This was the day which was supposed to live long in every Englishmen?s mind. It will…but for all the wrong reasons.
This was the last chance of the so called ?Golden Generation? to shine at a World Cup. This was their last chance to win the greatest trophy in the sport. They failed…miserably.
Not many of this current squad will ever compete in a World Cup. And after this display, they deserve not to, considering the further embarrassment which they show their nation. By the time of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Rio Ferdinand will be 35, John Terry and Ashley Cole will be 33, Steven Gerrard will be 34 and Frank Lampard will turn 36 during the World Cup. Most, if not all, will not be at the World Cup and may be in retirement by then.
England?s easy group stage matches turned into a group of death for them. Two painstaking draws against USA and minnows Algeria left England needing a win against Slovenia. A scrappy and awful match gave England the win they craved but it pitted them against arch-rivals Germany in the 2nd round. Already, England was confident and the signs were looking good.
However, manager Fabio Capello stuck with the poor, boring 4-4-2 system farming the inspirational captain, Steven Gerrard on the left. The decision to stick with the Terry-Upson partnership proved catastrophic when Germen hitmen Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski fired in to give the Germans a 2-0 lead.
Matthew Upson did redeem himself when he headed in a quick response to give England a lifeline. Suddenly, the shift of momentum was with England and the whole nation thought, this is our year. How wrong they could be.
Frank Lampard?s controversial disallowed goal obviously affected the outcome but the English defence was disastrously woeful when conceding two Thomas Muller goals when caught on the counter-attack. The 4-1 scoreline caused many fans? stomachs to turn having to watch that shambolic defending. It would have no doubt made the late Bobby Moore turn in his grave having to watch that excruciating piece of defending.
While the players come back home from a dismal showing, thought has to go to the next World Cup in four years. Most of the players in the current squad will have retired or will be past their prime. This will give a worrying sight to England fans and cause a decline in the English game which is already showing now with the lack of English players at the top clubs. Things have to be done to sort this mess out otherwise in the not so near future, performances at this World Cup would be considered a miracle due to lack of quality English talent being brought into the game. Is that what you want?