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Posts Tagged ‘England’

England – The Quarters – Euro 2012

June 26, 2012 1 comment

After surprising everyone by coming top of their group, England found themselves with a potentially winnable game against a par Italian team. This could get them to their first semi final in a major tournament since 1996, and only their 3rd since winning the World Cup in 1966.

This should be reason enough, shouldn’t it ?

Roy set out exactly the same team as the previous game, which means, that both James Milner and Ashley Young played, which raised a few eyebrows, especially in my front room !

The game started quite open with Joe Hart pulling of a great save and Glen Johnson with a good chance on goal in the first 10 minutes. Then it all got a bit predictable, with England playing well for 25 mins, and Italy getting stronger and stronger as the half came to close.

The second half was all one way traffic which may sound harsh, but England looked knackered, and Pirlo was pulling all the strings. England staggered to a nil nil draw and extra time beckoned. For all England fans the rest becomes the usual. Tight for 30 mins, and lose on penalties. And that’s what happened. As bloody usual.

So what happened? The inquest will state that players who dazzle every week in the prem, stuck to their positions with no invention. Ashley Cole, although one of the better players, stayed put. Glen Johnson forgot how to  defend and  lost all comprehension of the offside rule. Rooney was not fit, and it showed. Next time you have a load of time off, trying hitting the gym rather than Las Vegas. Ashley Young should thank Roy for keeping his England career going, as I would of dropped him after the first game. Also Ash, rule one on taking penalties is the goal is in front of you not on the floor. Why was he staring at the floor for so long before hitting it against the bar.

Gerrard and Parker aquitted themselves well, but i fear Scott Parker needs more than grit and determination to perform at this level.

Terry played some of his best games in an England shirt, but just because you don’t have the armband doesn’t mean you stop bollocking and organising. This, I feel was linked with Joe Hart looking nervous at times, and coming out for balls at the wrong time, and staying on his line at other (wrong) times.

Andy Carroll will get better at this level, and Danny Wellbeck needs to get more involved and not rely on Rooney to always run around for him. Lescott seem comfortable, and Milner was industrious.

For Roy to be successful, he needs to bring on Walcott, and the Ox. Milner becomes a squad player tops, and Jack Wilsher will have the hopes of the nation landed on his shoulders. If he does ever play, maybe Ravel Morrison will fullfil his promise. Adam Johnson has the skills, but needs the application to get a regular game at Man City. The individuals are there, and Roy needs to make a team. But if he continues with the negative style, tickets at Wembley will be available on the day, every game.

All in all, not a bad shout for the chaps at the Euros, but not good enough. Germany expect to win, Italy expect to be in the semis, Even Portugal expect a final four berth. As we have allegedly the best league in the world, shouldn’t we expect to be challenging at every competition, at every level ?

Best tweet of the week:

“England lose on penalties. For all other English culture and tradition info, http://www.visitengland.com”

Which way from here to the airport ?

 

England – The Group Stages – Euro 2012

June 19, 2012 1 comment

Over the last week and a half, the strangest thing has been happening. England are in a competitive football competition, and our press are behaving for a change. But today, they broke ranks, and we have loads of nonsense about “Rooney the Saviour”. Lets not forget the only reason he has been out for two games is the fact that he let is petulant behaviour take over on the pitch, a bit like his fellow scouser, one Mr Barton (incidentally, one of the greatest and worst twitter users in history).

I have started this article prior to the Ukraine game, and will publish afterwards.

So first up was the big game, and the old rivalry was renewed with our mates from just past dover, the French. This game was a good test of new manager Roy’s skills, and to be fair he came out well. Nice and compact, not to adventurous, and a defender comes up to nod one in. Then old England raised it head, and the panic set in. Within a few minutes it was one all, and we then shut up shop. I’ll take a point in our first game (Spain did !).

Lescott opens the scoring in the England France game

Onto the next game, and a battle with a team who we had never beaten in a competitive game, Sweden. I watched the Swedes earlier in the year at Wembley, and they weren’t all that. Once again England went ahead, after a towering header from Andy Carroll, and this time they held firm. The second half was just crazy, with neither team really having a record for attacking football, turning into a mid 90’s Man United (evening Col !). They both got two, and the game ended 3-2 for Roy.  I say Roy as he made the sub to change it all, the forgotten boy of the last world cup squad, one Theo Walcott. He was on for about 4 mins when he equalised from 25 yards, he then proceded to cut Sweden apart, and provided the run through and cross for Danny Wellbeck’s winner.

