Okay, maybe the lack of Arsenal matches over the last couple of weeks has made me slightly insane but after beating Andorra there are a few things that are obvious.
We all know McClaren is more of a PR man than an actual manager. Don’t get me wrong, while he probably isn’t the best coach out their he is a capable number two which was most evident when he help Alex Ferguson and Manchester United win the treble in 1999. And while I don’t think McClaren is good enough to be England manager it’s not his fault the FA are completely useless and can’t find a decent manager.
It’s obvious he only cares about being liked by the public and the players – hence all the PR rubbish over the last few weeks and the insistence on playing players on reputation instead of form. Rooney and Lampard in particular should have been dropped several games ago.
But despite McClaren’s inept ability to manage England it’s obvious the problems lie with the players on the pitch representing our country.
English players are average.
And when you put them all together then all you have is an average team.
Technically the Italians, Brazilians, Germans and French are on another level. And the main reason is because these countries have talent playing all over the world in different leagues – we don’t.
With the exception of Owen Hargreaves (who is apparently ‘English’) and the exiled David Beckham, England have no talent overseas.
How can you have a completely rounded team (and squad) that all ply their trade in the same league?
It’s not the foreigners in the Premiership that is the problem, it’s the lack of ambition (or is it fear?) to play in another country.
For Brazil, you have Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Gilberto, Emerson – and most of the squad in fact – that play abroad. The French also have Henry, Makalele, Vieira, Zidane (now retired), Anelka, Thuram and others also play in overseas leagues.
The media over-hype these players beyond belief – whether it’s to promote the latest football boot or god forbid, a new book – and the problem is we all believe now that England are world beaters.
But the only time our country looked like winning anything was way back in 1996 under Terry Venables.
Now I’m not a fan of Sven, but he did win things with Roma, Benfica, Sampdoria and Lazio, as well as a European Cup final against AC Milan with Benfica.
So if a manager with that success can’t do things with England, then how is a man who has only won the Carling Cup going to do better?
Or maybe the bigger question is can any manager actually lead this England team to any success?