It's been a bad couple of days for England's national team. First it was revealed that Wembley's turf had been destroyed following the NFL game between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins last weekend. The game, played in a torrential downpour, was held barely three weeks before England's final Euro 2008 qualifier, which it must win to have any chance of reaching the finals in Austria and Switzerland.
Then, on Tuesday, German great Franz Beckenbauer labeled Steve McClaren's Lions "a school team" for displaying a noticeable lack of leadership. Beckenbauer had traveled with Germany to Wembley for a friendly in August, which England lost, 2-1. "They were not talking and not supporting," he said of England's performance that night. "That was for me the biggest surprise. There is no life in this team."
Former England coach Graham Taylor later agreed with Beckenbauer in a BBC Radio interview. "I understand where he's coming from," Taylor said. "There isn't a Tony Adams, a Stuart Pearce, a Paul Gascoigne, who, as well as playing with their feet, played with their mouths as well."