So, What Do You Suggest Harry?
The dust is now settling on England's world cup campaign, the team returned from Brazil last week to a similar reception to the South African return - to no fans...
I always remember Italia 90, still one of my all time favourite tournaments, not just from an England point of view either, but the reception that time was amazing when they returned beaten semi finalists heroes!
Will we ever see similar again?
Difference between South Africa and Brazil was I still say we HAVE seen England progress, even if we did not make it 'as far' in tournament. So, of course I appreciate why the fans did not mob them but disagree with Harry Redknapp that this was our 'worst squad ever'.
Still plenty of sour grapes from Redknapp I reckon from his overlooking for the job in favour of Roy Hodgson back along methinks!
Then again, some might suggest I have sour grapes against Redknapp...
In terms of 'so-called superstar' names perhaps this squad was lacking to that in South Africa but those world beaters hardly shone 4-years back did they and we can point to some signs, at times, of movement forward for us to be positive about.
We approached games better, overall in the 3 we played performed much better than the 4 we played in South Africa, looked a more united and balanced side with a reason to be optimistic about the time ahead there to be seen.
No doubt Redknapp would have gone with the 'old guard', on top of those we took, and turned to your Terry's, Cole's (Ashley and Joe), Ferdinand's, Carrick's, Crouch's, Defoe's et al, which would have been completely pointless.
Chances are, and he would be right in saying so, we will not win the world cup in 2018, 2022 or any world cup again anytime again but I would be near certain that this tournament will stand most of those that went to Brazil, and will still be there or thereabouts next season, the world of good and Euro 2016 will be a decent tournament for us.
We clearly have some issues in our team, and squad - mainly in defence...
I think that central defence wise we need to look very closely and feel both Cahill and Jagielka got found out to a degree, more so Jagielka who could well lose his place to Everton teammate Stones in the not too distant Three Lions future.
Johnson again showed his quality getting forward but defensively seems to be regressing once again for me with Baines also shown up for his defensive frailties and his attacking threat was ineffective - perhaps against Italy he was not helped too much mind. I think Shaw has to lay down a marker that says 'I am your man for the next decade' to Hodgson; right back I am not so sure as Walker does not convince me either. If he can get some regular football with Arsenal I think Jenkinson might be a good shout, he is a right back right?
Midfield and attack if getting there, the final end product must improve and decision making be better but this will come with experience and more chances, all takes time and a willingness for mistakes to be made and learned from.
Talk about kettle, pot and black though.
I found it incredibly rich for him to talk about 'too many overseas players' in the game - yep, I think we all know there are but steps are being taken to improve this. Lets face it a major culprit for taking this route and NOT giving too many young talent coming through a chance, unless they are ready made for him.
Quite what Redknapp expects us to do to improve things, beyond how we are, I am not sure...
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