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Why England's failure is good news for, er, England

1) England can begin again

We've already done this but it bears repeating: this team doesn't gel and it never will, so what's the point in persisting with it? Here's a perfect chance to build a new team from scratch. No Lampard, no Gerrard, no Beckham ... actually, with the possible exceptions of Peter Crouch Peter James Crouch (born 30 January 1981 in Macclesfield, Cheshire) is an English international football player. He currently plays for the English club Liverpool as a striker. His height of 2.  and Rio Ferdinand Rio Gavin Ferdinand (born November 7, 1978 in Peckham, London) is an English footballer of mixed St Lucian and Anglo-Irish descent. He plays at centre-back for Manchester United in the FA Premier League and at the international level for the England national football team. , you should probably get rid of them all.

It's not as if there aren't enough players ready to come in. Theo Walcott Theo James Walcott (born 16 March 1989 in Stanmore, London[1]) is an English footballer who currently plays for Arsenal, having signed there from Southampton on 20 January 2006. . Gabriel Agbonlahor Gabriel Agbonlahor (born October 131986 in Birmingham) is an English footballer for Aston Villa, of half Nigerian and half Scottish descent due to his Nigerian father and Scottish mother. Agbonlahor is a recent product of the Aston Villa Academy system. . Ashley Young. David Bentley. Matt Derbyshire. Steve Sidwell. Leighton Baines. James Vaughan. Jermaine Pennant. Michael Johnson. Michael Carrick. Lee Cattermole. James Milner. David Nugent. Nicky Shorey. Nyron Nosworthy. Tom Huddlestone. Robert Green. Chris Kirkland. Every club's got one.

Perm any XI from that lot, and they'd shellack shel·lac also shel·lack  
1. A purified lac in the form of thin yellow or orange flakes, often bleached white and widely used in varnishes, paints, inks, sealants, and formerly in phonograph records.

 last night's abject rabble. Even if you played Agbonlahor in goal.

2) England will no longer expect, and may learn to enjoy international football for the throwaway throwaway

See for your information (FYI).
 fun it is as a result

"We expect, as a major nation in Europe, to qualify for European Championships and World Cups. Of course, we have no divine right to play in any major tournament - but it is quite right that qualification is expected" - FA chairman Geoff Thompson


In the last two years, Major Nation England have played four major nations. Here's the record: Holland 1-1 Major Nation England, Major Nation England 0-1 Spain, Major Nation England 1-1 Brazil Third String XI, Major Nation England 1-2 Germany.

By way of comparison, here are a few results by nations who never expect to qualify for anything: Northern Ireland 3-2 Spain; Scotland 1-0 France; France 0-1 Scotland; Germany 0-0 Wales Wales, Welsh Cymru, western peninsula and political division (principality) of Great Britain (1991 pop. 2,798,200), 8,016 sq mi (20,761 sq km), west of England; politically united with England since 1536. The capital is Cardiff.  Youth.

There's a lesson to be learned there somewhere.

3) England will get a new manager

He's a nice man, Steve McClaren, so we hope the FA let him keep his umbrella. But consider this: had Mladen Petric not scored Croatia's third last night, someone whose watchwords before Croatia Debacle II were "passion", "attitude" and "tempo" would be leading England to the Euro 2008 finals, where a bog-standard group display and spineless quarter-final showing would have ensured his involvement in the campaign to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently
, everyone might as well have packed up and gone home.

Now there's an opportunity to employ a man who, heaven forfend for·fend also fore·fend  
tr.v. for·fend·ed, for·fend·ing, for·fends
a. To keep or ward off; avert.

b. Archaic To forbid.

2. To defend or protect.
, actually thinks about tactics and team balance. Worryingly, in the betting markets for next boss, Alan Shearer this morning dropped from 25-1 to 10s. If that happens, everyone might as well pack up and go home.

4) Next summer will be beautiful

It's going to be possible to watch the football without being forced to peer through a bloody great jingoistic prism. No Wags. No flags. No metatarsals. No achtung surrender. No half-times given over to live pictures of the swimming pool at the Teamengland hotel. It'll be wonderful.

France 84 and USA 94 were none too shabby, after all.

5) The home internationals may return

Nobody round these parts has got much to do for a while, so let's hope the FA respond favourably to plans to revive the classic old tournament, with the Republic of Ireland thrown into the mix as well. Though whether Major Nation England will want to face teams actually capable of beating major nations is a moot point moot point n. 1) a legal question which no court has decided, so it is still debatable or unsettled. 2) an issue only of academic interest. (See: moot) .
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Date:Nov 23, 2007
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