) and a bit more skill. But other than the two mentioned, I can’t really think of many English strikers I would prefer.
Our whole squad has also largely been questioned as to how English it is. Sure, we brought in a fair amount of African players over the summer, but we do still have a fair number of British ones.
Our all-English back 5 (jamo, Johnson, primus, Campbell and Cranie) are one of the best, when on form (only one change from last seasons that did so well, with Cranie – a young English talent coming in for Stefanovic, big improvement). Yes, you could say Cranie hasn’t played much, but I would like to see him play more.
Our midfield can also go for a ¾ British look, with Taylor, Davis and Hughes (Scottish) playing – and they are all good enough to play in the Premiership, even if they aren’t necessarily in our starting XI. And if there is any doubt why Davis and Hughes aren’t, you just need to look at our other players there to see why.
Our forwards could equally be ½ English, as we have David Nugent who can play there. Yes, I know this is just reminding Pompey fans of our squad, but we must make sure everyone knows, so they don’t try to tell us we are the reason England aren’t doing to well.
And to round it off, the articles were all trying to make excuses as to why England weren’t performing. And then, we beat both Israel and Russia 3-0, and with a many less players from the top 4 sides. Does this suggest that in actual fact, it is the larger clubs that are the reason for England’s apparent (although on recent form, doubtable) decline?
To further the point, the Vital Liverpool site are running a poll – what should come first, club or country – and 83% of there fans were all going for club. It is that attitude, that reflects on their players, who then don’t put their effort into the national game, that caused England’s defeat to Croatia, and draw with Macedonia. Remove some of those players, and add those who really care about playing for England (Heskey and Barry come to mind) and suddenly, England put 3 goals past a side who had only previously conceded 1.
So my solution to England’s problems: Taylor for England!
Written by pompeycarpet.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.
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