Who needs Croatia? Alan Shearer rewrites history in his attack on Roy Hodgson’s England
ENGLAND needed a draw art worst in the Ukraine to stay top of their World Cup qualifying group, in which they are unbeaten. So far, England have scored 23 goals, letting in just 3 – giving them the best goal difference out of all the NINE qualifying groups. They have two home matches left to be sure of qualification to the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil. So. It’s not as disaster. Far from it. Still brickbats have been tossed at Roy Hodgson and his team:
One naysayer is Alan Shearer, who writes in the Sun.
“When was England’s last good performance? I don’t mean result, I mean a performance that really made you sit up and think ‘We have got something good here’. I’ll tell you when it was – September 1, 2001 in Munich, Germany 1 England 5.”
Question asked. Question answered. But as Roy Hodgson would attest, top-flight football is about consistency.
Shearer said that in 2009, “I thought England could make a serious impact in South Africa”. That’s the World Cup Finals of 2010.
When England tonked Croatia 5-1 on the way to South Africa, Alan stood and clapped:
How Wembley loved it, as Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard both scored twice, Wayne Rooney added another and the outstanding Aaron Lennon led Croatia’s defenders a merry dance. How the England football family revelled in it, former captains like Bryan Robson and Alan Shearer standing to salute the latest generation charged with ending 44 years of hurt.
On 7 Jun 2010, the Sun trailed Alan’s column thus:
ALAN SHEARER tips England to end their 44-year trophy wait by winning the World Cup.
Telling the Sun – and this before England trashed a good Croatia side:
“I think we look very strong and if we don’t get any more injuries, then we have a chance, there’s no doubt about it.”
So. Alan. When was the last time England made you sit up and think, ‘We have got something good here’? Clue: It was the last time England tried to get into the World Cup Finals…