England World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst has come out and said that if England don’t get to the semi-finals of the Euro’s then it would be “extremely disappointing.” Now I wouldn’t dare say anything bad about the hat-trick hero of ‘66 but what I will say is that this comment is just the tip of the over hyping iceberg.
Before the game, fans were slating the choices of Hodgson, saying he had picked a poor side and that he isn’t fit to be England manager any more. Now suddenly after beating the current world champions Germany (in a friendly) we’re now suddenly good enough to be one of the top four sides in Europe?
I’ve just had a quick look at the European sides that will be competing in the Euro’s and I must say England would be very lucky to get to the semi-finals. Countries such as Spain, Germany, France, Italy and Portugal could easily dominate England in a competitive match while countries like Belgium, Poland and Sweden could also prove tough opposition for the Three Lions.
I was one of the fans who said that Hodgson’s selection wasn’t good enough (see Roy Announces England Squad to see my take on it) and I still stand by what I said. We all know, no matter how well the lads played on Saturday he will still play Rooney over Vardy, he will still leave out in form players in favour of higher profile players and I’m gonna dedicate a section of this post as to why Hodgson shouldn’t take Jordan Henderson…
Jordan Henderson is a bang average footballer. He has no real range of passing, can’t tackle and thinks arguing with the referee over every decision makes you a good captain. He has quite good position sense, a good example being his late run into the box against Germany but his shot was poor, if it wasn’t blocked by the defender it was gonna be straight at Neuer.
People (Liverpool fans especially) love to call him world class simply because he has 1 good performance every 10 or 15 games. That doesn’t make you world class, that makes you Robbie Savage at best. Jordan Henderson for me is no better than Jonjo Shelvey and if Klopp does decide to sell the Reds captain in the Summer I think Henderson will struggle to get another England call up...but I digress.
As I said earlier, the comment from Sir Geoff was just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also been comments comparing Dele Alli to former England captain Bryan Robson. Now I am one of the people currently on the Alli band wagon but to compare him to one of England’s greatest players after less than one full season of Premier League and English football. He’s 19 for fuck sake.
Speaking of young players, there was talk of Marcus Rashford getting a late callup to the Euro’s squad which pissed me off something rotten! He’s played well for Man United yes. He’s scored some crucial goals for them yes. But he’s only 18, played a handful of games and is already being tipped as the next big England star...I wish the press would just leave him be for now.
Back to Hurst’s comment though. Is it mad to hope for a semi-final appearance from England? No of course it’s not. But to come out and say anything less is a disappointment puts a lot of pressure on the lads heads. The commentators made it abundantly clear that the average age of the starting 11 against Germany was 24, do those lads really need that kind of pressure at that age?
I personally would be happy if we qualify past the group stages. There’s tough teams in there with us, it’s some of our players first taste of an international tournament and it’s an achievable target. Every game afterwards would just be a bonus and the whole nation can take it just one game at a time instead of wondering how we’re gonna do in the next round and the round after that and the round after that…
England have always had an issue with over hyping players or over hyping our chances in tournaments. It’s beginning to go that way for Euro 2016 as the press keep saying we’ve won all 10 qualifying matches and we’ve just beat Germany. But let’s be honest, the teams we were against in the qualifiers weren’t the strongest footballing nations (one of which was San ‘fucking’ Marino) and like I said earlier, the Germany game was a friendly…
I mean the Germans had Emre Can at right back, it was Mario Gomez’s first call up since November 2015, there was no Jerome Boateng, they took off Hummels at half time...they even brought on Arsenal reject Podolski for Thomas Muller...I mean it was still a good side that the Germans fielded but not half as good as what it could’ve been. They won’t be making silly substitutions when it starts to get competitive.
Also we only really came alive in the last 30 minutes. You can guarantee that if we do that against the likes of Spain, France, Italy and even Holland on Tuesday we’ll probably end up conceding 2 or 3 goals in the 60 minutes where we weren’t alive.
Anyway’s that's all I have to say. I’m sure some people will say that it was a stellar performance and that I should be putting it down but all I want to say to these people is that this is a reality check. I’m just hoping to keep people’s feet on the ground so there isn’t an over reaction if we don’t reach the heights of Europe’s elite...I hope you all understand.
~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThePenaltyKing1 ~
Cheers for reading.