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I have been holding back posting... I think I am not the only one !

Anyway I have mentally prepared myself now, England will not be at the next major international championship, in a group, to be honest they should have walked.

What gets me is the excuses... last time we did not make it, it was the European Football ban was the fault... this time it is going to be too much football, or more likely too many players from abraod in the EPL...

we have debated the influx of foreign players in our league before and I think it is a rubbish excuse. We have either the best English squad for a long time ( I believe this is true) or are we being arogant? Is in fact, Lampard, Rooney, JT, Cole, Gerrard, Cole, Bridge, Richards, Ferdinand, etc etc etc.... Crap, not world class at all dont deserve their enromous salaries

..or is it, international football just isn't EPL football and we dont adjust our game accordingly?

they will make McClown a scapegoat of course and he will take it no doubt, personally I find that a little unfair but he must take some of the blame of course.

Just some frustrated thoughts

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I really don't understand all this crap about too many foreigners. As you point out, we have a pretty good squad of players who mostly play at the highest level in Europe. Certainly at a higher level than international football.

Any good young English talent will make it through. Just look at Rooney, Walcott, Richards to name three.

I'd be a lot more concerned about the lack of good English managers to be honest.

The current England squad is certainly good enough to compete with the top international sides provided they have a decent coach in charge of the team. Ericsson showed that. To go on and actually win a tournament we would need a coach who has that little bit extra. The bit that makes the difference between winning and losing on penalties in the quarter finals.

Coaches like:








And, of course, a bit of luck at the right time.

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I think the whole "foreign" argument is a load of reactionary bollocks to be honest.

The kids you are producing in England are no longer players who are merely hard-working and put in a shift and that's about it really. The next generation includes Walcott, Rooney, Micah Richards- three players capable of being the very best in the world in their position. Do you think any other team- other than Brazil 1970, and even then Cruyff was around so no- could lay claim to having potentially the world's best winger, striker, and centre-back in the same team?

A lot of you will inevitably have a go at me because I'm not English and I dislike international football. Nevertheless, as an outsider all I can see is a bunch of players that simply don't give a f**k.

This is a group of players that to me don't have any confidence in themselves as a unit. They don't want to play for England because it messes with their club schedule. They look at Lampard, Beckham and James and then realise one bad performance in an England shirt gives them a bad reputation and slaughtering in the media that could potentially affect their careers. Take away the fact that it's England- would you want to play for a club like that?

Of the first-team, Terry is probably the only player that enjoys his England place. On England duty I can't help but get the impression Lampard and Gerrard are dreaming of Cobham and Melwood rather than training with their England 'mates'. The players are under immense pressure from their clubs and clubs' fans to perform, not get injured etc. It's not exactly an environment conducive to success, is it?

Four or five years ago, no Australian footballer worth his salt overseas wanted anything to do with the Socceroos. Two years, we even had Kewell, Viduka and Cahill rushing back from injury to play in the World Cup. Australian football had a renaissance, and the enthusiasm and will to play were there. Fast forward two years to the Asia Cup, the hype has died down. We (under) performed just like England has, simply because our stars don't want to risk anything, constantly aware about the threat to their club career if they got injured.

The people in the England FA have to realise this reality and take a long, hard look at themselves. Notice that the best players for England are usually debutants or low-profile inclusions, who have little expectation and boundless enthusiasm. Maybe they can do what we're trying in Australia- make stars play for their places. Play lesser-known players against micky-mouse teams. England has the depth, has the talent to do so much more, but it's up to the England fans and FA to somehow make it a source of pride to play for England again.

PS: Come on Russia! Come on Russia!

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Ethical & Sydney. Absolutely spot on.

It's not a problem of not having "quality players", rather having a Muppet as manager, AND having a couple of those "quality players" concerned about the budget of their wife's Mastercards being exceeded while they're doing very important things like....ermm...shop. And shop. And a bit of sightseeing of pithoresque Germany/Portugal/Japan. And then shop a little more while posing for The Sun.

Again, I'll make Ethical's my own words. Rooney, Lampard, Terry....etc...aren't these world class players ? FFS.

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I wouldn't say that they don't give a f*ck- I think a lot of the regulars may be very jaded from it, from the hype around it and it will have got to their heads- why do you think the new players look happier than lamps, gerrard, rooney etc?

also the management has been bad- erkisson never really got it together like it was hoped he would (though it wasn't a totaly disaster), and mcclaren has proved to be what he is- a mid table manager who looks uncomfortable with the way international football works and the media requirements it needs...

one thing that needs to be cleared up is the concept of the "level of international football"- there is no such thing- the late stages of the CL are higher quality football... international football is about how quickly you can get a set of players who rarely play or train together to look like a cohesive unit, and whether a belief can be instilled in the group that becomes something that can be self ...looking for the right word...maintained / contained / perpetuated... um, yes.

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Well here's the team: Carson; Richards, Campbell, Lescott, Bridge; Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, J Cole; Owen, Crouch.

On paper that sounds like a winning team (if terry was there it'd be better). I think the huge problem with england is they just can't work together. One day they have to play with each other, the next in a cup final. It's not entirely McClaren's fault because Sven wasn't the greatest coach either. And Beckham getting his 100 caps is just rediculous now. Why should he be played if all he does is free kicks, yes sometimes they get goals, but he can't tackle opponents. I have a strong feeling that russia will beat israel. Kerzhakov is blasting England every opportunity he can and i think he'd love to see england fail to qualify.

But even if England do qualify, would they realistically win it!?

(GERMANY! joy.gif )

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I think there are other reasons to the ones here.

For many supporters it really is club not country so I don't think the support is there as it used to be. I also think after 40 years of winning nothing internationally fans are jaded with the ebb and flow of hope and disappointment, it's almost not worth supporting England as you just know they are going to fall at the final hurdles somewhere towards quarters and semis. And the lack of support definitely gets felt out on the pitch.

I also think someone else suggested this, the fear of injury definitely demotivates players.

Also, we are missing a Gazza type of person on the pitch. Someone who cares so much that they put all their passion into playing for England, or a Stuart Pierce. Don't get me wrong, players like Lamps, Terry, Gerrard etc play adequately for England but I do not believe they feel the passion that past players felt. Players have to truly LOVE playing for their country and I don't think we have any that do that.

A big mistake was having Erikson. How can a non English manager really really fire up the players for their country? McClaren is wrong. I agree English managers are few and far between these days, maybe we need to groom an ex player to learn to manage the country's side. Someone who was not a club manager. Just a thought.

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I think the EPL players need to play less games in a season and there needs to be

a Christmas break so that the international games can be played without so much conflict

with the Premiership. How long will it be before the FA does something .....


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they'll probally do something when there good old friend Gerrard says "im too tired"

but really, you'd think the FA would get the hint when all these managers come out and say that the schedule is ridiculous. Also, with so many games at once, players are more prone to injury and fatigue.

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