Remember when England/Germany meant something? Two rivals, on and off the field, the fixture has always brought a certain cache. Evander Kane Jersey . The history. The footballing pedigree. Some of the biggest names the game has ever seen. The match has always been a statement of intent, with bragging rights on the line between nations no stranger to hostility. The two nations domestic leagues are arguably the most entertaining and watchable in the world. Yet, the quality and play of the national teams are polar opposites. Even now, an England-Germany fixture sizzles on the surface. Until the teams hit the field. A match buried amidst European World Cup qualification playoffs saw a German B team handily beat Englands first team 1-0 Tuesday. The loss was Englands second of the International break and marked the first back-to-back home defeats for the Three Lions dating back to 1977. A friendly is a friendly. You take what you see with a grain of salt, but that doesnt mean true class cant shine through. The way a team plays trumps the scoreline in such a contest. Take for example Brazils 2-1 win over Chile at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Tuesday night. It was a purposeful victory from a team with true ambition. Quality oozed from every move. Luiz Felipe Scolari and his side treated the game as much more than merely a spectacle, this was preparation to contend in 2014. The term "business like" wouldnt do the team justice, no matter who is wearing yellow, each player filled a role and the talent shone through within the context of team-first. The ball movement superior, the team effort near complete. England meanwhile was blasé, failing to threaten throughout. Sound familiar? An England team lacking cutting edge and precision, weve seen it all before. This isnt to compare England and Brazil. Perhaps its somewhat relevant considering England is a spot better, ranked 10th in FIFAs World rankings. Its perception versus reality; England is simply and thoroughly mediocre. Manager Roy Hodgson pointed to Englands inferior passing and finishing as the difference in the loss. Hes absolutely right. The lack of quality in these areas has plagued the team for decades. And even when the team had a finisher like an Alan Shearer, they were missing consistent build-up play and team identity. Nothing has changed in 2013. Remember, this was wasnt Germanys first team were talking about and still, England was out-classed. At home. As tweeted by Rob Harris (@RobHarris) of the Associated Press:"Im going to be an optimist about this" - the tune rings out in Wembley after Englands first consecutive home loss in 36 years. The upbeat lyrics from the track Pompeii by Bastille were preferred to the bands other hit song Flaws. There is very little to be optimistic for England supporters heading into Brazil. Unless the December 6th World Cup draw renders a group with Switzerland, Iran and Algeria, England will be in tough to progress. Even if they do advance, then what? Its plain to see this team is as second rate as other England out-fits dating back to 1990. The team was booed off the field after the final whistle from the remaining beleaguered voices at Wembley. They know this team isnt good enough and if it wasnt for an inferior qualifying group, England could very well have been taking part in a playoff match Tuesday, or even worse. Its the same song and dance for the national team. The domestic league thrives while the supposed best of the best cant get out of first gear internationally. These are the same players that thrive in the most competitive domestically league in the world. The England side boasts one of the joint top goal scorers in the Premier League and two of the joint top assist-men. These are important players for the biggest clubs in England. Yet when they come together for country, the result falls short of club form. Its nonsensical when pundits suggest the downfall in the development of English players is due to too many foreign players in the Premier League. This excuse needs to stop. The jobs of top English players arent being threatened by a foreign legion. Thats an excuse saved for those not good enough. Top English players star, and play alongside top foreign recruits in the BPL. 15 players active in Tuesdays European World Cup playoffs ply their trade in the Premier League. Six Brazilians taking centre stage at the Rogers Centre belong to Premier League teams as well. Ive always been of the mindset you become a better player by playing with the best competition possible. In training and in games, you need to be pushed. These foreign players bring the best out of their English brethren and it cant be said foreign Premier League players regularly outshine their English teammates in league play. But internationally, theres no comparison. Blame Englands system and formation instead. A basic 4-4-2 is constantly mindlessly rolled out, no matter the manager. Its predictable, boring, and doesnt suit the strengths of the players. Englands top player Wayne Rooney is misused and significant talent available is wasted. Without a generational type player like Cristiano Ronaldo, its about putting players in roles they can thrive. This boils down to identity. A national footballing identity for England is absent. What is trademark of England football? It used to be the unattractive long-ball, which fit the size and strength of the players of previous generations. This current generation is lost, there is no continuity. Coaching is part of this. Englands shortage of top qualified coaches, 1,161 elite coaches in comparison to Spains 12,700 or Germanys 5,500 speaks volumes. They simply dont know how to get the best out of what they have. Ill give Hodgson some credit: although the style remains as dry as the Sahara and unimaginative as ever, younger players are getting a look. Case and point is the bright play of Andros Townsend, but hes still relatively unproven and far from a difference maker. There was too much reliance in the past on the old guard. No longer are John Terry and Frank Lampard among others the key cogs and thats a good thing. Only Steven Gerrard remains. Although Gerrards club form warrants consideration, the Captain doesnt provide the same product for the national team, he never has. So here we are. Just over six months out from the World Cup, and the bar has lowered for England. It perhaps has not been lowered for the English media. And perhaps expectations remain sky-high for those choosing to ignore the inevitable. The realist looks beyond who plays for England, instead acknowledging the what and how is not good enough. The bar need be lowered. This international break has done just that. Now if we can just keep this in mind come June. @WheelerTSNgareth.email@example.com Gilbert Perreault Jersey . Spezza scored a power-play goal with 5 minutes left and Stephane Da Costa had the other two goals to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Dale Hawerchuk Jersey . According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, the deal will pay Schenn $2.25 million in the first year and $2.75 million in the second year. In 82 games with the Flyers in 2013-14, Schenn scored 20 goals and added 21 assists. http://www.officialsabreshockeyauthentic.com/pat-lafontaine-jersey/ . Leave it to Matt Niskanen, the newly proclaimed Eddie Haskell of the Washington Capitals. KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- Within the span of a minute or two, Saskatchewan was out and Quebec was in the playoffs at the Canadian mens curling championship, and only partly because of Jean-Michel Menards 7-5 upset win over Kevin Koe of Alberta. Even with Quebecs victory, Saskatchewan skip Steve Laycock was up one with the hammer and had an open draw against three to beat New Brunswick and force Menard into a tiebreaker. Laycock was heavy with the final stone and it proved costly. "We knew that we had to win," said Laycock. "We knew it was in our control to try and get in that tiebreaker and just didnt finish that game out, a really poor last end." A complicated formula based on draws to the button was used to determine the seedings of the top three rinks. Saskatchewan finished at 6-5, tied with Newfoundland and Labradors Brad Gushue and New Brunswicks Jamie Grattan. Had Menard lost, there could have been a four-way tie for fourth place and a round of afternoon tiebreakers. Instead hell now get to play Manitobas Jeff Stoughton on Saturday in the 3-4 Page playoff game. Manitoba, Alberta and B.C.s John Morris all finished at 9-2. Menard, the 2006 champion whos making his fifth Brier appearance for Quebec, was 7-4 although he beat each of the top three teams in the round robin. "Our goal was to make it to the playoffs and there you never know whats going to haappen . Zemgus Girgensons Jersey. ... if theres still some magic in our bag well try to use it," he said. Menard seemed in control throughout the game and got a boost with a three-point end in the fifth. Koe, who was solid all week, finished with a 76 per cent rating and his teammates struggled as well. Koe insisted he wasnt worried the same thing will happen when he faces Morris in the 1-2 Page playoff on Friday evening. "That end we gave up three was bad luck," said Koe. "I threw mine good, we had lots of options. You can hit about a millimetre where it just didnt work out for us and thats what happened for us. So thats just a bad break. Other than that were throwing it good so Im not really worried." Laycock was making his fourth appearance at the Tim Hortons Brier although this was the first time he threw fourth stones and served as skip. He was even with Grattan through seven, until a big three in the eighth end gave him a healthy lead. Grattan responded with a deuce in the ninth before taking the win, which left Laycock visibly upset afterwards. Prince Edward Islands Eddie MacKenzie (4-7) finished the round robin with an 11-7 win over Jamie Koe of Northwest Territories/Yukon (3-8). Ontarios Greg Balsdon (5-6) capped his Brier debut with a 9-6 win over Jamie Murphys winless Nova Scotia team (0-11). Northern Ontario was also well back at 2-9. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '