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England vs Brazil Friendly 06/02/2013

February 7, 2013 Leave a comment

Growing up as a football mad kid in the 70’s, the Brazil national team was a thing a fantasy. Pele, Rivelino, Carlos Alberto and Jairzinho were in the pantheon of world football in an age where global travel was sparse and the Internet was the property of the US military.

Yesterday, although an occasion, was England against 3 blokes from Chelsea, QPR’s keeper and the fella who scored against England last in 2002, and had just been recalled.

So the key point was, are Ramirez, Ruiz and Cesar and co up to the mark on the international stage. Before anyone thinks I’m taking the piss, i do understand that between them, there were at least 5 champions league winners in the squad, and the fella on the way back has 2 Ballon D’Ors ! Also playing was the latest wonder kid off the samba production machine, Neymar.

The England team look refreshing with Walcott allegedly starting up top with Rooney and Wellbeck. Ashley Cole made his 100th appearance which meant that with Steven Gerrard, history was being made, as the first centurions to ever play together for England. Jack Wilshere started in the middle edging out Frank Lampard.

There was a minutes silence for both Munich and Bobby Moore prior to kick off which was observed by about all but 5 imbeciles out of 87000 + people.

Silence ! Please !

Silence ! Please !

Once kick off got under way it was apparent that Walcott and Wellbeck were pushed out onto the wings. Talking of Wellbeck, there was one other weird stat. He had scored for England with every shot on target !

Wilshere was looking industrious from the off, but so did Brazil. The way they naturally move the ball around was great to watch but not a lot of end result. England were more direct with Wilshere tearing forward when he had the chance. On 19 mins Ronaldinho tried to cross a ball after some more 1 -2’s but the ball  got as far as a jumping Wilshere, hit his arm, and a penalty was given. This was similar to the Ryan Giggs ball to hand incident here and not in my opinion a pen.

So up steps big Ron, up against someone a little more agile than Dave Seaman this time, and takes his best. Joe Hart gets down to his left and makes the save, but the ball bounces out in the path of the incoming Brazilian. Hart stops again, and then Cleverley clears the ball and was lucky not to give away another pen in the process. Great work Joe, as he adds another chapter to the CV.

Will he be this calm in a WC Final ?

Will he be this calm in a WC Final ?

This deflated the visitors a little, and England started to push on . They finally took the lead just after the half hour mark, when Wilshere (again) burst through, slid a great ball through to Walcott, whose blocked shot came all the way out to Rooney, who smashed it home. England went into the break still on top.

Half time brought the usual subs so the game should die off, but Brazil didn’t read that script, and came out all guns blazing. Within 3 minutes, due to a rare Cahill error Fred pull off a screamer to equalise and nearly did the same thing about 3 minutes later, just clipping the bar.

England dipped hugely after this, but held on. Some further subs brought on Lampard. Who slotted in the Cleverley’s position but seemed to be more natural at moving the ball about.

Walcott hit some fierce form in the middle of the half and seemed to be roasting the Brazilian left back at will. But instead of coming into the middle as he was he just hit the line and got the crosses in. Rooney went close with a header for his second, and you could sense the tide was turning. On the hour mark, following a pass back from Rooney, Lampard showed every bit of his experience to volley past Cesar, off the post, for the winner.

Rooney hits bar and his backside !

Rooney hits bar and his backside !

So to sum up, Wilshere is definitely one for the future, and just needs to learn to shoot, or at least take on the responsibility. Scott Parker has had this issue as well, and it should be easy to fix. That said he was still MOTM. Hart’s penalty save was brilliant. Rooney was swashbuckling, Lampard seems to be beginning an Indian summer of his career.  I will say the jury is out on Cleverley and Wellbeck. One last thing, Glen Johnson, good as you are, you are not Roberto Carlos, get back and defend, and stop leaving your position uncovered.

Half time random unannounced Samba dancers !

Half time random unannounced Samba dancers !

WHUFC vs Manchester Utd FA CUP 3rd Round 05/01/2012

January 5, 2013 1 comment

FA CUP 3RD Round

FA CUP 3RD Round

 

Illness meant I had to give up my ticket for todays game, but watching it on the telly allows me a better blog, if albeit a little disjointed.

