Without wanting to blow my own trumpet, towards the end of yesterday's blog I said:
"I really rate this German side and fear they might overwhelm us, especially given our rather simplistic formation."
Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. I imagine the tabloids and the simplistic England fans will blame the linesman and referee for the defeat, but that is just a pathetic excuse. By the time Lampard 'equalised' we could have been 4-0 down, and come the end we were lucky to have only lost by 3.
There are so many problems it's difficult to know where to start. I've been banging on about the formation for days now, and all my fears were realised. The Germans' extra man in midfield was always Mesut Ozil, and sometimes Schweinsteiger as well, between them they tore England apart. Ozil is a fantastic player, and he is quick, giving Gareth Barry the job of man marking him on his own was ridiculous. Barry had no chance in a foot race, a point reinforced by the way the German left him for dead to set up the fourth goal.
In defence, why Michael Dawson played no part in any friendlies before the tournament is a disgrace. He is better than Upson and Carragher (I'm also better than Carragher to be honest), and surely is a better bet than King since he isn't permanently injured. John Terry is too slow, and sold Upson down the river for the first goal by running towards the half way line for no reason and leaving the West Ham man on his own. Terry should be the man to organise the defence as he is the senior centre back, either he didn't, or he was talking in Spanish, judging by the way the defence fell apart for Podolski's goal.
As we move forward, the Gerrard debate will be done to death, and while he clearly shouldn't be playing on the left, it doesn't excuse yet another absolutely appalling performance. It's quite an achievement to look unusually poor in that team today, but he was. Constantly trying long cross field balls that were never going to come off and shots from miles out, wasting possession. He must be incredibly frustrating to play with. Gerrard insists on trying to be the hero the whole time, and as a result hasn't had a good game for England since Munich, and even then that isn't exactly a glowing appraisal given how well the team as a whole played.
I feel sorry for Defoe and Rooney today, the service they were given was as bad as it is possible to be, and they could do nothing with the constantly overhit long balls. Rooney came into the game a bit in the second half and threatened to create some chances, but they never materialised. It's unbelievable that he is yet to score a World Cup goal.
The substitutions once again were a complete joke, first taking off the one winger in the team and replacing him with Joe Cole, who just did the same thing Gerrard was doing on the other side and left us with no width. He also managed to give the ball away to set up a German counterattack which led to goal number 4. After that bringing Heskey on for Defoe when England needed goals? I imagine the big man's gonna get slaughtered, but what could he do? No player is going to refuse to come on, and once again the blame lies squarely at Capello's door. Shaun Wright-Phillips coming on was just moronic, especially with Lennon on the bench, but it was too late by then.
The calls for Harry Redknapp to come in as England manager are terrifying, because he won't change anything. I'm also not sure he'd be able to survive without signing anyone for a few months. The failings have nothing to do with the manager not being English, they are just mistakes. If we insist on an English manager, it should be Roy Hodgson, especially as he has experience managing at international level.
To end, Germany deserve a lot of credit for the way they went about destroying England. Everyone in the country seemed to be underestimating them and were going about predicting an England win. The pundits on the BBC were questioning how many of their side would get in ours. Klose has more international goals than any England player ever, Podolski averages 1 in 2, Ozil is one of the best young talents in world football, Muller is an exciting young player as well, Schweinsteiger was brilliant again and Khedira looks like he could develop into a great box to box midfielder. Anyone think we wouldn't get a single Englishman in their team?