Well, well, well, the Football Association precipitously appointed a new manager to take over a failed team, so what did Sam Allardyce do in his first game in charge, eh? He played the same bunch of losers with exactly the same captain that disgraced this Country’s major sport at Euro 2016 France just a couple of months ago. So much for a new broom sweeping clean, eh?
Allardyce’s panic selection by a FA someone who admitted he knew “nothing about football” was a disaster waiting to happen, don’t you think? That was adversely commented upon in an earlier blog last month about the disgraceful state of Association Football in England. At the time, it was noted that the Manager had simply given only a few tweaks in his first squad (that did not auger well), but what really counted was who he would actually play in his first match against Slovakia. It also questioned as to whether footballing glory would return – well it bloody well didn’t, did it?
You may recall that England recently played, under eighty days ago, the same Slovakia in the final game of the Group stage at the Euros, and performed abysmally in a goalless draw under the previous incompetent Manager, Roy Hodgson. Well, this time England played them again, but this time in the first match in the qualifying competition for the World Cup 2018 in Russia. Unbelievably, in this match Allardyce chose to play 10 of the same players who previously had performed so miserably against them. Moreover, a slightly different 10 of the players he fielded were also players sent out against Iceland in the Euros Knockout competition, when England were embarrassingly floored with gross ignominy by one of the minnows of the footballing world, eh?
So what did Allardyce think would happen by sending out the same bunch of overpaid underperforming plonkers, then? Did he expect them to suddenly be transformed from ‘don’t give a damn sods’ into ‘highly performing goal hungry heroes’. Or did he believe that they all should be given a second, third, fourth, and now a fifth chance, do you think? Well, whatever was in his feeble mind, was utterly wrong, because they got on the pitch and played in exactly the same way as on their previous occasions – direly?
In case you are wondering, England with the last kick of the match (in the 95th minute indeed), managed to get a scrambled goal against a team that had constantly frustrated then and had been playing with only 10 men for some half an hour – so on paper England won and undeservedly got the points (and some idiots say that’s all that matter, eh?), but it was a shambles.
Allardyce can join his players in holding his head in shame after his debut game’s fiasco. No breath of fresh air, no fresh faces, no sterling new tactics, no increased striving for success, and NO SPUNK here, then? Some half the players had what the pundits would describe as a poor game and only a couple came up with a half decent performance. For a whole hour England were their normal foreseeable uninspired selves and only when they faced a depleted Slovakian team did they display any gumption.
Apart from playing practically the same team, the new Manager incredibly displayed all the traits of his un-illustrious predecessor. For a start he favoured possession rather than scoring goals, so played with only one striker, Harry Kane, who spent the entire match totally isolated up front until he was substituted.
His other forward on the park at the kick-off was Wayne Rooney who unfathomably played in deep midfield and therefore skewed the whole team for the bulk of the match. Moreover, BEFORE the game the Manager claimed that Rooney ‘knew where to play’ but assured everyone he would be a genuine No. 10 and be up-front – why then was he so far back that he could have been the keeper? (and WHY did Rooney subsequently tell the puzzled media that he had played where the Manager had told him?). It would appear that the Manager has zilch decision capability and zero intention of actually controlling the team he plays
Once again the team was stacked with midfielders (5 played), while the single striker, who was having a rubbish game through lack of service and support, was pulled off to be replaced by Daniel Sturridge who is as much a winger as a striker. The other available striker Jamie Vardy, a specialist at exploiting a break and making it count, remained unused – WHY for goodness sake?
This outing to Slovakia is anything but a confidence booster, and no one can come out of this further semi-humiliation with any creditability, can they? However, Allardyce himself is in his comfort zone as he is used to managing poor playing teams with substandard performing players – but that doesn’t auger well for the future of the England football team, does it?
The Manager can thank his lucky stars, and he knows it, so he breathes a huge sigh of relief at the fluke result, doesn’t he? What has he brought to the England dressing room? Not a lot it would seem, and a bit of luck doesn’t really count in the footballing world, does it?
[It is looking highly likely that Sam Allardyce will follow in the footsteps of his predecessors – and be another failure?]