Carroll opens his account against Sweden

Now what happens? We need a draw to go through, and apparently Rooney has to start? I sugget Young gets dropped as he was useless in the last game. I would keep Milner on for this game ,as Ukraine like to attack the flanks. Walcott needs to come on in the second half as a sub, and we will win 2-0 (Wellbeck, Rooney).

What really happened was the following: Ashley Young was given a stay of execution and the only change was Carroll out for Rooney. England started quietly and remained that way for most of the first half. Ukraine had the best chances, but Rooney missed a sitter to go one up. England started the second half organised as well, and Gerrard was magnificent with a range of passing not seen since his heyday. Then after a deflected cross from Gerrard, who springs up? Mr Rooney, back post, one nil.

Then the retribution for Germany in the World Cup. Ukraine had a ball clearly over the line that the linesman, who was about 5 yards away, missed !! Laughable. Thanks for the extra officials, Sepp and Michel !

Drama over, England hold on to one nil ,and set up a meeting with Italy in the Quarters.

One thing i did notice was that Roy seems to have drilled the centre backs to drop in behind Hart if there is a remote issue, and this definitely saved us once, and maybe more with some half chances in the first half for the Ukrainians. Ashley Young really needs to be dropped, if we are to improve. JT needs to drop a yard, as his lack of pace is being exploited.

We will need to be more expansive against Italy, but they won’t exactly be charging us down either. Another one nil will do me !

ROOOOOOOONEY !!!

 

England Vs Sweden, Friendly International 15/11/2011

November 17, 2011 Leave a comment

This Tuesday brought me to my first England international in the new Wembley, and brought back more questions than answers.

After the “world beating” performance against on Spain, could England’s new look Lions drive on and overturn a non-winning streak against the swedes that goes back to 1968 ?

The team look adventurous enough, with Rodwell, Baines, Zamora, Walker, Jones and Cahill in the starting lineup. The obvious omission of Rooney, paved the way for Zamora to finally deliver his Fulham form in an England shirt. He was backed up by that famous no.10 Gareth Barry ? Not sure about that, with Bent available and Defoe twiddling his thumbs.  Also, why does Fabio persist with JT at the back. Take away all the racism nonsense and the plain fact is, he is not good enough for this level. He needs to go and a new captain found pre Euros (Lampard? Barry ?).

Onto the game. Wembley as usual, is a fantastic venue, but was freezing cold. England started will with Walcott playing well down the right, and getting some good crosses in. Jones and Baines looked comfortable, and Barry look out of position. I had mentioned to my wife that Zamora needs 7 chances to score, and i was proved right, as he spurned a few chances early on. Sweden offered not a lot, and finally capitulated in the  23rd minute, when from where i was sitting (at the scoreboard at the far end), Barry scored a goal after some good English build up. This was the 2000th senior England goal, but i’ve since heard it may of been an OG. Edit. Confirmed.

England kept applying pressure, and outside of  a few flick and tricks, Zamora didn’t really help his cause. Half time comes and everyone disappears to warm up !

The second half started much the same as the first finished, and then drifted into the usual International friendly second half malaise. Countless subs and then games starts to look like a training excercise (which it is, but a lot of people, paid a lot of money, etc). This was not just my opinion, as it was the first time i hace seen a mexican wave last more then 10 laps of the stadium.

Bent replaced Bobby Z, and looked a real threat in the air, and must go to the Euros now. The rest tried to play the game out, but the swedes smelled blood and pushed on, and were unlucky, hitting the post, and also had a couple of sitters they could of done better with.

Game ends 1-0. So what did i learn?

First off, if I am to move to the Olympic Stadium with West Ham, then i need to be very picky regarding my seat, as my preferred spot behind the goal, is bloody miles away, and was more akin to watching a game of FIFA on a plasma TV. If you cannot see the name on someone’s shirt (in your penalty box), they are too far away.This was quite depressing and has swung me from sort of in favour of the move, to some real deep thinking regarding the advantages.

The other thing was did anyone play themselves in to the Euro squad? Probably Baines and Jones. Zamora played himself out in favour of Bent, but lets not forget, Gazza was not in the squad for Italia 90 until the March international against the Czech’s. so its still up for grabs Bobby! Less tricks more direct is the way to go in internationals.

 

Once again HS1 payed dividends. Kent to Wembley, 55 mins. Nice