Posted on June 19, 2010
After England’s heroic draw against Algeria last night the scapegoat ratings shown in a previous blog (view here) are making really interesting reading, but it looks as though that such is the camaraderie in the squad, that England are this year are looking to be collectively useless rather than letting the blame sit on the shoulders of one man alone. However there is still time.
Rather naively Robert Green made his howler in the first game, and though this made him a strong early candidate, it also got him dropped, and his error is now largely forgotten such was the ineptitude of England’s performance last night. His replacement David James was an early strong candidate, but his performance last night showed little signs of calamity. However, James is not daft, and maybe experience is telling him to wait for late in the Slovenia game to come up with the ultimate gaff he is capable of.
John Terry, Frank Lampard and Emile Heskey are all up there with a shout, but the real surprise of the tournament so far has been Wayne Rooney. It was suggested on this blog that his short temper was his only chance of being a scapegoat winner, but Rooney has proved that he is capable of footballing ineptitude when it comes to the big stage, and a rant at booing supporters has enhanced his chances to such an extent that if he can raise himself to throw a fit and get sent off on Wednesday in what turns out to be England’s last game, his only challenger will be manager Fabio Cappello. Rooney knows that this could be his tournament, and he could be the first England player to scoop the award in successive world cups.
Fabio Cappello has raised the stakes in remarkable fashion, his totalitarian attitude is backfiring impressively, and his insistence to carry on with a 4-4-2 formation that is clearly not working is catapulting him towards unprecedented glory. Capello’s odds have dropped from 80-1 to 5-1 in a week and if he continues to ignore Joe Cole whilst persevering with Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips, a draw or defeat on Wednesday will see him pip Rooney to the title.
What an intriguing week lies ahead, it looks like a straight fight between Rooney and Cappello, but in the unlikely event of an England win, the competition could take another twist, and we may witness one of the most fascinating and closely fought scapegoat awards in the modern game. Bring it on!!!
Rooney 3/1 fav
Wright Phillips 8/1
J. Cole 100/1
Editors tip: James at 7/1 will look more tempting as the game drifts in to the last 10 minutes at 0-0
Long shot: With Carragher suspended Upson may well play on Wednesday, and a scooped miss hit back pass, or a thumping header in to his own net makes Upson worth a flutter at 25-1