England’s 2-2 draw with Switzerland at Wembley proved that the game was one too many for most of the Three Lions players.
The whole England team looked lethargic and that resulted in a poor performance.
It looked like most of England teams minds were somewhere else. I’m sure I spotted some beach towels on the Wembley pitch at one point! Most of the English players looked like they were already on holiday.
The England players seemed to treat this game as a friendly, rather than a crucial European Championship qualifier. The draw leaves England’s qualification hopes in doubt with a difficult trip to Montenegro still to come.
The long hard season looked to have taken the toll in the Wembley summer sun. There was just no energy in the English performance at all. The verve and pace of the game that is usually on display when England are at their best didn’t show up until the second half when Ashley Young was introduced.
The first half was just so lacklustre it was unbelievable. The Swiss players seemed quicker and more energetic. At times in the first half they showed England how to play. For large spells of the opening period they looked like the home team.
Don’t be mistaken the Swiss are by no means a team of also ran’s. They have players playing in the Premier League, Serie A and Bundesliga and have some quality players. The Swiss also have some talented youngsters expected to become top players in the future. However most England fans would have expected the Three Lions to overcome the visitors. The Swiss obviously didn’t read the script.
For the life of me I couldn’t understand why England boss Fabio Capello didn’t pick Ashley Young in his starting line-up.
As soon as I saw the teamsheet I thought where is Ashley Young? Although Ashley Young isn’t quite an established England player yet, he is a player that can excite fans.
James Milner is a player who will give you his all but in recent times hasn’t done anything to excite me on the pitch. At home against Switzerland England should be going out to win the game.
The selection of James Milner ahead of Ashley Young told me that Capello was being slightly cautious in his approach. The decision backfired after his side went 2-0 down and he had to put Young on at half-time anyway.
The whole atmosphere around the England camp has changed since the World Cup debacle. There has been a new sense of optimism in recent months about the Three Lions. The new optimism came from the sense that Capello had injected some freshness into the team.
It was no longer the same old same old team. The team that looked so stale in South Africa. I just hope that this result doesn’t destroy that sense of optimism. There is still a lot more to come from this England squad.
More players to come back into the team and hopefully when the next qualifier comes around the players will be in a better mental and physical state.
Where the England players tired after a long season?