Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Fans Are Fools to Fall for This Hype

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Fans Are Fools to Fall for This Hype

Article excerpt


THE euphoria which greeted England's victory over Israel only proves howlow our expectations were. What should have been a purely ritual demolition ofa poor side, with the skills of a Championship struggler and the attackingflair of a Neasden pub team, has been hailed as an act of national redemption.

But, of course, it's nothing of the kind. The real significance of this resultis how shocking it was that we could only draw against such limited opponentsin Tel Aviv.

Sadly, we have had to put up with a lot of trumphalist rubbish from somenewspapers, with Rio Ferdinand, of all people, ordering his colleagues to winevery game when his own sloppiness is likely to be a major reason why we won't,and Steven Gerrard suggesting this is the best England squad in years.

Please, I mean, perlease! But at least it allows me to write something warm, orat least decently tepid, about Steve McClaren. He called his big decisionsright, risking Emile Heskey, experimenting with Gareth Barry and trusting ShaunWright- Phillips.

The Chelsea winger, in particular, rewarded him with a skilful display thatpays tribute to his renewed confidence this season.

Heskey too, apart from his finishing, led the line impeccably, while MicahRichards is a revelation every time I see him.

So far so good. But McClaren is an inveterate fiddler. He has it in him to undoall he achieved on Saturday by tampering too much this evening. In particular,he would be daft to replace Heskey with the now available Peter DAVID BENTLEYuseful substitute Lampard on not as a performer, a target for It's nice theymuch about Under-21s to Bentley every touched the Or do they? is just anexercise organised playground bullying, with nearest thing figure they inFrank's absence. why they detest so much remains complete mystery The awfulnessEngland's fans watching distressing. …

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