Forever England

October 21, 2013


Webwatch: Ken Masters 

Is it me or does there seem to be an innate desire in this country to stir it up, put the boot in, shoot ourselves in the foot, get political, whatever, just before an important game or two is about to take place with England playing crucial games?

There we were, deep in preparation for World Cup qualification crunch games when up comes the Daily Mail, Harry Redknapp, Greg Dyke, Gary Lineker, Stan Collymore, and even current player Jack Wilshere to detract from what we are about, winning vital football matches. Surely it should be all about England, getting behind the manager and team at this time, not potentially messing up but concentrating one hundred per cent on World Cup qualification for the final in Brazil.

The hard copy newspapers and the Sports www love it. Harry says this, Greg thinks that, Gary thinks the other and if England were to lose or draw even, well it seems to me so much the better; who wants to report on an England win anyway, no sarcastic or rubbishing fun in that.

First we have Harry Reknapp with excellent timing. All over the Sports web too:

“FA bosses do not have a clue”

Harry Redknapp is reported as sayings that Football Association senior officials do not have the knowledge required to choose the best England manager; who was overlooked for the role when Roy Hodgson then just remind me.

“I wouldn’t trust the FA to show me a good manager if their lives depended on it,” he wrote in his autobiography, serialised in the Daily Mail. “But the FA went for Roy Hodgson to be the England manager – a man who is more their cup of tea.”

It’s not the sentiments so much as the timing. Two games to qualify and still unbeaten in the group; get behind the manager and his team why can’t you. Don’t get me wrong, I think Harry has had a great career in the game and that the game would have been the worse without him but just to remind us, Redknapp’s Tottenham side won just twice in 10 matches following Capello’s resignation, again not the best of timing.

Moving on to Greg Dyke and the commission that he is setting up in an attempt to improve England’s chances of winning the World Cup in 2022. I have not got a problem with this but Greg, why did you not leave it until after the two vital games, why the Wednesday before an England game on the Friday? Let’s face it, announcing the commission membership was always going to get some kind negative reaction. So it came from a crisp Gary Lineker.

The line up so far is England manager and player Hoddle, ex-England defender Danny Mills, former Leeds boss Howard Wilkinson and FA vice-chairman Roger Burden. Football League Chairman Greg Clarke, new Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chairman Ritchie Humphreys and Crewe director of football Dario Gradi have also been named on the panel. The Premier League has turned down a role on the commission, not good in my view and I can’t really understand why. However, The Premier League feels it needs more than one voice on the panel to reflect its members’ views and will offer help without being fully involved. Surely one voice is better than no voice at all. Anyway, former England captain Gary Lineker says most members of a new Football Association commission to improve the national team are “utterly pointless”, he said so on Twitter. Like I said, very crisp and this is a flavour of Gary’s thinking

“No wonder they announced Glenn Hoddle early on. Most of the others are utterly pointless. Expected better from Greg Dyke.”

Again, no problem with Gary having a view, it’s just the timing of it all.

Lineker was joined by former England striker Stan Collymore in criticising the FA panel’s make-up.

“The FA Commission. Dario Gradi should have been asked 20 years ago but he’s 72 now. Wilkinson 70. Is that really vibrant and fresh?” said ex-Liverpool and Nottingham Forest striker Collymore on Twitter.

Finally to Jack Wishere. This on AOL Sport: Football, 9th October.

Jack Wilshere believes the Football Association should forget any idea of ushering Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj into the England fold. It has become apparent Januzaj could eventually be eligible for England through residency, having so far opted not to commit to any alternative.

It seems unlikely that is the path Januzaj would choose to follow given he was born in Belgium and is also available for Serbia, Albania and Turkey, as well as Kosovo, although they are not an officially sanctioned FIFA country.

However, Wilshere is uncomfortable with the mere prospect.

“The only people who should play for England are English people,” he said.

Alright Jack, but a refugee who came here as a small child like Mo Farah? I think so.

Forever England!




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