So the real inquest, in offices, pubs, clubs and schools across the land, has now taken place. Whatever course the discussions took I guess the underlining feeling was disappointment at the limpness of England’s performance not just on Sunday but throughout the tournament.
No doubt solutions will be put forward as how a repeat performance in future tournaments can be avoided. Some of these will be short term such as dispensing with Fabio Capello’s services others, such as ideas linked to the structure of the English game, will take more time. The key question is will anything be done? Past experience says that the FA will take the easier, short term option. The long term is costly and may not see dividends for years and years to come. Quick wins and profits are something that FA need at present however, is it likely to get them any sort of acceptable solution for the next international tournament and beyond? Moreover will they really see long term change as a priority with an expensive stadium to pay for and the lip smacking distraction of much needed bounty on the horizon should their bid to host the 2018 World Cup be successful?
Back in South Africa and three of Liverpool’s “sons” have progressed to the quarter finals. Mascherano and Maxi with Argentina in their convincing 3-1 win over Mexico on Sunday whilst yesterday Dirk Kuyt and the Dutch team negotiated Slovakia without really suggesting that Brazil, their quarter final opponents (after their 3-0 win over Chile) will be unduly taxed. Dirk played his part in Holland’s second goal with a good run and cut back to Wesley Sneijder. It was needed as Slovakia rallied and, with little more composure in front of goal, might have at least extended the tie by half an hour?
One suspects that Javier Mascherano won’t be with us too long as the transfer pot begins to simmer. A bid from Rafa at Inter has already been knocked back but for how long can we put off the inevitable? Perhaps one of the reasons Inter’s bid was rejected was because of Rafa’s recent comments about his departure. It would seem that the welcome removal of Hicks and Gillett from the hot seat in favour of Christian Purslow sealed his fate?
“Christian Purslow is now in charge and he decided to do it in this way. That is it.”
I was sad to see Rafa go however, although it’s understandable that he should react in this way I guess, after last season, circumstances were against him
“People in the club changed and the approach to everything was different. Clearly it was a question in the beginning of controlling the money we could spend or not, and everything was different to the past. We were so close to winning the title the year before that everybody was expecting something more but we couldn’t do it. We had some problems from the beginning with injuries and some performances, and there was a little bit of frustration. At the end the atmosphere was different and we can see now during the summer that the fans are not very happy.”
It’s difficult to see at the moment if the club will get were it needs to go with Rafa still at the helm. Rightly or wrongly he’s been perceived as a potential issue or obstacle to its sale. Rafa himself has kept open the possibly of a return by not selling his home.
“It is our home and we will come back. I don’t know when but we will come back for sure”
“…..some sunny day”! Only time will tell if this is the case however reading between the lines of Rafa’s interview I think you sense deep regret and disappointment from him that he had to leave which, when you consider all the current hedging and maneuvering by some our players this summer over their futures, is a commendable thing?