England need revitalising ahead of Slovenia clash

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
joe cole

Is it time for Fabio Capello to call on Joe Cole? (Photo: Ryu Voelkel)

England are in desperate need of drastic revitalisation to save this thoroughly miserable World Cup campaign.

Another inept performance was greeted by a chorus of boos from travelling fans, a reaction which struck a nerve with Wayne Rooney.

The airing of the supporters’ disapproval was warranted if slightly ill-advised, but yesterday they saw a passionless England lack any passing rhythm, devoid of creativity.

Whether the English camp took the threat that Algeria posed lightly is a matter for debate. The African nation, ranked 22 places below England, were clearly more stubborn than Fabio Capello had anticipated with the Italian lacking any viable back-up plan.

Joe Cole remained firmly rooted to the bench while England’s players floundered on the pitch. Capello opted to utilise Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jermaine Defoe and Peter Crouch ahead of the creative Chelsea midfielder.

David James did, however, manage to quell the goalkeeping debate and looks set to remain as number one for the Slovenia game.

Is this squad crippled by pressure and expectation? This is a group of players who collectively could fill a room with medals yet appear clueless when on a pitch together.

So far at this tournament England have plummeted to new unforeseen lows and now face a vital match against Slovenia on Wednesday where only a victory will guarantee qualification for the last 16.

Questions will be raised should England fail to navigate their way to the second round. A more-than-competent qualifying run saw Capello’s side canter to South Africa.

But when it comes to the crunch, and in front of the judgemental eyes of world football and Franz Beckenbaur, the England team crumble.

It is not because of a lack of individual ability, it is down to a mindset which breeds failure.


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