A win, a win, a four place drop and the striker England forgot.

Engerland just got demoted by those statistical boffins at FIFA to the 8th best team in the world. The shock. The horror. Presumably our national pride will never recover from this insult.
Engerland were, up until recently, ranked the number four footballing country in the solar system. However, I think that even the most optimistic supporter would recognise that this new ranking is a more accurate reflection of our footballing talents. We’re not the best, but we’re a long, long way off of being the worst (much further away than say…. Wales, who themselves, in 90th place, are nestled comfortably between the footballing powerhouses of New Zealand and the Cape Verde Islands).
That’s a four place drop despite winning both of our games since the last rank update. Confused.com.
Much has been written recently about the national team; the manager, the players, the commitment, the pitch at Wembley. It is my goal to consider all of this, ignore it completely, and blither on about something completely different for two hundred or so more words.
I want to talk about Michael Owen. His brace against Dirty Leeds last night reminded me that he’s still alive.
I miss his youthful face in the white of England. Am I the only one? I remember him scoring goals for fun for the Three Lions. Where did it all go wrong for him? Is it Capello, harboring a grudge from the time that Mickey ‘the joker’ Owen stuck a whoopee cushion under his seat on the coach? Is it to do with old Mike ‘the crocked’ Owen’s regular injury problems? Or could it be the lack of game time that Michael ‘the benchwarmer’ Owen gets at Man Utd?
I find it hard to believe that a man who has played for Liverpool, Real Madrid, (ahem Newahemcastle ahem) and Manchester United can’t get into the Engerland team when fit. Now I’m not leading the Owen to Start campaign, I’m not a frickin‘ idiot, but surely there is a place for him with the squad. The man could be an excellent impact sub – if given the chance.
I realise that I’ve already listed some really good reasons not to pick Owen, but I honestly think that he should be in the mix because his international goal scoring record speaks for itself. The man knows there the back of the net is. When he’s fit and he gets games for United, he nearly always scores.
Walcott has the potential to be a starter for Engerland, but he needs to start upfront for Arsenal first. As for the rest; Carroll is ok, Defoe is ok, Crouch is ok-ish, Heskey used to be ok, Agbonlahor has moments of quality and moments of looking like Bambi on ice. In my opinion there is no clear choice on who should partner everyones favourite hair-grafting striker – El Rooneyo.
It is this cheeky hack’s opinion that Michael ‘insert nickname here’ Owen should be, at the very least, in the England squad. He scores goals, he’s dealt with the pressure before and not been found wanting and he scored that goal against Argentina.
Sadly, I can’t ever see him pulling on the famous white jersey again. For Owen to get picked he’d have to play more regularly for the Red Mancs and Capello would have to have a serious change of heart. I can’t see that happening, can you?!

The Penny Has Dropped For Fabio Capello

Capello at last realised the painfully-bleeding-obvious, just before Engerlands excruciatingly predictable struggle to overcome the 117th best team in the world. He realised that our players are about as mentally sturdy as a rich tea biscuit dunked in cup of the nations favourite refreshing hot beverage.
How that not-so-elusive fact escaped his attention during the World Cup, only he knows, but it seems that the penny has only just dropped. You’ve got to wonder what Stuart Pearce has been telling him for the last couple years!
His grand plan is to throw out the old deadwood and bring in some sleek and shiny new players. Quite who he means is anyones guess. With regards to the old guard, he might be talking about Lampard, Terry, Cole or Gerrard. They’re the senior players (as you well know).
But who is he likely to bring in? Ashley Young looks the part, Theo Walcott, Adam Johnson etc. I could keep on listing good young English players but that would be boring. The point is, the obvious players are already on the fringes of the first team anyway. It’s hardly a massive revolution is it?!
I think the main problems with the England team are beyond Capello’s considerable influence. I’ve bitched before about the media intrusion, the fragile mentalities of some players, the national allergy to penalties and the lack of a winter break. These are not things that Mr Hat can fix (short of going to see a faith healer – we all know that works).
Really, a team with Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard should beat just about every other team that is put in its path. I’m not sure how replacing the old guard is going to make that much difference, but then nobody pays me millions of pounds a year to make these decisions.
Whatever he does, I hope it works, but I fear that Capello will get qualification, make his changes, see that they’re not as good as the players they’re replacing during some friendlies, bottle it and bring back the old favourites for the Euro’s and then watch them capitulate in the quarter finals for precisely the reasons I mentioned in paragraph 5.
And you thought I was an optimist.