26 November 2007

Waiting-too-long-to-post news

Between travel and Thanksgiving, my post about England, Russia, Israel, and Croatia is pretty much entirely moot now. England only needed a draw against Croatia (who had already qualified) at home to make it to Euro 2008. They couldn't do it, McClaren got fired, and now no one wants the job.

I have to say, I'm not surprised by any of this. England lucked out that Israel won on Saturday to keep them alive this long. They lost to too many teams (and too many bad teams) along the way for me to say they deserved to qualify. At some point, being a big name doesn't get you anywhere, and they reached that point. McClaren didn't have any ideas that Sven didn't have earlier -- by the end, they were still trying to play Gerrard, Lampard, and Beckham all in the same midfield. Like, weren't they trying this before? And didn't it fail horribly then? They're just out of ideas, and chose to bring someone in who would just do more of the same. I don't know how anyone's surprised that they didn't qualify. (And yeah, injuries and all that. Wouldn't have made a difference if they'd done what they needed to earlier.)

And I really can't blame anyone for not wanting the England job, either. The media and the public think you've got a better squad than you do (Paul Robinson, starting keeper. Honestly.), you'll be blamed for absolutely everything, and anything less than winning the World Cup is a failure. I understand having high standards and all, but really, shouldn't the team be able to qualify consistently (and well) before they worry about winning anything? O'Neill's apparently ruled himself out, and I wasn't horribly thrilled with the idea of him regardless, so what the hell. Mourinho for England. Most of those players need their egos taken down a step or two, he'd be more interesting at press conferences than McClaren, and they might stand a chance of making it to the World Cup. (Yes, I know, easy qualifying group. Didn't they say that about Euro 2008?) Based on sheer entertainment value, I'm backing Mourinho. Not that the FA listens to me, but at least I make more sense than Brian Barwick.

No comments: