World Cup amnesty... national
So simple - and exactly how it panned out:
knew that the midfielders - Gerrard and Lampard - always support the forwards
and their midfield would be open. We
knew there would be spaces. Our
objective was to set Terry up with Klose to force him to come out of the
knew the full-backs would be very much to the side, and that would create space
we could penetrate. We
could've been 3-0 up in the first half because we did penetrate them."That was how Germany coach Joachim Low saw it before kick-off on Sunday morning.
So this afternoon's match must have felt like deja vu, having seen it all so clearly beforehand.
knew that we would have to try and tackle the English early on in midfield and
take away any space they would have beyond midfield,'' he added. "We
knew they might become impatient and lose their discipline. We did that
Too true Joachim, too true. That is exactly what we all watched for 90, fairly painful, minutes.
It has been a little mental on the sportsdesk recently, but the fact England lasted less time than my enforced blog break is not good news.
Germany's "inexperienced" side turned into one of great potential before our eyes - England will almost certainly struggle to beat them for the foreseeable future (not that we were beating them regularly anyway).
South Africa 2010 seems to have signalled the end for England's "Golden Generation" - Firstly I don't like that expression; it's misplaced and overhyped. And that's before I start on Emile Heskey's inclusion in such hyperbole.
I always felt England's squad for RSA represented a missed opportunity in some quarters - such as Adam Johnson - and a group of players sorely lacking the necessary form and quality to deliver what many people expected in others - think Gareth Barry, Shaun Wright-Phillips, even Steven Gerrard has been off it a little all season.
Fabio Capello made mistakes, both in those selections before they left Heathrow and then once they arrived in Rustenburg - but the issues run far deeper than with the manager.
What we are left with now - be it with or without Capello - is the problem of who will replace those over the proverbial hill.
The Premier League is home to some of the world's best players. It is not a platform for producing England's next 'generation'.
Soon that penny is going to drop - and that will not be pretty, or enjoyable. Not that the Premier League will care.
If Tom Huddlestone and James Milner are where we go from here, it may be worth getting a few years of practice with those prayer mats that come out before each major tournament.
Because tactically, technically, physically it was far from good enough to compete in South Africa.
And that, rather than (as cricket correspondent Phil Banyard calls him) Fat Frank's disallowed goal, is what will linger in history longest under Wikipedia's England in Fifa World Cup 2010 entry.
posted on 28 June 2010 00:21 byMichael Bailey - Sportsdesk