Thursday, 14 June 2007

Condemned Before They Fail

Howdy Folks,
Mark here.

I was suprised to see the sniping against the England U21's (should that be u23's?) this week.
It was perhaps accelerated by Gianfranco Zola's comments to the press, but it seems the resentment and disappointment is carrying over from the senior team.

People have been saying English players are not the equal to their counterparts, but take a look at this squad list:

GK: Ben Alnwick, Scott Carson, Joe Hart
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Anton Ferdinand, Justin Hoyte, Nedum Onuoha, Liam Rosenior, Steven Taylor, Peter Whittingham
Midfielders: Tom Huddlestone, James Milner, Mark Noble, Nigel Reo-Coker, Kieran Richardson, Wayne Routledge
Forwards: Matt Derbyshire, Leroy Lita, David Nugent, James Vaughan, Ashley Young

The squad would have been even stronger with the inclusion of Richards (injured) and Bentley (sleeping).
The outstanding players are there, they will surely make the step up to senior level - Carson, Noble, Derbyshire, Nugent (who already has) and Vaughan.

So what's the fuss? Well, they drew their first match 0-0 against the Czech Republic, primarily because Lita missed a penalty. Are the Czechs bad? No - just because we've only heard of a few of their players doesn't mean a draw wasn't a decent result.

Up tonight then for England is Italy, containing the likes of Pazzini (hat-trick against England in their 3-3 draw at Wembley) and the winger Alessandro Rosina as the standout players. The squad also includes Rossi, Padalino, Aquilani and Padoin. Tonights result is important for both teams (Italy lost 1-0 to Serbia in their first game) so I would say to tune in if you can.

A bad result for England will see the press jump on them again, and a victory will mark a 'new dawn' of hype and expectation - the papers tomorrow should be interesting...


P.s. Podcast out early Friday morning


JJ said...

To be honest I don't think there's been too much of a press reaction except in the 'big papers' as the Guardian refer to them.

The Sun, Mirror and Star couldn't give a monkeys about this tournament. They'll do plenty of editorials on 'where's our academies boys' aimed at the FA but when it comes to actually covering these tournaments they're found wanting.

I don't want to sound like I've green-tinted spectacles on but it's a fact that when Ireland are in an under age tournament the press coverage is huge - mainly due to the fact that we're so rubbish at getting to the real tournaments.

The english press, and indeed a lot of wider public see this tournamnet as a bunch of friendlies for their 'b' or 'c' team. The choice between Bentley and Lennon (once Becks is gone) won't make headlines, the Lampard/Garrard one always does and there will be more articles on the latter over the coming months than anything that happenes in this tournament.

So lads, why should the FA give a crap about youth when ye clearly don't.

Parrotbait said...

Looking forward to tonight match, the Italians are smarting after losing to the Serbians so should attack so a good game is in store.Hope Pazzini is good, he was class in Football Manager!

Mark said...

JJ, I was referring to:



and I bet the tabloids will be running stories on England's failure or success in the coming days....

Tonights match has real promise, Pazzini does look quite good, but overall it should be a well matched game

JJ said...

Like I said, big papers concern, tabs would rather talks about bent for 17 million etc.

Anyhoo, liked the look of the dutch yesterday (second goal in particular - - yes the defending was poor but dammit I always love watching a dutch side at any level (except when managed by Van Basten and it pains me to say that, but the side in the WC played awful football)