FIFA World Cup Dismal Degeneration: It Can Only Get Better for England
Well, another World Cup ends in disappointment for England.
Another team that we were promised was so good, has once again left us wanting.
But there are many positives. The media has often hyped the current team as the "Golden Generation," but in reality the "Golden Generation" would more aptly describe the team of 1998 or 2002.
Or 1966, ho ho.
Here are some players who we won't miss at the next world cup.
Emile "The Donkey" Heskey is reaching the end of his professional career at 32, and naturally, his international career will end sooner. But not, sadly, soon enough.
For most England fans, Heskey's inclusion was always baffling.
What, exactly, is the point of playing a striker who doesn't score? Emile has managed only seven goals in 62 international appearances. To put that into perspective, John Terry is a defender—and he's managed six goals in 64.
The argument that Capello always used was that he brought the best out of Wayne Rooney. That argument seems dead in the water now that "Wazza" hasn't scored in 10 internationals (unless you count against the Platinum Stars).
Sorry Heskey, we won't miss you.
Gareth "Cash and Barry" has amassed an impressive 39 caps for England, of which about half have come since 2006 World Cup savior Owen Hargreaves' knees fell off.
He's never been incompetent. The problem is, he's never really been that good, either. The argument for Barry's inclusion, despite his pre-tournament injury and his anonymous performances for Manchester City, was that England need a defensive runner to cover the midfield.
To most people's minds, that means Scott Parker, the perennially underestimated midfield destroyer, or Owen Hargeaves, the perpetually injured show-stealer.
This tournament, Barry's inability to play the first match made us all suddenly think he was some sort of world beater.
Unfortunately for Cash and Barry, rather than highlight his defensive ability, this World Cup rather made us wish Capello had taken Scott Parker.
The City man was awful in possession, playing almost all his long balls out of play, and was largely at fault for two goals against Germany—although, of course, it would be ludicrous to suggest he was the only one.
Fortunately, he's 29 now, so by the time the next World Cup swings around, he'll be 33 and hopefully long past it.
Michael Carrick, aged 28, assumed the role of "Plan B" for the English central midfield.
Presumably, he was taken on experience merits (having 22 caps), because after the season he's had, I just can't understand why else he was there.
Carrick has never been a particularly good player. He's had a few alright seasons for Manchester United, especially 08-09, but that still doesn't make him an automatic for England.
And after his horror show of a season, combined with his crap performances in pre-tournament friendlies, Tom Huddlestone must be sitting at home thinking "what the hell did I do wrong?"
Good bye Carrick. You're just not good enough.
Upson...dear oh dear. Whoever said we have capable backup for Rio and Terry was very, very wrong, and by Christ did we miss Rio.
OK, so he made a decent block against Slovenia.
But against Germany, his performance simply beggars belief.
I don't think I was the only one screaming for Dawson to be given a chance.
Ah yes, here we are.
Fat Frank "Is He Even on the Pitch?" Lampard.
I remember a time when England had a brilliant central midfielder.
He scored goals for fun.
Opponents rightly feared him. He was lauded by many as "the best English player of his generation."
And then Sven Goran Eriksson forced his retirement from international football to accommodate this fat idiot.
Yes, that's right—I'm talking about Paul Scholes. A partnership of Scholes and Gerrard five years ago, when both were at the peak of their powers, would have been mouthwatering. Instead, media-mug Lamps got his place and England have been downhill ever since.
In fact, he's twice managed to force England's best midfielder onto the wilderness of the left wing.
After the Scholes fiasco of Euro '04, Gerrard—England's player of the tournament—has had to do the work of the entire midfield from the left, because this useless lump didn't turn up for the three lions, as per usual. I wouldn't care about Lampard's complete ineptitude at international level so much if he wasn't so brilliant for Chelsea.
But then again, Chelsea is built around him. They basically have an entire midfield sitting behind Lumpy and Drogba. For England, he's asked to play as a real midfielder. A concept that is apparently totally alien to him.
He'll be 36 by the next World Cup. Please, Fatty, please, just go. Before you ruin another tournament for us. Give way for someone who cares about playing for their country.