Manchester United

From The East Stand …with Bill Harris

Manchester Man - Too Quiet

“What went wrong with England?” is probably the easiest question that I will ever have to answer.

Fabio Cappello is what went wrong, his team selections and tactics were nonsensical, for example:

Wayne Rooney, fit and on-form, is a great player, but leading up to, and during the world cup he was neither fit nor on-form. In every game that he played he was a liability, every ball that came to him simply bounced off to an opposing player.

On the rare occasions he got the ball he invariably passed it to the opposition. He should have been substituted in the first game, and then dropped, or possibly brought on as an impact substitute in the last few minutes. Fabio obviously just kept hoping that Wayne Rooney would come good – BUT the world cup finals is NOT the place for that.

With less than 30 minutes to go, and needing 3 goals to win, who did Fabio turn to? Emile Heskey, who hasn’t scored 3 goals in 30 games never mind 30 minutes. Peter Crouch, a player with a great strike rate for England was left sitting on the bench. (Heskey actually touched the ball twice – and one of those was an accident).

When he first got the job Fabio said that he would ONLY select players who were in-form, injury-free and playing regularly for their clubs, yet he took Gareth Barry, Ledley King, Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey and Joe Cole (among others) all of whom failed to meet one or more of these criteria. To compound his errors when these favoured few didn’t produce the goods he made the worse mistake of persisting with them.

John Terry plays as the left-sided centre back, so he was moved to the right side to accomodate Upson.  This might seem like a small, insignificant change but was the cause of Germany’s second goal.  Terry forgot that he was now playing to the right of centre, and both he an Upson abondoned the middle to go out and cover the left-back, leaving Johnson with the impossible task of covering the middle and his own right back position.

You don’t win world cups by NOT having players playing in their strongest positions.

To compound his errors when these favoured few didn’t produce the goods he made the worse mistake of persisting with them.

There is no doubt that the players didn’t perform on the pitch, and usually I am reluctant to blame the manager for poor player performances, but in this case I make a deserved exception and lay the blame squarely on Fabio Cappello.
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