Thursday, 12 February 2009

England: that wasn't very good, was it?

Fabio Capello's England were well beaten in Seville and the game's status as a friendly rather disguised the thoroughness of the defeat. It's a reality check.
Spain, crowned European Champions in the summer and number one in FIFA's World Rankings, carved holes at will in England's defence - and our midfield and attack had no answer against the lethal combination of form and class the Spanish oozed.
Perhaps the biggest lesson Capello can learn was in the widest gulf between the teams - commitment. I don't think England were as up for the game as Spain and once the home side had quelled the visitors opening brightness, England had no response to the emerging pattern of play - Spanish dominance.
If we're to win major tournaments, we have to beat teams like Spain on their own patch. It was one of the most competitive of friendlies, but when you're Spanish, at home and won all seven internationals since winning Euro 2008, the idea of changing gear to a mere friendly would be an unlikely reaction.
England's players be warned: under Fabio Capello, friendlies are wrongly billed - every game is important, particularly for a coach who picks players based on current form.
Expect quite a few changes for the next international.
Soccermongery's all about your feedback, so write away, right away!