English fans and critics are calling for changes to the national team after two lackluster performances.
Steve McManaman: “Everyone was just deeply frustrated, wasn’t it? We’re all trying to put our finger on it, why everyone is, why everything has gone wrong at the moment. And nobody knows the answer…” (ESPN)
Add the English football team to the ranks of the frustrated and underachieving, after ties with the United States and Algeria.
Now, with one game remaining against Slovenia, coach Fabio Capello is hearing boos from English football fans, and is getting advice on what to do with the team from former players and coaches.
We’re analyzing what has happened to England from ESPN, The Sunday Mirror, South Africa’s Independent Online, and Sky News sports.
How much dissatisfaction is there? The Sunday Mirror reports, South African authorities arrested English fan Pavlos Joseph after he barged in on the team to berate them after the nil-nil draw with Algeria: “Mortgage advisor Pavlos Joseph stumbles into dressing room while looking for toilet and reads stunned team the riot act … [and tells] the multi-millionaire failures: ‘You are a disgrace.’”
After the game, striker Wayne Rooney lashed out at the fans…fans who have been loudly booing their national team: “Nice to see the home fans boo ya. Thanks for really supporting us.” (BBC)
But maybe he brought it on himself.
Going into the game against Algeria, Rooney said his team wouldn’t need to be at its best to beat the Algerians. Algerian striker Ryad Boudebouz told South Africa’s Independent Online, that made a tie, rewarding: “It’s true that getting a draw made us particularly happy because of the way the English under-estimated us with their comments in the media in the run-up to the match.”
Former England international Steve McManaman tells ESPN, the players are under a lot of pressure, but that’s no excuse: “You can’t just blame the pressure of playing for England. That’s counted. That’s been there forever. But they need to improve, because if they do find a way to beat Slovenia, which is not a given at the moment, and progress, they could meet a Germany or Serbia or a Ghana the way their group is fluctuating at the moment, and that’s going to be a really important game.”
And Slovenia is well aware of the pressure facing the English team. The team’s goalkeeper tells Sky Sports, England is in a slumber: “I hope England do not wake up against us… England have some big names in their squad, but in their first two matches they showed they weren’t superior to their rivals in the group.”
So what do think is wrong with England in the World Cup? And will they snap out of it in time to advance?
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