What constitutes success for England this autumn?

It’s a well-documented fact that Martin Johnson’s desk at the RFU is covered with sick notes from a large number of players, but does that mean the supporters and the media will be understanding if England lose all three games in November?


I suspect that defeats to Australia, Argentina and New Zealand will result in calls for Johnno’s dismissal and another shake-up of the coaching team before the Six Nations, but is that fair?

Does the nature of performance count for anything? If England play an exciting brand of rugby, recycling the ball quickly, playing at pace, but still losing narrowly in all three games, will we be more sympathetic? Indeed, will we be happier than if England play narrowly, kill the ball and grind out one or two wins? Is it just results that matter, rather than the nature of the game?

Australia’s performance against New Zealand on Saturday was hardly convincing, and it appears that England have a great chance of getting a victory under their belt to build confidence for the other games. However, it could work the other way – a defeat to a poor Australia side could set England up for a very frustrating few weeks.

What do you think England should be aiming for? At least two wins out of three by any means possible? One victory, but three positive performances?

6 thoughts on “What constitutes success for England this autumn?

  1. I don’t think england are in a position to be succesful just yet, so personally i’d just like to see a win against Argentina, and drastic improvments against the Australians and the All Blacks – with hopefully one of them getting turned over.

    If i’m totally honest then I expect us to beat argentina, and hopefully turn over Australia, a close loss to NZ is hoped for but not expected.

    I think if it was an unchanged squad it’d be fair to challenge his appointment but with 13 EPS members missing it’s hard to be too hard on him.

  2. I’m actually expecting Argentina to be a harder game then Australia. With the amount of forced changes, many of them recent as well, I do think we may struggle to gell as a team in such a short period. That said, the players are all professionals and so should be able to come together at short notice and still perform – the barbarians are a prime example! Leadership is definitely going to be an issue, but with no one to replace Borthwick, Johnno has no choice (whether he wants to replace him or not) to stick with Borthwick. I think at least 1 win out of 3 is essential (and more than do-able) and am hoping for maybe 2 or even all 3 – Aus/NZ/Arg are all looking ok but nothing special and beatable!!! Can’t wait for Saturday

  3. Two wins out of three would be a good result I think, but then I’m always optimistic at this time of year.

    There’s a lot riding on the first game against the Aussies – it’s a must-win game and will set the tone for the rest of the series.

  4. The England manager is always going to have to contend with injuries, but hopefully the current situation is exceptional. I am therefore more focused on quality performances than the win count. To that end I’d like to see:
    (1) A comprehensive gameplan that hopefully goes beyond just out-muscling the opposition up-front, and with everybody clearly understanding their roles
    (2) A flexible strategy (plan B) to adapt to the pattern of the game
    (3) Strong leadership in the key positions on the field to manage the game (no more phases where we just seem to have lost the plot)
    (4) In particular, an organized, creative backline that asks serious questions of the defence

    Of course, if we get all four we will probably win at least two games. We should feel pretty good about the backline – not too badly affected by injuries. Brian Smith has been in his role for long enough now – if we are ever going to see a productive England attack in this set-up, it is now.

  5. We need at least 2 wins 3 if possible, this is almost world cup time and if we want to scare poeple show people were are serious, show ourselves we are serious then now is the time, there is no future just now.

    Due to injuries we will have a young team on the field in any case so one could describe this team as building for the future.

    The backline looks exciting wilkinson for leadership, centres Geraghty and hipkiss could threaten any team in the premership, but they have to prove they can do it on this stage.

    The back three looks strong as well, we need to win good ball and give it to them fast. Thats why i would pick hodgson, he has a faster pass than Care and is more use to giving quick ball. The key for England to play a expansive game is the backrow. It has been slow of late and the the injury to easter is sad, he is currently the best 8 in white, it could provide a chance for haskell to play 8 and prove he’s got it. Finally a backrow with pace to get the breakdown. Croft has to become what his potential suggests he could, now please. I would start with Moody because of experience and the lack of it on this team, but if Shaw, Vickery and Sheridan were playing Armitage would be my man.

    Like I said Croft, Haskell, Armitage, Geraghty, Hipkiss, Monye, Foden, Banahan, if we are going to win the world cup these are the guys that are going to do it,

    What do I want from these games I want for at least half of the above mentioned names to step up, if they do that we should win 2 games.

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