England players should pull finger out and stop looking for excuses

Both players and supporters of the English national side are clearly deflated from Friday’s performance against Algeria. However, who can blame them? The game was devoid of any commitment or class from England, against a team ranked 22 places below them.

England’s World Cup campaign is beginning to look like a particularly unpleasant episode of the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’. In yesterday’s press conference, former England captain John Terry demanded clear-the-air talks between the players, and manager Fabio Capello, putting the Italian in the firing line. Casting him as the sacrificial task leader.

Although Capello saw the meeting as a routine get-together, in order to examine the mistakes made against Algeria, Terry believed this was a window of opportunity to vent his and the squad’s frustrations and potential tactical suggestions, beginning with the inclusion of midfielder Joe Cole.

“He and Wayne are the only two who can open up defences,’’ said Terry. “Listen, Joe is one of the best players in our country.

“We have a responsibility to ourselves, to the manager and everyone else to voice that opinion and hope he takes it on board.

“If it upsets him then I’m on the verge of just saying: ‘You know what? So what? I’m here to win it for England.”

The tide has turned on the England camp, something is clearly not right. Terry’s comments were supported by former England International Chris Waddle, who revealed on Radio Five Live that a ‘source’ in the England squad has told him that the players are “bored rigid” at their training camp and there is a growing dissatisfaction and resentment with the manager’s strict regime.

Capello, a born winner and highly respected manager has been unfairly summoned and criticised by the press, but more crucially by his players. According to player’s, if England fail to qualify, it will be Capello’s fault for not having enough connect four sets, for failing to arrange a performance by Robbie Williams and ignoring their request for a night of binge drinking in Cape Town.

Both Waddle’s comments and Terry’s press conference imply the ego and arrogance of some of the player’s is detrimental in creating a successful team ethos and dynamic. What we are seeing is a substantial amount of jostling, spin and positioning from the ‘big-name’ stars, who are already looking to shift the blame onto the manager if it all goes wrong on Wednesday, against group leaders Slovenia. Instead, what they should be doing, is accepting some of the responsibility and concentrate on winning the last, decisive match.

Written By Joe Questier

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