Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Why is Steve McLaren scared of taking off his so-called superstars when they are playing badly?

We saw enough on Saturday, and it was repeated again this evening. Frank Lampard - awful game. Substituted? No chance! Michael Carrick? If they called Ray Wilkins the crab, then Carrick is a lobster! Yet he still had 180 minutes from the two games. Rooney is off form - everyone knows this, yet McLaren kept him on the pitch when his general play was very poor.

I think McLaren has bowed to player-power in the teams he has picked recently, and then been too scared to change things in a positive manner when it all goes pear shaped. The three late substitutions today made it obvious that he knew that the 3-5-2 formation was an error. He switched back to 4-4-2 at that poiint, yet would it not have been more adventurous (when 2-0 down) to have played Richardson and Wright-Phillips in place of the anonymous Neville and injured Cole? Of course not - he couldn't take these two players off! That might have upset them!!!

And why when the team is crying out for pace up front does he continue to let the forward who has bundles of it, and who, by the way, is the top scoring Englishman in the Premiership, sit on the bench gathering splinters? Darren Bent - England needs you!

I hoped that McLaren was going to breathe fresh air into the England set up after Sven's departure, but the man who succesfully played 2-4-4 when Boro needed goals in Europe last season seems to be genuinely scared of changing things in a positive manner and risk upsetting his "big team" megastars.

Come on Steve - get a grip and start putting out teams that will win. If you don't, you will go the same way that Taylor, Erickson, Venables and co went before you - ripped to shreds by the media!

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