England finally showed some spirit, but were woefully torn apart by the sassy Germans

So we’re out. Now, with the shitty domestic psychodrama behind us, we can really start enjoying this World Cup.

Yeah, the players seriously under-performed, and it’s about time these pretenders were honest about the fact that they’re nowhere near as good as they think they are, but the coach has a lot to answer for too.

Like Marcello Lippi, Fabio Capello’s compatriot, the England coach has been found out by his lack of tactical versatility. The era of Italian tactical supremacy could well be over.

I said as much on facebook earlier today:

I fear for England. 4-4-2 is too unsophisticated against a decent 4-2-3-1. Hopefully the players are savvy enough to change on the fly. Barry is key, but he’s not looked great yet in this tournament. Two up front may mean we lose the battle for the ball in midfield — not to mention our distribution has been shocking up to now. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

Post game, the always brilliant Zonal Marking sums it up perfectly:

For the past six years, the major talking point regarding the England team has been an inability to get the best out of both Gerrard and Lampard. Both Lampard and Gerrard? Neither are at their best in a 4-4-2. Nor is Rooney, nor is Barry, nor is Carrick, nor is Joe Cole, nor are any of England’s small band of creative players. Even if Capello thought 4-4-2 was best before the tournament, he surely must have seen that it wasn’t working when England limped to draws against the US and Algeria, and a narrow victory over Slovenia.

England did do a few things right today. Going forward they created chances. Had Lampard’s goal been given, maybe England wouldn’t have been so exposed by the rampaging German counterattacks. At the hour-mark, England were playing like it was the last 5-minutes, and were suitably punished for this naivety.

So what does England do? Prior to the tournament, and following England’s tremendous record in qualification, the FA handed Capello a big fat new contract. So it’s unlikely the Italian will resign. No doubt he also feels desperately let-down by supposedly world-class players.

I don’t think Capello should resign. But I do think he needs to rethink his approach. There is no doubt the Terry/Bridge saga created a rift. And what the fuckity fuck Terry thought he would achieve with his attempted coup, I have no idea. Terry is overrated and his ego is disruptive to the England project. I would dump him. I know Upson’s performances today highlighted England’s deficiency at centre-half, but still, Terry is more trouble than he’s worth. England must be united behind the coach.

Everyone appreciates Barry’s contribution in the anchor role, so why not play two people in that role — like Brazil, Argentina and Germany? What is the point of playing two strikers if you constantly lose the ball cheaply in midfield?

A lot to think about, but if Capello leaves, who else is there to choose from? Since Steve McClaren is damaged goods, it’s Roy Hodgson or another Johnny Foreigner. May as well stick with Don Fabio, no?

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