I was sitting in the stands as a Sunday fan for the first time in a long time and it was a very frustrating and frankly horrific experience.
This was England’s first game since two of our biggest clubs came into management, something that should never have happened.
While wishing as always for inspiration, I left with great sadness and confusion as to where the match was headed in England. It’s been more than a bad day at the office and I had a feeling that few really cared.
England led by Eddie Jones were humbled by Argentina at Twickenham on Sunday, losing 29-30
Argentina stunned Twickenham’s 80,000 fans with a well deserved win
The Russian Football Federation kept playing naf throughout the match and I spent half the afternoon standing as people were buying beer back and forth. The atmosphere seemed artificial and contrived, and on top of it all, England were doing very poorly. Everyone is tired of their brains.
Losing is part of the game. You won’t always play brilliantly but there hasn’t been a single memorable moment from an England player, nor any sign of innovation, creativity or daring – it was really bad.
England was too slow. Eddie Jones is selecting and training a team that can’t play fast enough and no one in the RFEF is remotely qualified to hold him accountable. Argentina brought strength and praise to them in a historic victory.
England have now lost five of their last nine Tests in a very volatile year for Eddie Jones
England slowed the game at every possible opportunity. They win a penalty, have a nice long chat about that, and then walk in to get a lineup. Get it and play! Tapping penalty kicks, dropping surprise goals, and making speeches to yourself are all simple ways to dictate the rhythm but seem to have been forgotten long ago.
Ellis Genge and Kyle Sinckler won with a penalty kick in the Scrum and the entire back section rushed out to give them penalties and back pats. What is all this on earth?
Why not put their backs in position and keep the option alive to take them quickly. At every opportunity, England slowed down the match. You can’t win by doing it, and more importantly, the game is unwatchable.
Argentina achieved their second win away from England after their success in 2006
In every melee, Ben Young was taking too long to pass the ball away. These fractions of a second all add up. No team will win the World Cup at this pace. I watched New Zealand on Saturday and they played a lot more. They were going to wipe out England on Sunday.
The players are not the problem. The game of pool in England is as good as anyone in the world. I can choose people but the fault here is in the way they are trained and selected.
Too many players are picked out of their positions. Maro Itoje is not a version and Owen Farrell is not a hub. These two players are some of the best in the world but England are not maximizing their potential.
I was a huge fan of Eddie when he first came along but now he seems to be trying to prove people wrong. He deals with the media, he competes with former players and it happened to him. Someone needs to sit down with him and say, ‘What’s all this? This is unacceptable’. Eddie needs to start listening. It’s a huge year for English rugby. He needs to look in the mirror and eat a big piece of the humble pie. It’s time to admit he got things wrong a lot. .
England led 16-12 in the first half with an effort from Joe Kokanasega and Jack Van Portfleet
Emiliano Bovelli scored 25 points to end a streak of 10 consecutive defeats
They forgo a lot of soft and unnecessary sanctions. Argentina had one of the best goal kicks in the world in Emiliano Bovelli and they were giving him free gifts. He had six chances to kick it with three points and converted it all. Who is responsible for this area of training? If players keep giving up penalty kicks, stop picking them, even if it’s Itoje. One of those penalties will cost the team the World Cup.
Losing to Argentina at Twickenham could happen, but accepting the way it performed is not.
Eddie got it wrong and England’s way of playing was even worse.
He needs to leave the players on the field for 80 minutes. Why do Genge and Sinckler take off when they are two of the hottest players? The ball was barely in play so they weren’t quite as tired.
Captain Owen Farrell (right) was passed fit to play but was unable to affect the performance
Jones and those who presumably need wisdom and fast or their legacy will be seen as ending English rugby. It’s not a case of changing people, it’s a case of changing the way we play.
If England had picked their best players in their best positions, they could have won that game with something to save.
I think there are currently four better English scrum halves than Ben Youngs, with Jack Van Portvelt at the top of the list, but the more people praise him, the less likely Eddie is to pick him.
Manu Tuilagi’s best center is inside the center so I’d like to see him with Farrell and Henry Slade on either side. Ben Earl is the best open version in the Premier League so I’m going to bring it in and play Tom Curry in sixth, rather than continuing with the lock-down policy there.
Hopefully Sunday is a wake-up call, or else autumn will be long.
We play Argentina in the pool match on the opening day of the World Cup and if we lose our dreams are gone.
Manu Tuilagi can play in the middle with Farrell and Henry Slade on either side