Dumbfounded. Indefensible. Passionless. Woeful. I could go on with one word sentences til the morning hours but it changes nothing.
Since the final whistle was blown, i’ve been straining to remember an England performance as bad as tonight’s against Algeria. I can’t. At least when Croatia sent us crashing at Wembley we had our moments.
Times have been hard in recent years. Nothing has been more painful to me as an England fan than Sven’s 2006 World Cup campaign. With every passing game, thinking England surely had to turn in a fantastic display at some point…but to no avail, as the team limped out on penalties to Portugal.
But this was a completely different kind of low.
Emile Heskey continued failing to answer questions as to why he must continually be in the side when surely even Sven would’ve lost faith by now. But it really comes to something when Wayne Rooney manages to make big Emile look like Christiano Ronaldo.
When England’s first substitution was made, it was not for Emile, but for Aaron Lennon who just seconds previously had provided England’s best delivery of the night. Instead we had a like for like substitution with Sean Wright-Phillips coming on. The biggest indication yet that we have no credible plan b? I certainly thought so.
If you’re going to look for that one good performance, you’d have to go with David James, who was faultless even when all around were losing their heads.
When the dust settles you really have to wonder how can we not beat Algeria? I mean really. I found it quite easy to defend the previous display against the US since it was obvious to me that the US were a much better team than many had given them credit for. But Algeria? Staggering.
This is the same England who DOMINATED their qualifying group bar one blip in Russia. Where is that team that hammered nine goals past the team who in the previous qualifying campaign had left England wilting in the Wembley rain?
Looking for a silver lining is a whole new level of difficult. The only positive anyone can take from today’s action is that we’re still unbeaten, and next round qualification is still in our hands. Scant consolation right now, i’m seeing elimination, top to bottom restructuring of the England squad, and an unhealthy period in the international wilderness in our immediate future.