Stop the Excuses – We Should Have Buried Russia


Well, the game was just about won yesterday in Moscow. But England were told at half time to defend at all costs and hang onto the lead.

That was their downfall and if we had kept playing like in the first half, we could and should have buried Russia yesterday.

It was down to not having enough confidence in our boys, who after all, are very good players. Is it time for McClaren to go? He should never have been appointed in the first place.

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England Manager Steve McClaren – a victim of his own negative tactics

Talking after the England defeat to Russia on BBC TV yesterday Alan Shearer said:

“We should qualify from this group with the players we have and it looks doubtful now.”

“I’m not saying he (McClaren) should go now, we still have to play Croatia. But if we don’t qualify, which looks unlikely, England should make a change.”

Steve McClaren has tried to blame Spanish referee Luis Medina Cantalejo for the “disgraceful” decision that helped England to be close to humiliating failure to reach Europe 2008. But that’s just an excuse and if Steve had shown more courage by not trying to hang on in the second half we wouldn’t’ now be in this position.

We cannot help but think of the world cup last year when we were 1-0 up in the first half against Paraguay, not exactly a world force in football. But after the goal we hung on, where’s the confidence, where’s the pride. The same happened in Moscow yesterday – we could have buried Russia.

McClaren, who should never have been appointed England manager in the first place, admitted after the game:

“We had the goal, we just had to sit on it and defend”.

But his negative tactics at the start of the second-half to hold out with a ‘backs to the wall’ battle plan was ridiculous. Where’s the confidence in the England team, we have some of the best players in the world. But if we go out to defend guess what? The other team will attack and create chances which is what happened in the second half.

The fact it came from a penalty was Wayne Rooney’s fault. Let’s not make excuses and blame anyone around for the disaster. It was of England’s making, let s be clear about that. But not Steve McClaren.

Steve McClaren said:

“It is an absolute disgrace.”“We were comfortable, and they were running out of ideas. If that penalty had not been awarded, I am absolutely confident we would have won the game. We were in total control.”

“I am not blaming anybody – but the penalty was given by a referee in a bad position because it was outside the box.

“I don’t fault the players; I don’t fault their attitude; I don’t fault their endeavor – and I don’t fault what they did in the game.”

“Because of one decision, we went from being in a winning position to losing.”

No, but we fault your tactics and excuses. Isn’t it about time we stopped making excuses for our defeats and be more truthful. At least that will clear the air. It’s also about time we had more faith in the side and not tell them to defend at all costs once we take the lead in a game.

Maybe we could have won the game 3-0 yesterday. With a more positive manager and somebody who is used to success we could have easily buried Russia.  They were there for the taking.

Hey, what’s Jose Mourinho’s telephone number these days 😀

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21 comments so far

  • ToonKing

    Oct 18, 2007 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #1

    McLaren can say whatever he wants, England were terrible yesterday, absolutely horrific, they did not deserve to win or even draw. Why on earth did McMuppet play Owen, when nobody was giving him the ball and he was left stranded alone upfront. His anti-tactics of putting 10 men behind the ball is laughable, any of us can do that for gods sake. McL-arse-n’s tactics are like this : i put the best known players out there and if they manager to get a lucky goal then we sit back and hope for the best…………shite come on……

    It was a terrible performance and England deserves to miss the Euro
    McTosser has got to go and the squad needs a complete overhaul, at least Owen will get a summer off to spend with his horses.

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  • Bill f

    Oct 18, 2007 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #2

    I’d like to know why Rooney was even back in the penalty area, (or near it) I’ve no problem with attackers helping out but it shouldn’t have been necessary if some b*lls had been shown. Please don’t let us have Owen doing it against Tottenham, goalscorers score, defenders defend, it aint rocket science.

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Oct 18, 2007 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #3

    anyway lets look ahead to Monday thinking about England probably not going to qualify for the Euros hurts too much, the team to play spurs Given – Beye, Rozy, Cacapa, Enrique – Milner, Emre, Faye, Nzog – Martins, Viduka (Harper, Taylor, Butt, Geremi, Owen)

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Oct 18, 2007 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #4

    is there any way like the best 3rd place or anything can get through or is it just the top 2?

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  • Toon Chicken

    Oct 18, 2007 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #5

    Jus top 2 – cockney mag.

    We have to rely on our old friends Israel now – bet they can’t wait to do us a favour, not!

