Well, it’s been too long since England won the FIFA World Cup. I wanted to write the phrase “last won” but refrained from doing so considering the fact that the Three Lions have just one title to their name. And that too in 1966 in their own backyard, which can’t help but exude the sad truth that it might actually take another hosting to win the prestigious trophy. And with 2018 and 2022 going to Russia and Qatar respectively, this indeed is a sign of grave concern.Let’s take a minute and analyze the problem that we have on hand. It’s not that England lack quality players. Oh No. They have players who can challenge even the best on any given day. They have players who play in the supposedly the “greatest league in the world”. They have players who have the unsung ability to go face-to-face with any challenge that is thrown their way. They have players who shake the world. Too much “biased” praise you say? I guess you’re right.But talking in an earnest frame of mind the problem is not with the players. The players actually put in their best. The fact that they’re not challenging enough to face a fortified team like Spain, Germany, Italy or even Uruguay for that matter is a completely different problem all together. The problem is that the English team does not have players to match the positions on the field. To put the predicament more subtly – England’s left flank is completely handicapped. Looking at the situation objectively one can easily make out that it’s a classic case of flooding too many players on one flank and thereby leaving the other flank completely desolate. In the present day scenario, England has Arsenal’s Theo Walcott and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend, Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Man United’s Wilfried Zaha at their disposal to fill in the right flank. However when it comes to filling in the left flank, the team’s choices are pretty scarce. Options include Adam Lallana (Lone Ranger), Ashley Young (No Form) & Stewart Downing (No Impact).We have 6 very talented players who are fighting for one position on the field. And on the other hand there aren’t enough players to even support the left side, let alone stabilizing it. Southampton’s Adam Lallana has been the greatest thing to have happened to English midfield ever since Joe Cole. But let’s get one thing straight shall we? Lallana cannot win things on his own. He needs backup. And on that front all he has is Young and Downing – neither of whom is in any form.The permutations and combinations to fill that “elusive” void on the left-hand side have been going on for ages now. But all sincere efforts have gone in vain. There are two things common between Kevin Keegan, Sven Goran Eriksson, Fabio Capello, Steve McClaren and present England coach Roy Hodgson – first is the exasperating detail that they have all poured their heart out in trying to build/develop a player for that left flank; second that they have all terribly failed.Now I’m no expert when it comes to team formation or chemistry, but when coaches go to the extreme extent of playing world class midfielders like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard on the left just for the sole purposes of filling that void, then something is appallingly wrong with the team. Also, call me a cynic but I draw the line between intelligent insight and immense idiocracy when dynamic strikers like Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen are “pushed” to the wings.And probably the greatest impalement in England football history occurred when Paul Scholes, who without a shadow of a doubt was the greatest midfielder of his time, was literally pressed on towards the left touchline to incorporate the enterprising Gerrard-Lampard combination during UEFA Euro 2004. None the less England was knocked out of the tournament. And quite frankly that seems to be the story every time that England plays a match. As a football fanatic, I’m literally on the edge of my seat grasping my sweaty palms with chewed up fingernails just hoping that the opposition does not see the exposed left hand flank.But unfortunately they always do. Be it a minnow team like Chile or a prodigious team like Germany, every team always exploits the fact that England is completely “Shite” on the left flank. Therefore, in addition to a dedicated left winger, what’s indispensable for the Three Lions at this point of time is to find a coach who can create a left winger out of the existing lot, if not find a new one. On that note, a certain example of a Joe Cole and a Jose Mourinho comes to mind.What Mourinho will undeniably go down in history among the England fans for, besides being a ruthless character who likes to win at any cost by creating stupendous strategies, is that he created Joe Cole out of nothing and made him indispensable for the England football team. Cole was the greatest thing to be running on the left flank ever since the days of Steve McManaman. If only Cole had not been injury-prone, he could have been an undying star.No one can forget the immaculate volley that Cole hit from 35-yards against Sweden in the group stages during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. England fans especially cannot forget that match for two reasons. One was the desirable and prudent fact that their answers had finally been answered on the left flank front. Finally there was a perfect blend between a player and a position. The other was the horrifying injury that Owen suffered that would eventually end his career.All in all, it’s high time that a change be implemented. It’s high time that ambidextrous players like Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, Townsend and maybe even Jack Wilshere be exploited more in order to expand their horizons for the future. Maybe a new coach with better strategies and a face that is not always “yawning” needs to be at the helm of things. The 2014 FIFA World Cup is just months away; But at this stage, with England being in the group of death along with Italy and Uruguay, the only discomfiting thing that fans can be disturbingly certain about is that England is going to return home sooner than expected.
Historic victories, further managerial dismissals, dramatic comebacks, 30 goals and a haircut for one poor soul who had refused to trim his beautiful locks in over two-and-a-half years. It’s matchweek 19; the midpoint of the Premier League season!The post Five Key Stats From Week 19 In The Premier League. Featuring Europe’s Pass Masters. appeared first on Squawka News.