International Football

Qualifiers: Capello and England Shut Out By Gamely Montenegro at Wembley

New livery, same old England
New livery, same old EnglandShaun Botterill/Getty Images
Muazzin MehrbanCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2010

England fans are often considered to be the most over expectant. But are they possibly also the most patient. Aside from the occasional mauling of generally weak opposition, the men in white continue to struggle against sides of any decent technical proficiency.

Montenegro, fresh from independence from the more footballing Serbia, looked as so many do against England, fresher and sharper in the pass. A nation of under 700,000 were for large parts more than a match for the so called founders of the game.

In fairness to England and the new kids on the bloc, Montenegro are more than capable of playing football, and probably would have tested all but Spain and the revived Germany within Europe.

But the answers still elude many as to how a far smaller nation, without their wonderkid and reviver in waiting, Stefan Jovetic, managed like so many others to make England look at times clueless.

Eriksson was maligned for not making major finals, yet consistently made the last eight. As others in Europe get stronger, unearthing pearls that are being polished at the finest clubs on the Continent, England's lions could see their roar being silenced more often than not.

There remains talk of England's new batch being among some of its most promising, even more so than the coined golden generation of today. But if England are lions, then Fabio Capello is working in nothing short of a lion's den.

Such is the intensity of scrutiny, any failure, let alone heavy defeat at a World Cup, would force most coaches into survival mode, and afraid to risk new blood through fear of being demonised further.

The flage of St George remains at half mast but it is unclear whether it is being lowered or raised...

 

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