Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Why England slipped
by Paul Kennedy, November 21st, 2007 7AM



Steve McClaren pulled a Greg Ryan Wednesday night. But unlike the Ryan, who lasted 25 days as U.S. women's coach after his team's 4-0 loss to Brazil following his decision to switch goalies, McClaren lasted all of about 12 hours after England's shocking 3-2 loss to Croatia at Wembley before the FA dumped him as coach.

McClaren's decision to drop Paul Robinson, who had started the first 11 qualifiers, in favor of Scott Carson in goal on the final day of qualifying for the 2008 European Championship proved as disastrous as Ryan's decision to drop Hope Solo in favor of Briana Scurry.

Like Scurry, who had the bad luck in Hangzhou to start of her evening with an own goal, Carson had no business playing on Wednesday night. As former Arsenal goalie Bob Wilson described him, Carson looked like a "frightened rabbit." He set the tone for a disastrous evening by letting Niko Kranjcar's long-range shot skip through his gloves in the eighth minute. With England down 2-0 at the half, McClaren would have probably otherwise subbed Carson, but he needed to bring on reinforcements for his sputtering attack.

But similarities between Ryan's U.S. women and McClaren's England don't end there. Both teams have been living off their reputations for some time but have been overtaken in their respective games. The bottom line is that England, like the U.S. women, is overrated.

England came back -- thanks to McClaren's halftime substitutes Jermain Defoe and David Beckham -- to make it 2-2, but the tie it needed to qualify wouldn't last long as Mladen Petric -- give acres of room to shoot, like Kranjcar early in the game -- again beat Carson from distance. Would any team worthy of calling itself a world power have given Petric so much room with the game on the line?

Yes, Carson was at fault (on the first and, to a lesses extent, third goals), but it was in midfield, which decides games these days, England lost its way to Euro '08. Steven Gerrard? Frank Lampard? Big names? Yes. Great players. Hardly.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
Lloyd and Ellis are nominees for FIFA awards    
Carli Lloyd, whose hat trick led the USA to a 5-2 win over Japan in the ...
Waldrum (still without a contract) returns to T&T women    
When Trinidad & Tobago faces the USA in the first of two friendlies Sunday in Honolulu, ...
What They're Saying: Orlando City owner Flavio Augusto da Silva    
"Five years ago, [MLS] paid to [be on television]. In 2010, it was paid $68 million, ...
New U-17 cycle begins on cautionary note    
In past years, the Nike International Friendlies, the annual year-end tournament for the age group that ...
Report: Miami Beckham United moves on to fourth option    
David Beckham's group seeking a home for an MLS club has its maps of Miami out ...
Close call can't erase Red Bulls' sense of accomplishment    
A year that started in controversy and uproar ended with another playoff setback, but during 2015 ...
What They're Saying: Dax McCarty    
"The first thing I want to do is to apologize to our fans. They've been fantastic ...
Video Pick: Dortmund pals perform synchronized warm-up    
Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Bundesliga's leading scorer, and Marco Reus' balletic warmup (dubbed a "Bromance ...
Video Pick: Barcelona delivers a Messi & Neymar montage    
Barcelona put together a one-minute video featuring the feats of its two FIFA Ballon d'Or 2015 ...
MLS: RSL's Schuler, Gil and Silva are out of contract    
Real Salt Lake re-signed defender Jamison Olave and exercised the 2016 contract options on seven players, ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives