Friday, September 07, 2007

Another international weekend: Another snoozefest?

So this weekend England take on Israel at Wembley in the oh so important European Championship qualifier, victory will give the Three Lions confidence that they can progress further to the finals, but failure to win could be crucial in the weeks ahead, especially concerning Steve McClaren's future as manager.

The hacks have been circling like vultures waiting for their moment to see-off the former Boro manager. Our so called 'gentlemen of the press' were of course supportive of appointing McClaren, this after Sven Eriksson was fired following a tabloid campaign against the Swede. That episode ended when the News of The World tricked Eriksson into talking about his long term future in a disgraceful fake Sheikh sting.

So what happens if England do not qualify for the Euro Championship Finals? McClaren will be toast, that is all we can confidently predict for now. Then following the appointment of another new manager there will be the usual brief honeymoon period and then the inevitible tiresome tabloid sniping.

Personally I have felt for some time that England have one major problem, scoring goals. Since Shearer retired, England haven't had a world-class centre forward. That is their single biggest problem. There's nothing that managers, past or present, could do about that.

The lack of fire-power down the middle is the main reason that successive recent England teams have struggled to win games and score goals. Imagine what a difference someone like Drogba or Shearer of old would make.

But England do not have a world-class centre forward. Yes we have Rooney, but he is a second striker. No matter, we have to find someone to blame and as ever the tabloid press single out the manager. It was ever thus.

No doubting I'll be watching bits of the England game with tv remote control in my hand. Give me the Premier League any day rather than the predictable soap-opera like snoozefest that is watching and following England on and off the pitch.

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