So England once again enter a European tournament with an ageing team, carrying out of form players, more in hope than skill. Recognize this?
So guess what. We couldn’t keep possession, our fullbacks got roasted, the keeper and central defenders kept us alive while 2 midfielders tried to cover the attacking waves.
Meanwhile Ashley Young dived and couldn’t cross the ball, Wayne Rooney laboured and remains the darling of the press but an enigma, Danny Welbeck ran hard to no avail and the right wing spot was ineffective.
England proved they are not up to the standard needed to compete.
Frankly the team needs an overhaul given Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard, Scott Parker, Ashley Cole, James Milner and Welbeck just are not good enough.
Why oh why not take players who cherish possession? The omission of Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes…I mean really, are Parker and Gerrard ever going to possess the ball?
Why leave Adam Johnson at home, why omit all attacking midfielders and why have a tactic of boot it from Joe Hart to Andy Carroll and hope for a knockdown, have we really descended to the level of Stoke City?
This was not a good England, outclassed by France (a team from which Patrice Evra was dropped after one game), won a scrap against Sweden and were then outplayed by Ukraine and Italy. No they were outclassed by Italy, it was embarrassing to watch. My whole family sighed when Cole, with a terrified look on his face, shot weakly at Gianluigi Buffon to blow it. We all thought Italy deserved to win no matter how biased we are.
United will note that our players were poor. We were not well represented in the Euros but Phil Jones rested, Chris Smalling will be glad he didn’t go, Rooney needs to get fit and Rio Ferdinadn will be glad he was dropped. Evra showed how poor he has become, and Nani has been as bad as Young.
Watching the talent what has been easy to see is that clear class lasts, my god how great does Andrea Pirlo look but watch how Bastian Scheinsteiger destroys him. Look how strong the best strikers are compared to ours, France have two and Arsenal have made some good moves there getting Oliver Giroud.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a genius; oh how we miss him and Spain even make Fernando Torres look ok.
England need a rebuild, the players coming through need to learn to cherish possession, to pass under pressure and to fight for the right to own the ball.
Manchester United gained nothing from this shambles of an England team, we continue to win nothing and we have not progress one jot from the World Cup debacle.
Next year we will need to see United improve to make it out of the group stage of the Champions League and so far in this window we have made no moves that convince me we know what we need.
Danile De Rossi, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, either Italian fullback or both, Scheinsteiger, Gael Clichy (ok that won’t happen), Ronaldo, any French Newcastle player and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.......please Mr Glazer - open your bank account and buy us some talent !!
By Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve