by Anton Johan
As the English World Cup team skulked home after their humiliating defeat so early in the soccer tournament, they faced mounting criticism from all sides.
Kevin Bates, chairman of Leeds, for example, shot down any of the excuses offered by the team for their poor play on the fields in South Africa.
"So many excuses were put out," said Bates. "They were tired. Tired? Leeds played 60 games last season and they weren't too tired to come from behind with 10 men to beat Bristol Rovers and get promoted."
Bates said that tiredness is an excuse. "Maybe if they cut down their playboy lifestyles that would help them rest better," he shot.
He called on England's management to focus on younger players.
"I think we should forget 2012 and get on with the World Cup in 2014 when the average age of the existing squad will be 32," he said. "What needs to happen is a really dramatic clear out. Let's start again and bring the kids in."
Bates had stinging words for Beckham, who attended the World Cup camp, despite not being able to play. "God knows why he was around there anyway," he added.
"The trouble is that England in the old days were battling bulldogs - rough and tough, because that is what England has been over the last one thousand years. All of a sudden they are now mollycoddled little do-daas. It needs a clean sweep," he said.
Thomas Muller, the 20 year old German player who scored two goals in the England vs German match, added his criticism about the England side.
"There are too many top stars in England," he said. "So many alpha males, which makes it difficult to have them all going in the same direction. You need people ready and willing to do the hard work, who are mentally willing to go the extra mile."
"England in my mind, perhaps came with too many chiefs and not enough Indians," he concluded.