When I think back to England at the World Cup, the image of Owen Farrell smirking at the Haka springs immediately to mind.

The world champions in full voice with England in their faces and the captain wearing a wry grin, very much became a symbol of a team at the peak of its powers.

Fast forward three months and Farrell’s glum demeanour as another passage of England play broke down in Paris was once again emblematic of his side’s mood. For supreme confidence in Japan, read misery in the Six Nations.

Owen has long been the talisman of this team, so ahead of kick-off against Scotland on Saturday evening England need him to find a new look.

A mental clear-out is required and for him to remind himself that Calcutta Cup occasions such as these are the reason you play professional sport.

Owen Farrell is England’s talisman and must inspire the Red Rose in Saturday’s Calcutta Cup showdown

Last week Owen struggled as much as anyone. His performance was miles off what he is capable.

Whether that is a hangover from the World Cup or the disastrous mess his club Saracens have got themselves into only he knows.

Either way his game has suffered along with those of club mates who form the spine of this England team.

Friday’s news that Saracens fielded an ineligible player in their last Champions Cup pool match further turns up the heat on Farrell, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Maro Itoje, Elliot Daly and George Kruis.

READ  Danny Rowe sinks Leyton Orient to seal FA Trophy triumph for AFC Fylde

Farrell smirking at the haka three months ago showed an England team at the peak of its powers

But these are experienced international sportsmen and they must set that to one side, pull together and rediscover the lost spirit of that semi-final.

Man for man, pound for pound, they are better than Scotland.

But Farrell has to find a way to tap into the memory of Yokohama and lead his team out of this hole they are in.

The mood of this England side sometimes is too closely aligned to the belligerent tone set by its coach.

England were mentally off against France last weekend

Eddie Jones snarls, they snarl, He calls for brutality, they repeat the word. It’s time these players express themselves.

They need no reminding they lost last time at Murrayfield and had their pants pulled down by Scotland at Twickenham a year ago.

England’s motivation is clear, but is their gameplan?

Read More

Sport top stories

It should be less about dominating possession than territory, forcing Scotland to gamble more and more to get points on the board.

Against France they were mentally off. I can’t believe Farrell will permit a repeat. But his road to redemption must start with himself.





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here