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  • Bill f

    Oct 18, 2007 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #6

    Hi Hammy, just read your earlier reply, I don’t seriously expect you to name a championship 11. Personally I wouldn’t know where to start as I don’t see many games in the championship. As for the other side I’ve done a bit of ghost hunting etc. we should have a chat sometime.

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Oct 18, 2007 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #7

    Or Macadonia they can help and they were tough to play away.

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  • Bill f

    Oct 18, 2007 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #8

    Time to go I have to practise my Eastern healing arts on a client, my offer to Sam stands 🙂

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  • Hammy

    Oct 18, 2007 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #9

    To quote Steve:

    “I don’t fault the players; I don’t fault their attitude; I don’t fault their endeavor – and I don’t fault what they did in the game.”

    I would however ask:

    How has the FA and their f***cing cronies managed to turn one of Englands potentially best squads ever, into a bunch of hapless, hopeless headless chickens?
    Is this the end product of soccer acadamies and mega bucks sponsership?
    if so I’d like to back to kicking ball around a park and knocking tin cans over,
    at least that was enjoyable.

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Oct 18, 2007 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #10

    Just been thinking about it and Croatia and Russia are both playing away at pretty tough places to go and play, and all we need is Macedonia to win or Israel to get at least a Draw, it is not as bad as i thought at first although it aint nice that or fate is not in our hands but at least they arent against estonia and andorra!!

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Oct 18, 2007 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #11

    but then obviously we have to go a beat croatia stil

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  • Berks via Gateshead

    Oct 18, 2007 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #12

    The sooner we stop expecting the National team to do well the better off we’ll all be. This fallacy that we have ‘World Class Players’ is patently not true. World class defines performance – not ego or salary as is the case with our lot. It’s propogated by ex-player media pundits like Hansen, Lawrenson, Wright and (God) Shearer. Funnily, ex-players tend to stick up for other players and criticise managers.
    How many coaches have we disposed of – 6 in the last 17 years? Were they all hopeless? They’ve all been labelled as such. The player-pundits mentioned above despised Eriksson, but he’s hardly doing a poor job at City is he?
    We are an above-average national team with a exceptional league structure, propped up by high-quality managers and foreign players.

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  • Ed Harrison

    Oct 18, 2007 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #13

    Berks – you could be right.

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  • leo

    Oct 18, 2007 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #14

    such a bore i felt like starting my dissertation yesterday!!!!

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  • Jerry

    Oct 18, 2007 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #15

    Ed I wish you applied the same attitude, criticisms and yardsticks to Sam Allardyce.

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  • ChrisL

    Oct 18, 2007 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #16

    Ed, Keegan was a more positive manager for England, but it just didn’t work. It’s more about finding the right level of aggressiveness/negativity at the right times. SMc failed with that last night.

    Sven starts to look a little better in this new light does he not?

    Jose hardly gets his teams playing adventurous footy either (but I’d be well happy with him).

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  • Alex

    Oct 18, 2007 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #17

    Once the qualifiers are over and England have failed to reach the finals, then the search will start to find mclarens replacment.I am starting to get a bad feeling about this guys.just think, end of the season we have finished in a CL place the fa maybe looking for an English manager and Big Sam has finished the season as the highest placed of all the English managers.It would be Typical Newcastle United everything looking good again then something puts a stop to it all.

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  • Bill f

    Oct 18, 2007 at 9:07 PM

    Comment #18

    Caption attempt.

    Steve pondering. Now if I get the push, then Sam may get the job, that means there be just be a vacancy………………MMMMMMMMM.

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  • Bill f

    Oct 18, 2007 at 9:10 PM

    Comment #19

    Poor grammar again, but you get the idea.

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  • Bobby Ollox

    Oct 18, 2007 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #20

    couldnt give a flying f*ck – the only thing is that certain England players in the Toon squad might feel the draught of another door to honours closing in their face, and get restless to go a club where they stand a chane of winning something……

    written from the waiting lounge of RDU airport – thank you IBM……

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  • Dragoner

    Oct 18, 2007 at 10:54 PM

    Comment #21

    i cant believe that IDIOT of a manager has the cheek to blame it on the penalty decision! what an A***HOLE! he is, never mind Rooneys offside goal, never mind poor performance and tactics, never mind Rooney committing a ridiculous foul in the first place, lets just blame someone else, i dont think McClaren has ANY idea what he is doing, he doesn’t even pick his own squad, he just waits for the tabloids to write something then he simply follows what they say, D***HEAD!

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