Big Words

Steve McClaren

I’ve just checked the BBC Sport website, and once again I read about another dismal performance from the England team (Israel 0-0 England).

Before I continue this rant, I should state that I haven’t seen the game against Israel, or watched many of the previous games under McClaren. Obviously I’m not helped by being in the US where football is hardly considered top drawer entertainment. Then again, I have absolutely no motivation to try and find a bar that may show the game given the teams performances during and since the World Cup have hardly been inspiring.

However, I still find myself incredibly incensed by both the results the team seem to be getting, the (second-rate) management of the team, and the fact that we are in this situation thanks once again to the poor stewardship of the Football Association.

Missed Opportunity

As I understand it, last year (when I was again here in the States), upon the news that Sven Goran Erikson would step down from the role of managing the England team, there was an incredible amount of pressure on the FA to announce his successor.

The FA actually seemed to be on the right track, and found itself in the privileged position to be having successful talks with ‘Big Phil’ Scolari. According to the rumours, these were so successful that he was willing to take the England job, but only after the World Cup, and the end of his contract with Portugal, which was an entirely fair position to take.

Of course, the FA buckled under the typical undue pressure from the English press who wanted a name, and wanted it now. Accordingly, the FA reverted to tradition and picked a seemingly talented, but unproven English domestic league manager, with very little success to his name.

That man was Steve McClaren.

Since he took the helm, I have quickly been lost faith in his ability to actually manage a team of football players. His big talk at press conferences, before games, and after dismal performances just makes a bad situation worse, and really gets under my skin actually. It speaks of a man who doesn’t really understand the problems that need to be tackled.

Once again we have a man that is all talk, no action (can you say Kevin Keegan?).

So here’s my prediction. England won’t qualify for Euro 2008. McClaren will be given a vegetable related nickname by the Sun (my vote is for ‘Cabbage’), before being sacked (by which time it’s too late). Oh, and of course the English press will be saying that we should never have gotten rid of Sven (even though were the ones the ousted him) in the first place.

But lets not just focus on the individual here. Yes, Steve McClaren is not up to the job of international management. However, much like the Home Office, the FA (in my opinion) is not fit for purpose, and the press have only themselves to blame for the situation we find ourselves in today.

Frankly, there seems to be nothing left in this game that makes me want to watch it anymore.


See the discussion on this article

5 remarks contributed

Related Posts

  • Winning the World Cup Would Be the Worst Thing to Happen to English Football

    Winning this year’s World Cup in South Africa would see a nation collectively paper over the cracks fast appearing in our national game, and delay the radical reform desperately needed in the sport.

  • Look How Far We’ve Come

    As I write these thoughts in early July 2004, still mourning the defeat against Portugal in a Euro 2004 Quarter Final, I realise the England team has come a long way in the last 4 years.

  • Looking Back on UEFA Euro 2004

    Many pundits were suggesting that Euro 2004 was our best chance of winning at international tournament since Italia ‘90, and who would have doubted them.