Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughEngland – Giants in Slumberland - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough England – Giants in Slumberland - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

England – Giants in Slumberland

For a nation that produces the Cream of the Crop in genuine footballing talent , it is seriously a wonder why such massive quality has not translated to much success on the Big Stage save a 1966 World Cup Final extra-time 4-2 win against Mighty West Germany and a semi final 1-0 loss to Yugoslavia in the 1968 European Championship Finals.

Players of exceptional standard like Alan Shearer, Bobby Charlton, George Best, Gary Lineker, Kenny Dalglish, Kevin Keegan, Paul Gascoigne, Bobby Robson, Terry Venables ,Paul Ince, Glenn Hoddle, Teddy Sheringham, Ian Wright,  Gordon Banks, Gary Paliister, Bobby Moore, Gareth Southgate , Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Andy Carroll, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Ashley Young and the list continues.

Are the expectations of touching the pinnacle of success and the faint hopes of the millions of fans and supporters all over the world always going to end with a bitter pill of disappointment.

Most often, the players are always at the receiving end of harsh criticism and flak for choking where it matters most and not delivering the much coveted success expected of them. Are they the real problem? Is it true that they are just some prima donnas that have no sense of pride in representing their nation and achieving fame on a Global Level? These players do not seem to have a problem expressing themselves and performing beyond expectations where their respective clubs are concerned be it the English Premier League, The Spanish League, The Italian League, The German League or any other League.

Lets look at the real culprits in question,  beyond the façade of the players not performing well. I managed to narrow them down to two possibilities.

The first one seems to be the amount of time the players spend together to develop and train as a team and to gel as a unit. The most successful football clubs have always done well largely due to the fact that the players have spent a great deal of time training together and familiarizing themselves with one another over many years. So just spending a few weeks training together before each game will not bring about any sense of cohesion or familiarity among the players. This in turn will badly affect their game and horrendous performances will follow after.

The second reason in my opinion, is tactics. Be it a (4-4-2), a (4-5-1), a (4-3-3) , a (3-4-3), a (3-5-2),        a (5-4-1), a (5-3-2), a (6-3-1) or any other gung-ho or ultra defensive tactics or formation, they need to change accordingly to counter the opposition. If every match is going to be played with a (4-3-3) or      (4-4-2), it is never going to translate into anything fruitful on the pitch. The greatest players will most certainly be willing to adapt to any formation or tactics for the benefit of  going forward as a footballing superpower. Likewise, the greatest coaches  must be willing to exploit the opposition shrewdly in order to achieve great success.

If the above shortcomings can be addressed and tackled tactfully, accolades, superlatives and trophies aplenty will be the order of the day in no time.  Euro 2012 and WC 2014 are not very far away and the dreams and hopes of the starry eyed millions of fans, of landing these much awaited trophies will hopefully not fade into oblivion.

Will the Giants in Slumberland finally wake up and smash their opponents to smithereens?


Suresh Menon

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