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England vs San Marino – 09/10/2014 Euro 2016 Qualifier

October 10, 2014 2 comments

Not a lot to report here if I’m honest. England played the eternal minnows last night, and I was fortunate enough(!) to get a box invite, so I got myself along to Wembley to watch. First things first. England won 5-0, Joe Hart could of sat next to me, and the score would of been the same. I should know better as I went last time as well.

As I was finding my way around the corporate hospitality level of Wembley I bumped into Adrian Chiles. For those who don’t know he hosts the England games on TV on ITV. Seemed like a nice fella, and gave me the tip of 2-1 England, last minute scrappy winner. So obviously, his ill fated sojourn to breakfast telly hasn’t dulled his sense of humour. We also had a chat about West Ham, and he was enjoying it so much he missed his studio door, and wandered off with me, as he was being chased down the corridor by some TV types. If I tell you that this was the highlight of the evening, then you can guess why I’m not reporting too much on the game !

Anyway, what did we learn? Jack Wilshere. I will be honest and say , that I didn’t realise he was actually playing until about 70 mins, he was that anonymous. Whether it’s the system or him I don’t know, but he needs to be moved out of the England set up until he can prove he can operate at this level. Anyone can have the odd flash of brilliance, but to be an international you should be at that level all the time. Chambers and Gibbs kept a clean sheet, but hopefully with England way ahead in the group now, they will get a chance against Estonia / Slovenia, to see if the can compete against better international sides.

My last point is Wayne Rooney. Another win for the captain, and another goal, and maybe if England hadn’t fannied around with the ball so much, he could of got more, BUT. This puts him 7 short of all time record scorer Bobby Charlton. Maybe I’m just being just an old man, but it should be taken into consideration that Charlton was scoring in top level internationals, and not games against Italian postmen. Maybe we should initiate a FIFA style ranking system for the worth of a goal, and I’m sure Sir Robert C would be way out there with Jimmy Greaves, and everyone else way behind.

San Marino keeper with the ball. He actually made more passes than anyone else in his team !

San Marino keeper with the ball. He actually made more passes than anyone else in his team !

Rainy night in Wembley (obligatory arch picture)

Rainy night in Wembley (obligatory arch picture)

England VS San Marino WC 2016 Qualifier 12/10/2012

October 13, 2012 1 comment

Footballers are generally an organized bunch, with skills available on tap. Professional footballers are very organized and very skillful. International footballers should be highly prepared and know when to use the skills and when not.

England were always going to win this game, but outside of the Ox getting stuck in with a few long rangers, England turned into Arsenal light, and tried to pass through all the time , with flicks and tricks. This was getting on the nerve of the crowd as well as the manager, I imagine. Things were not helped by Walcott going off early, after being (from my position) royally taken out by the SM keeper. In a game against better opposition and potentially later on in the game, it would of been a straight red.

They finally broke the deadlock after half an hour, with who else but the stand in captain for the night, Mr Rooney. Soon after Danny Wellbeck scored an almost identikit goal to the reverse flick he got in the Euros. Maybe he does mean it after all !

The second half was more of the same, with England constantly attacking, and then Rooney and Wellbeck getting another one each. Rooney’s second, was a cracker taken on the half volley, which pushed him above Alan Shearer in the goal standings for England.. The San Marinians (?) attacked once, and nearly brought the house down. Oxlade-Chamberlain got an absolute quality lift on a mix up from Cleverly to put England 5 up with 10 to go.

So, what did we learn ?

Cleverly and Carrick stood in for Lampard and Gerrard tonight, and Carrick bossed the back line, with Cleverly in a more advanced position. This worked well, but they were playing a pub team to be honest.  Cleverly does still not look the part at this standard. Under 21’s are gone for Tom, but maybe he will get time to improve. If Roy stays with 2 up top in Wellbeck and Rooney, and persists with Lamps and Gerrard, Tom can improve on his craft. Maybe more time on the training pitch and less time with the TOWIE girlfriend.

We also know that Joe Hart gets bored easy, if his running out 40 yards to collect balls was anything to go by. To be fair he could of played in the middle alongside Carrick, and the score would of been the same.

But, we must be more clinical, and no more dicking about with the ball. The opposition should not matter, the hole is still the goal. But we need to be more direct. Little one twos are fine on the training ground, but go nowhere against an organised defence.

Lets hope all the young kids who were there, don’t get used to England destroying teams at home !

Poland away on Tuesday. 3 points required, and I assume the return of Lamps and Gerrard. Lets just keep the ball further up the pitch.

MOTM For his runs, passing, and willingness to shoot from anywhere, and his classy goal near the end goes to Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.

Heres some pics from the night. 3GS and tier 3 do not mix well. Taking the DSLR next time.

They didn’t put “but most of the corporates ain’t coming”

Just before the Marines abseiled in !

Incoming !

Due to boredom Joe is actually thinking about going for this ball !

The original flag from the 48 Games which flew above Wembley. Apparently used in 36 Berlin as well !

Some one enjoying their evening !