Barry remains a firm believer
BARRY Fry has gone back in time to seek inspiration for England.
The Posh director of football has been left dismayed by our dreadful start to life in the World cup.
an uninspiring stalemate against the United States was followed by a frankly shocking draw with algeria to leave england with their backs against the wall.
Fluff their lines again this afternoon against Slovenia in Port elizabeth and by 5pm the unthinkable might just become reality . . . england’s big names could be on their way home.
But that is not a scenario Fry is prepared to consider. instead he is expecting them to come good when it matters most – just as they did 20 years ago at italia ’90.
Back then england followed up disappointing draws against the republic of ireland and holland with a 1-0 win against egypt when the knives were out.
The hero of that hour was future Posh boss Mark Wright. now is the time for new heroes.
“Surely the players won’t let themselves, the fans and the whole country down again,” said Fry.
“at least i hope they won’t. i keep thinking back to 1990 when we drew our opening two games and then got a result to win the group.
“We ended up having a great run in the tournament after that and i’m hoping and praying it will be like that all over again.
“i’m staying positive and keeping the faith. if we win five football matches we will be world champions!”
That is easier said than done given the way england have performed in their first two forays into World cup battle.
Fry sat through that feeble Friday performance against algeria in the company of one of the true england greats. he was watching at Fulham with World cup-winning right-back George cohen and they didn’t enjoy their viewing.
“We were crying on each other’s shoulders!” added Fry. “i would have put my house on us trimming up algeria but for the 115th time, i would have lost it.
“We couldn’t even do the basics, let alone look like scoring a goal. There was no passion, no commitment, no anything.
“We looked lost and that’s because we are playing the wrong system. Wayne rooney will soon be so deep he’ll be taking the goal kicks.
“capello has said he will make changes and i hope he sticks to his word.”
Fry is anxious to see emile heskey dropped in favour of a return to the five-man midfield which has proved successful in the past.
he is particularly keen to see Joe cole included and can’t understand his lack of involvement so far.
“Joe must have done something wrong because i can’t believe he hasn’t been involved,” Fry continued.
“capello said he would be picking players in form and cole was terrific in the last couple of friendlies, but then he found himself stuck on the bench.
“Surely he had to be worth 15 minutes at the very least against the USa and algeria, but instead capello has been throwing Shaun Wright-Phillips on which i don’t understand.
“everyone talks about how pace is a killer but just look at aaron Lennon. They don’t come any quicker than him but he hasn’t delivered in the last two games.
“cole is capable of unlocking a defence and he has to play.”