Tuesday, 16 March 2010

We Can't Go On Like This

First and foremost I'd like to say that I knew all along that appointing a man with no experience of coaching at any level would be an unmitigated disaster. I'd like to say that but, in all good conscience, I can't as I was as guilty as the next man in believing that Martin Johnson would bring a winning mentality, clarity of thought and sheer bloodymindedness to the England set-up. The latter quality is undoubtedly still in evidence but as for the rest...

The glass half-full part of me really wants to believe that Johnno can still turn things round and I remind myself that it took Clive Woodward several years before things clicked into place. I can confidently say, however, that there was never a point in the Woodward era that England looked so joyless and so bereft of ideas and intent than they did at Murrayfield on Saturday. My faith is being sorely tested and I can't for the life of me see the "progress" that the England management assure us is happening.

Although England's scrummage is holding up well and the lineout is just about functioning, the breakdown is a shambles, the kicking game incompetent, the attacking game non-existent and the defence unreliable, despite (or because of) an army of supposed specialist coaches. Messrs Wells, Ford, Smith and Callard have much to answer for.

And so to Paris and an expected spanking of Max Mosley-esque proportions at the hands of the French. Logic dictates that now is the time to throw caution to the wind and go with brave selections and attacking intent but, given England's ultra-conservative and unambitious selection policy to date, I won't hold my breath.

Whatever happens against the French, even in the unlikely event of a miraculous victory, something has to change. To date I've viewed calls for Johnno's head as, at best, premature and, at worst, heresy - but, as David Cameron might say...


Anonymous said...

It is possible for England to win this match in Paris, by default. As the french side are unable to take to the field on Saturday. Someone has suggested that England maybe the banana skin that the french slip up on as they go for the 6 nations grand slam 2010 and the team are all hospitalised due to cracked ribs indused by fits of uncontrollable laughter.

Anonymous said...

hahaha... the post and the comment are utterly hilarious!!!

Bamberio said...

I can only assume that there is a party going on in the Flanker household at the moment, to celebrate Ben Foden's starting berth in the 15 jersey.

And Chris Ashton gets a chance too.

Is that hell freezing over?

No, don't be daft. Louis Deacon is still in the squad.