So just after Xmas, JC makes his appearance at Upton Park. Joe Cole make his return the the club that taught him his craft. This time though he is a WHU player meaning if he scores, its not so much of an issue this time!

Man U are Rooneyless today, and my condolences go out to Coleen on losing her younger sister thus weekend. However with RVP on the bench and Hernandez and Wellbeck starting they obviously fancy their chances. Vidic comes back in, and Scholes gets a rare start. Fergie has  picked a strong team, and i feel they are the slight favourites.

Dan Potts and Joe Cole go straight into the team. Dan was a solid player when required last year and hopefully will be the same this term. JC could be the difference for a mostly flat looking WHU midfield. Nolan and Collins return from suspension today, meaning no starts for Joey O’Brien, scorer of the winner earlier in the week or Mark Noble, the other scorer in the game against Norwich. Collison and Diarra have also come in to the starting line up, suggesting Sam’s not that fussed regarding the tie, but does need players getting game time. However the fans will demand a decent display.

One bit of interest for me, is whether Vaz Te turns up or bottles against stronger players.

We get underway, and the opening exchanges are all Man U, with WHU getting their first kick after Jussi comes out to collect a pass (1.35 mins). Not looking great for WHU. After 5 mins they have not had a meaningful touch of the ball, suggesting the Hammers might get some sort of hiding here. Hernandez should of scored on 8.30 after a good cross from Smalling following an excellent cross ball from Scholes.

Vidic makes a massive save with an intercepting header from CC after a rare WHU attack led to a corner. After the first 10 minutes the game starts to open, and Jack Collison tries his chances from 30 yrds, just going over.

Just before the 20 minute mark, Dan Potts makes a classic goal line clearance from a Man U corner. That will do his confidence no harm at all. On 22 Man U open the scoring as expected, with a good cross from Hernandez finding Cleverly on his own to take an easy finish. Paul Scholes gets a booking just after for his 2nd cynical challenge of the game.

On 26 minutes Joe Cole crosses in an innocuous ball post a free kick, and finds James Collins who nods in well past De Gea to equalise. No one more surprised than me !! One one. JC has seemed to move over to the right, and swapped with Vaz Te and seems to be getting purchase.

Vidic is lucky not to give away a pen with a shove on Nolan just after the half hour mark. On 35 Danny Wellbeck makes a great breakaway post a WHU corner only to shoot straight into Jussi. Collison picks up a yellow for a Scholesesqe challenge on Rafael.

As the game winds up towards half time Utd are still on top but not to the level they were early on. One observation is Smalling doesn’t look to confortable at right back, he has knocked a forward pass out for a throw or goal kick three or four times. Just on half time CC powers through Vidic to pass to JC but just puts its behind him.

The 2nd half starts as you would expect, but with not a lot happening. On 56 CC goes close from another JC cross. Then on 59 JC throws in another great cross for Collins .2-1 WHU, well well.

First sub is made on 60 with Jarvis coming on for RVT. Question really is how long before Van Persie comes on for Utd. The answer is about 7 minutes when he comes on with Valencia, for Hernandez and Scholes.

On 72 Diarra comes off for Mark Noble. Hopefully he can sure up the middle of the park. The game goes a bit cold if I’m honest and Giggs comes on at 77. Joe Cole leaves the field at the same time to a standing ovation.

Back to back corners for utd on 80 were dealt with but you could tell WHU were getting more edgy.  Matt Jarvis made a good run past Vidic, and encouraged a yellow card from the Utd skipper.

On 87 CC went so close after Nobes cushioned the ball back into Matt Taylor who moved it on to CC.  Just as we head into Fergie time, up pops Van Persie as expected, to equalise after a great ball from Giggs.

Roll on a week for a replay at Old Trafford. United to go through. WHU had their chance today.

MOTM: Joe Cole was superb, CC played his arse off. Potts was magnificent. But James Collins scored 2 important goals for the hammers, so it goes to him. For Utd, Vidic was great against Cole all day, but his bit of madness on Jarvis took the edge off.

 

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 !