Sunday, July 04, 2010

England Revisited

"Makes you feel better about England," said the person on my left as Klose volleyed in Germany's fourth goal. "Puts the England result into perspective," came the text a few seconds later. "That's just what I was writing to Heiko," said John, looking up from his phone. "And if that goal had been given, who knows?"

It took Joe Cole to put things clearly: "It wasn't just the Germany game. Over the course of the tournament we looked a long way behind the other top nations and when it came to the crunch, the best side won. People will talk about the decision not to allow Frank Lampard's goal, but it was plain and simple to see that we just weren't good enough.

Almost every team I have played for – including England – always want to hit the front players as early as possible. You won't get away with that at international level. It's about technique, keeping control of the ball, passing and moving. We seem to abandon good technique because we are obsessed with getting the ball from back to front as quickly as possible. That doesn't work against top teams."

As England's tournament showed, it doesn't always work against the bottom ones either. In fact, the only thing this World Cup has put into perspective is my theory that a talented team of players doesn't really need a great coach to win the competition. Between them, Dunga and Diego put paid to that one.

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