So we lost both pointless internationals. It was a below par England in both games. I won’t go into the games in detail as I’m sure you’ve all formed your own opinions.
Why did we play Chile, I’m led to believe that part of the reason was for experience against South American opposition. Well I may be wrong but haven’t we played Brazil twice recently. Besides a cold November night in North London is hardly going to prepare us for summer in Brazil. Then what of the Germany game, it’s not like we’re unfamiliar with their game. We know all of their players. It all smacks of money making by the FA.
What have we learnt from the two games, well nothing really. It just confirmed what most of us already know. If a team is adept at keeping the ball, like Chile, then we struggle as we give the ball away too cheaply. When we play a well organised team, such as Germany, then we lack the creative spark to break them down. England play their best football against teams who are prepared to come at us, leave space and can’t retain the ball. Sadly there aren’t many teams like that at the top level of international football.
So if we learned nothing new, then it begs the question why play the games in the first place. When we limp out of the quarter finals there will be the inevitable cry that we’ve played too much football and the players are suffering fatigue (forget that we’re just not good enough!)
But here we had an opportunity to give the players a break and we chose to fill it with two pointless games. We could have used it to get the squad together for a couple of weeks of light training. Hodgson could have had plenty of time to get his ideas over without the pressure of a game. The injured players could have also joined up and there could have been some positive team bonding.
The same thing will happen in March, our top players will be in the middle of punishing schedule of League, Cup and Euro matches. We could use the international break as a chance to get the players together, light training and much needed rest. Even take them away to a warmer climate if need be, but know, one gap in the schedule and we’re playing Denmark!
On a separate note, I was really pleased for our own BFG against England. It was a thumping header for his goal and he marshalled the German defence superbly.
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