Tag: England

Euro 2012: The Runners & Riders – England

Perfidious Albion. The pantomime villains of international football. The team that everybody loves to hate. This year, however, it had been starting to look as if England might have had a quieter time of things. Thrashed out of sight by Germany at the World Cup finals two years ago, a few weeks of navel-gazing was followed by not a great deal changing as everybody’s attention turned back to the Premier League and the Champions League but, while qualification for the finals of the European Championships this summer was achieved with relatively little fuss by Fabio Capello, this coach has now gone – angered by the FAs decision to strip John Terry of the team captaincy – and replaced by the avuncular Roy Hodgson. The new man, however, has found that there is no such thing as a “quiet” time for this team, with an ongoing – and, one rather suspects, still brewing – row over which players should have been taken to the finals is now threatening to overshadow what small increments of progress he had managed in his first two friendly matches in charge of the team. The History: Where to begin? It was the Football Association that first codified the game in 1863, and England played in the worlds first international match against Scotland in 1870. There has been little plain sailing since then, though. A row...

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Euro Moments: England

This mornings Euro Moment comes from England, and features midfielder Stewart Downing standing in a glass box. It may just be for the best that he stays in there. This was the final Euro Moment, but you can see plenty more Dotmund artwork here, and you can read his trenchant opinions on just about everything here. Mungo will return for a new series later in the year. Don’t forget that with Euro 2012 approaching you can download the Twohundredpercent Euro 2012 spreadsheet here (for Excel 2007), whilst a version that will be compatible with older versions of Excel is available here. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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Injuries & Discord: Business As Usual For England

Early on Saturday evening, Roy Hodgsons plucky bunch of underdogs ground out their second single goal warm-up win, this time against Belgium. A win is a win, and anybody taking so much as a cursory look at Hodgsons options ahead of this summers European Championships will already fully aware that anything more than abject humiliation may well be worthy of the sort of flag waving seen on the banks of the River Thames yesterday afternoon and that, as such, grinding down Norwegians and Belgians to something approaching a cross between a reasonably well-organised scout parade and a football match should be regarded as an achievement of sorts. Such results in warm-up matches, however, only tell a tiny proportion of the current story of Englands preparations for the tournament, and for every small cheer to be emitted at the rare sight of an England manager actually managing to impose his tactical will upon a team successfully there has been plenty of news to suggest that rancour will still win the day in the England camp this summer. First of all, the injuries. Gary Cahills fractured cheekbone merely added to an ever-expanding list of walking English wounded. This is to an extent mere bad luck, but it did reopen a can of worms that has proved to be the curse of English football this season. Cahills withdrawal from the squad led...

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Impossible To Love, Questionable Inclusions & The Fluidity Of Porridge: Business As Usual For England

So there it is, then. The provisional England squad for the 2012 European Championships. On what was at the time a slow news day, this was always likely to provoke a considerable amount of comment, but the hysteria yesterday morning and earlier this afternoon might have taken the most dedicated of frenzy-watchers by surprise. As one o’clock ticked over, the anticipation reached fever pitch. Five minutes later, though, the only sound really audible was that of slowly deflating balloons. Quite what people expected from the announcement of the England squad for the 2012 European Championships is open to question. It would have been nice if an FA spokesman in a white coat holding a clipboard had stepped out and said, “We’ve been working on this for quite a while. After years of trying, we have finally managed to clone the Dutch team from the 1974 World Cup finals and kept them in hibernation so that they qualify to play for England under residency rules”, but the reality of England’s position is that any manager has a very limited palette in terms of who he has at his disposal. As such, perhaps the reality of seeing that list of twenty-three names was a reminder to some that, for all the sunniness which followed the FAs decision to bring in Roy Hodgson rather than Harry Redknapp as the manager at this time,...

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Premature Rejection: The Fourth Estate And Roy Hodgson

Once the announcement had been made, they acted with admirable speed. It took just two days from an announcement appearing on the Football Association’s website on Sunday afternoon for an interview to be held and, this afternoon, a press conference to follow confirming that Roy Hodgson is the new manager of the England national football team. This, however, is already a manager without a honeymoon period. The press started drawing their knives before the decision had even been formalised and, of course, long before a ball is kicked in his name by his team. This decision, it was clear, had already been made. The job was not going to the man that the football press wanted, and the man chosen above him now seems likely to reap the full force of their ire. Chief of the cheerleaders against him has been Martin Samuel of The Daily Mail. Samuel has managed no less than three articles of various states of caterwauling over the last forty-eight hours or so, a degree of saturation coverage which can only lead the reader towards perception that he may, perhaps, be taking all of this a little bit too personally. On Monday, he was complaining that – and it’s worth remembering before reading any of the following that the FA later confirmed that they hadn’t considered anyone else for the position at all – “Ensconced...

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