After a quite frankly pathetic showing at Wembley on Wednesday night against France, England have a lot of soul-searching to do. I was slightly aggrieved that England even pulled one goal back against a French side who, for much of the game looked as if they were playing a different sport. What was perhaps more disturbing was the amount of young faces in a side that were completely outclassed, and it left me wondering, was will become of England, not at the Euros in 2012, but at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014?
There is undoubted talent in the English ranks in the guise of players like Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll, and they need to be utilised effectively if England are going to succeed once the last of the ‘golden generation’ have hung up their international boots, as the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have most probably only got one more major tournament left in them. So now must surely be time to at least have one eye on our national side’s future?
If that is what the dreadful performance against France was all about, then I can just about stomach it, because after all, most great sides have to go through their teething stage, especially at international level, and through giving young players the experience on the biggest stage, Capello may well be doing the right thing. However, something tells me that wasn’t what was on his mind in the selection for the team last night.
The problem is; the future of England and the future of Capello are not bound together. He probably thinks of England’s future post-2012 about as much as England fans contemplate what Capello is going to do after his contract runs out, because even if England win Euro 2012, the most likely outcome is that Capello will still leave. The selection of youth at Wembley on Wednesday night was born more out of necessity than of a desire to give fledgling English talent a chance to gel together, and this is worrying.
After the debacle of South Africa, if we don’t begin to make provisions for life after Capello and after Euro 2012, the world cup in Brazil may go the same way… if we make it there.