England are the new Middlesbrough
City news is a bit thin on the ground this week thanks to the international break, so I'm making a brief diversion to the national team, as I can't contain myself after yesterday's dull and lacklustre showing.
Why is it that England just don't seem to be able to play properly at any international level?
Yesterday, once again, the players didn't really seem interested and motivated to do a professional job on a team that are a footballing minnow. Having said that to be fair to Macedonia, they looked the better team and unlike England were up for a fight. We always look so uncomfotable and awkward on the ball and yesterday quite frankly, the Macedionian players just looked more skillful and naturally comfortable and confident.
Why do England, irrespective of who the manager has been recently, always look so pedestrian and utterly predictable?
The players just seem to be going through the motions and stick rigidly to moves they might have rehearsed in training even though they are not appropriate for the situation. It's like playing from an old textbook that everyone, including the opposition, is totally familiar with and know exactly what is coming.
Where's the passion gone theses days? Why can't our 'top' players play from the heart and show some imagination and guile instead of moves that stutter and run out of steam and ideas after a few hopeful passes?
Quite simply, what we were inflicted with yesterday is unacceptable from an England international team packed full of complacent millionaires - perhaps that is the root of the problem.
The FA haven't exactly covered themselves in glory this week from a Man City point of view after the Barton charge fiasco, but why when they had a chance of appointing virtually any manager they wanted after the disastrous Eriksson left with a huge pension, did they appoint McClaren, whose record at 'Boro is less than uninspiring, as is the type of football played at the Riverside.
Most of the 'Boro supporters I know couldn't believe their luck when McClaren left as they were fed up with the dire and mediocre quality of the football - we're now seeing an extension of this at international level.
After what we witnessed yesterday, England have become the new 'Boro.