When even England’s manager says they don’t have enough quality to match with the best national football team in the world, Spain, ahead of their friendly this Saturday at Wembley, it usually means – Don’t get your hopes up for Euro 2012.
England didn’t have the easiest of times qualifying from their group in the Euro 2012 qualifiers, finding Montenegro especially stubborn and capable rivals, drawing with them twice. It seems that Capello’s time with England is growing shorter and shorter, with the major letdown in performance, results and ability from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa still resonating.
Like every good manager, Capello sheds the blame off him, passing it on to the players and the overall quality of the English game – We have good players of our own but not good enough to try to have the style of play which Spain have. You cannot think of playing one touch if you do not have the quality.
England always fancy themselves as contenders for the major titles, but the facts tell a different story – Since the 1966 World Cup, they’ve reached the World Cup Semi Final only once, in 1990. Euro? One Semi Final, when it was played at home, in 1996. Both times it was Germany that knocked them out.
One of the problems is the Premier League, says Capello, voicing many experts’ opinions. Being the richest league in the world creates an influx of importing foreign players, hardly leaving rooms for home grown talent to play or even find a place in the squad – That time is past. think we’ve done a pretty good job. English football has only 33% English players. No more. This makes everything difficult.
Chances against Spain? Small. England will field something of a B side, but even with their best players, the Spanish outfit, when everyone is healthy, are just too much. England haven’t been able to score against Spain in recent friendlies, not since the 2001 win at Villa Park, which opened the Eriksson era.
It is just a friendly, but it’s another chance for Spain to stamp their dominance in European football over a would-be continental power, while for the English it’ll be just another opportunity to complain about their poor quality after another disappointing Wembley evening.