Andorra vs. England
The Dutch master shares his views on the upcoming action.
Steve McClaren and the England players have a real problem tonight; no it’s not their opposition Andorra, who they should easily brash aside, but it is how they win the game.
If they don’t win by at least four goals and keep a clean sheet I think it will be a disappointing performance.
Obviously England must win or they can wave away their chances of appearing at the Euro Championships next summer, and the next important aspect of tonight is how they play and perform against the so called minnows of the group. But in the final analysis I think a Nation and indeed the whole of Europe if not the World is looking for this England side to finally click together as a unit and score plenty of goals and play exciting football.
There is no question you have the players to be one of the top teams in the World - we see the English players ability in the Champions League all season - but for some reason the same players cannot play to the same standard for their country and I think that the manager has to take the blame. The buck stops with him - he is paid the big money to make the decisions to get it right. Yes, the players have responsibilities on the pitch, but it is the manager who decides who plays and who plays where.
Everyone in England seems intent on knowing whether Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard can play in the same England side. Of course they can. They are two great players and have proven ability against the very best in England and Europe with their clubs, but if they don’t perform in an England shirt then the manager has to put one of them on the bench and try something different. To me it is as easy as that.
Managing any football team is not about how well one or two of the better players perform, it is all about getting a side to function well as a whole with both the good players and the not so talented players.
So in England’s case the buck stops with their manager Steve McClaren. He needs to identify strengths and weaknesses in his side and act on them. Not let them fester away until it is too late.
And it is the same for the 16 million coaches across Europe at every level. It is about getting the best out of all your players so they can perform to their optimum as a TEAM.
England have nothing to win and everything to lose today - they must put in a performance and win by more than 4 goals and not concede for nearly everyone to be pleased - and that is not going to be easy to achieve.
They should win easily though, as Andorra have nowhere near as good a team of individuals as England - but as I have said it s not about individuals but rather the team and I am sure that Andorra players will play the best football of their lives tonight. It’s not every week you get to take on an England side, and certainly not an England side on the back foot and not scoring goals like this present team.
Having gone for the draw in their last match I am unsurprisingly selecting England to win this. I am not too sure what the score will be, but I would think that England should win by four clear goals or more.
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