Off Topic Messages

What formation were England paying last night??

4 - 3 - 3
4 - 5 - 1
No votes
4 - 1 - 4 - 1
No votes
4 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 1
No votes
Pear shaped!!!
Total votes : 3

England's formation vs Northern Ireland??

Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:10 am

Do any English football fans out there have any idea what formation Sven Goran Eriksson was attempting to play in last nights shambles against Northern Ireland??

First we had the Turnip, now we have the Swede! Which root vegetable will be the next England Manager? :wink:

Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:59 am

Well, I havent voted but...I believe the Swede is more famous for his affairs with women than he being a manager, at least in the eyes of the

Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:46 pm

Of all the polls we've ever had on here, this is the most difficult one to vote for. Even David Beckham seemed to have no idea what the formation was supposed to be.

Taken in context, you could say that it was one defeat in a competitive match, Sven's first in four years, that's not a bad record. But I think the manner and timing of this defeat will live long in the memory.

The worst thing about it was that, in interviews afterwards, Sven actually denied that players were playing out of position. Suddenly, he seems to have no idea what he is doing. Since the days of Bobby Robson, this obsession with formation has gripped the national game, and it surely must be time to have that formation settled, and not go tinkering with it now. Most of the players out there last night were classic 4-4-2 players (Joe Cole probably the key exception to that), so why Fool around with it now? Sven? Are you reading this? And as for Shrek not playing alongside Michael Owen...I can't even begin to describe what a basic, schoolboy error this was.

We can only hope that, aside from winning the next 2 matches, Sven has a change of heart and realises that it is not about tinkering with formations, it is about motivating the players. Just ask Lawrie Sanchez.

Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:11 pm

Steve, your point about motivation is a good one. Sadly, I don't think Sven has any ability in that area at all. I always get the feeling that if England are scored against, it's going to be curtains. Sure this is the first defeat in a qualifier, but it's the third mediocre performance in a row. The Denmark game was a shambles, the Wales game was bland and we were lucky to scrape the win, and last night was pathetic after the first 30 mins or so. Furthermore, once we get to tournaments, there is a tendency to underperform and throw away matches that a more adventurous manager might have won, eg sitting back at 1-0 against France in Euro 2004. Personally I'd like to see Sven gone as soon as possible. His tactical awareness is dubious and his motivational skills are non-existent.

Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:54 pm

It's true that the minute things are not going to plan and we're under pressure we lose the plot. The players look to the bench for inspiration and they get none. Still, the players have to take a large part of the blame. Wherever they were asked to play there was enough talent on the pitch last night to beat NI comfortably.

It was clear at half time that whatever Eriksson had planned was not working. Cue a stirring team talk and a bit of tactical savvy. This is where he falls short. The second half descended into farce. When Hargreaves came on, Paul Robinson was about the only player on the pitch who knew were he was supposed to play. It was comical.

There's no way the FA will sack Eriksson and he won't walk! What he has to do is stick to 4 4 2, play Rooney just behind Owen and kick the 'cool Sven' bit into touch. The players are believing their own hype and believe they have a God given right to be in the starting eleven. He has to change this fast but I think he may have left it too late! They all have to pull their socks up and try and turn it around. We win the last two we still qualify but if we play anything like last night it's the play-offs! :( :x

Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:45 pm

Should the word motivation even have to be said at this level ? Just pulling on an England shirt is all the motivation they should need. Too many England players find the step up in class to international level a step to far to my eyes. I dont agree with Svens formation, but that aside, too many players are still going missing whilst on duty, and it is`nt all down to Sven.

Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:34 pm


Yes, motivation is vital at this level. You can't just say to the players "here, pull this shirt on, you'll be all right." In the modern game, where players are earning up to £100,000 a week, it simply does not work. Motivational skills were the key to Northern Ireland's win - Sanchez was the first to admit they are not the greatest side in the world - but he got everyone of his players up for it and to believe they can win.

Motivation is about encouragement and constructive criticism. It is about making your players want to play and win. Play Rooney up front next to Owen (or, as Delboy says, just behind). I would tell him, you're a great player, but just do what comes naturally and try to score. I wouldn't say, I'm experimenting with formations tonight, play out on the left and let's see how it goes. That was a joke. Man Utd didn't pay £30 million or whatever it was for Wayne Rooney to play on the left in experimental formations in key games. Whatever next? Rooney in goal?

And I'm glad you mentioned Hargreaves, Delboy. That bloke has to be the biggest joke in England's football history. I have never seen him make a useful contribution yet. What in the Sam Hill is he doing in the England squad? Sure, he can kick a football forwards, but then so can I.

Sadly, Ezz, motivation is, as I said, vital. In training, in the dressing room, absolutely essential.

Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:17 am

Couple of gags from yesterdays press about Wednesday nights defeat....

Mock P45 for Sven! :D


R.I.P English Football! :( :wink:


Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:37 pm

"Motivational skills were the key to Northern Ireland's win "

Stephen, the key to Northern Ireland`s win was the utter crapness of the England team, nothing more and nothing less. I dont think for a moment that N.Ireland were any more motivated than the English team. Lets just get the basics right, keeping shape, accurate passing and players playing in their strongest positions.

Oh and Rooney just behind Owen.

Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:21 pm

Well done N, played with never had your heads up your arse = won the game.

England will only win game"s,when they have an English man as manager (not hoddle).

Worst thing in the history of the English game...never giving Clough the England job.

Just a view(from someone who has not got football in there country)

Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:31 pm

iamhekev wrote:England will only win game"s,when they have an English man as manager (not hoddle).

Perhaps overstating it a little. It was the first qualifier Sven had lost, so that's quite an impressive record. I do think he has lost the plot now though.

Have to agree on Clough :)

Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:47 pm

Indeed, it was criminal that Cloughie was never given the top job, it was even admitted later that Clough gave by far the best interview for the England job, but alas, they gave the job to nice old Ron Greenwood.

Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:06 pm

Note the missing word = PASSION :oops:

PRIZE go"s to TJ.

Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:06 pm

England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson admits he expects to lose his job if they fail to qualify for the World Cup. Eriksson is under fire after England's 1-0 defeat against Northern Ireland.

He told BBC's Football Focus: "I care. I'm desperate when we're losing. I'm putting my reputation on getting to the World Cup with England. If I do not go to the World Cup I will not have a job in this country and elsewhere. But we have one foot in the World Cup, so why should I leave? It is up to me now to get it right and we have to get it right before we meet up for the October games".

Eriksson was adamant he would not quit, despite being fiercely criticised after the Belfast defeat. He said: "Absolutely not, no chance. We have two games to go and if we win both we are in the World Cup. Why should I resign? "Things went wrong on Wednesday, especially in the second half. The manager's job is to try to get it right. I will talk to the players before we come together again and we will get this right."

Eriksson also insisted his controversial switch to a five-man midfield was not the reason England lost in Belfast.

He said: "When you lose football games everything is bad, you can find errors everywhere but I don't think the formation was the problem. In the first 35 minutes we played as well as we wanted to play, Paul Robinson never touched the ball. Something happened out there but we couldn't get it right. We lost the spirit, Northern Ireland beat us and we have to accept that. It is up to me now to get it right and we have to get it right before we meet up for the October games."