The English football team do not deserve the criticism that they were given before the crucial qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland.
Even if they made the play-offs, it wouldn't have been so bad, would it? Taking it into context, England would more than likely be able to play themselves out of the play off danger scenario and eventually would have reached the World Cup.
Either way, England would have qualified for the World Cup. If Bosnia can do it, so can England - it's that simple. Criticism is unwarranted.
Think about it. England are a country that were expected to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Any shortcomings and the media will pounce almost straight away, but to pounce before the qualification games is unwarranted and could affect a team's moral, which thankfully didn't show in their 4-1 win against Montenegro neither their 2-0 beating of Poland. To criticise your country that are the top of the table with two games left is something else entirely.
You might be saying that it is warranted and that I should be quiet. I would know about criticising my country (Australia), after two heavy 6-0 losses to Brazil and France respectively. I was one of those fans calling for the head of Holger Osieck - but well before the heavy losses. In fact, I called for his head when we narrowly escaped a home win with Iraq which took us on the road to Brazil when his controversial substitution of Tim Cahill for Josh Kennedy proved to be controversial.
Alas, this is about England and theyare a world class team and should be doing better for themselves. In fact, they should be progressing well through most tournaments, continental and worldwide, yet they're being held back. Poor performance in the actual tournament is a warrant for angry press releases and attacks on the team. But you need not worry English fans, always have confidence in your team to qualify for the World Cup or Euros.
Of course, I'm not English so I wouldn't know when to lay into my national team/manager and when to lay off, but I am an avid football supporter and I do say that the critique against the English national team was unwarranted and that they were going to qualify no matter what. All you had to do was observe the statistics at the time. The fact that they were coming first, had a big goal difference and their last two games were in front of a home crowd.
Yes, Poland were hard opponents, but a team of England's caliber should have little to no problems with Poland.
Maybe the fans have gone and expected too much from England. FA chairman Greg Dyke expects England to win a competition by 2022. I, for one, disagree and think that won't happen. The English side have talent, no doubt, but their choice of coach over recent periods have not been the best - particularly the choice of Fabio Capello. Roy Hodgson will lead England in the right direction, in time. English fans should not expect so much from their national team yet, despite feelings of nationalism.
Not for a long time anyway.
The younger generation of English players do look promising and, under Gareth Southgate, they will be destined for greatness, no doubt. Once they develop and fully establish themselves into the national side, only then will England maybe have a chance at winning some international or European silverware.
My point is this: English fans should not be so quick to jump the gun on their national team, both they and you know that the pressure is on for them, so there is simply no need to add on to the pressure and make the situation worse.
Do not expect England to win any trophies as of yet, those will take time too. England are a quality national side and will get better in the future when Hodgson's successor is appointed.
Finally, England are a good team. It will take time for them to be great and challenge for the World Cup again like they did in 1966.
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