Why is John Terry speaking ‘on behalf of the players’? If I remember correctly, he was stripped of the captaincy some time ago, and so surely does not have a mandate of any kind to speak for the team. Who therefore allowed him the platform to speak to the press? It seems to me that the basics of media management are sorely lacking here.
Update from an article in today’s Guardian: it appears that the opportunity (if you care to call it that) to face the media was arranged by lot – much as the final positions in England’s group could well be decided tomorrow afternoon. That in itself seems odd to me, but I suppose we have to take it as fact. However, it doesn’t change the situation (I would say that it makes it all the more egregious) in that the media management from the FA camp was very poor. Surely the words of the sweating rapist (though I don't mean that literally - heavens no!) would have been sanity checked before he was allowed to read them out? Or am I the one being naive here? Was it all planned as some kind of bizarre smokescreen to confuse our opponents? Time (which is approximately 24 hours at the time of writing) will tell.
2. Why, when he spoke of the need for a tactical change did he single out only Joe Cole and Wayne Rooney as players who are capable of changing a game? What effect does this (by ‘this’ I of course mean a player who has been removed from the job of captain speaking ‘on behalf of the players’) have on the other members of the squad who didn’t make it into JT’s fantasy 2? How will the putative skipper Stephen Gerrard feel about it? Did he know about, and give his blessing to it, in advance, and if so – why? How do Aaron Lennon and SWP feel? Most importantly, what will be the effect of all this shit on England’s performance against Slovenia? Unless the theory at 1) above is correct, then the answer has to be most definitely not a positive one.
All that aside, and ignoring the way in which the message was put out (as well as the subsequent ‘squashing’ of the mini mutiny be Capello [and you may draw your own conclusions as to my feelings towards JT from what you read]) is there any validity in what the oleaginous one said as he bathed in his own sweat in the harsh glare of the TV lights? Would Joe Cole really make enough of a difference (would have is by now an entirely academic discussion, sorry to say) to a side which appears yet again unable to perform the most basic of necessary skills on a football pitch?
My own assessment is: no. Cole, despite a recent run of better form, has for me never really cracked it, and the show pony allegations are all too often found to be proven. In defence of including him, he is at least a left footed player who should fit into the left sided attacking midfield position. Which is territory not best occupied by either Stephen Gerrard or SWP. So, there are problems with the formation, but these are largely as a result of the limited options available to Capello coming into the tournament. See my earlier - pre World Cup - post for more.
But still the main issue, as above, is the seeming inability of these professional players to perform the basics of the game. Notwithstanding the difficulties all the teams are experiencing with control of the Jabulani ball, England cannot pass to save their lives. If they aren’t rushing into the penalty box on the break, they are completely lost. Surely a £6 million salary ought to deliver that elementary, er, element, if nothing else?