By, Kyle Gibson
Another World Cup, another disappointment for the English national team. This time, England did face a tough couple of games in Group D that would knock over just about any team, but the result is nowhere near the .
Mario Balotelli and Luis Suarez hit the winners for Italy and Uruguay, respectively in back to back 2-1 losses for England. Now, the chances of England qualifying for the knockout stages are in serious jeopardy. The team will have to come up big against Costa Rica and hope to squeak by on Goal difference. However, if Costa Rica and Italy draw, England will automatically be eliminated.
When it turns inward and looks for answers again, the English players, brain-trust and punditry need to look at one place, the mirror.
The answer that is in plain sight is not an easy one to accept, but it’s true. England is simply not as good as everyone in England thinks it is. This is blunt, but I believe it to be true. It’s also something England fans need to hear.
Look at the starting lineup England rolled out for both England and Uruguay. Those players are stars in the EPL, but many of them mostly because they are English.
Would Joe Hart come anywhere near starting if there was a better option? At times, Hart has looked miserable in the England shirt.
The back line is nowhere near top class. Leighton Baines and Glen Johnson were mince meat in the Italy game, while Luis Suarez carved Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka apart Thursday.
I’m really not sure what Roy Hodgson has done with the midfield, which was a jumbled mess in the first two games. Steven Gerrard was praised this year for taking a lesser role with Liverpool. Less, for Gerrard this World Cup, has definitely not been more. Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling, as well as Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana, are young guns who should not be judged on this World Cup performance. Actually, Sterling is probably the lone bright spot for England, even though he slightly disappeared in the Uruguay game.
The real confusion in the midfield came from starting both Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney in midfield roles behind Daniel Sturridge. Rooney can play and thrive in a central midfield role, but he played on the left side for much of the Italy game, Rooney also struggles in the World Cup. Even though he scored the lone goal in the Uruguay game, I don’t think it makes up for his poor play against Italy. Danny Welbeck’s inclusion was beyond confusing.
The lineup didn’t gel, the results went the wrong way and England will not be one of the two teams to advance from the group. This isn’t due to fates or tactics, though. It’s because England is not one of the best teams in the group.
Even the best players for England aren’t the best players in the EPL. England, take a look in the mirror. You are not as good as you think you are.