Tuesday, 20 June 2006

England 2 Sweden 2

I feel like we've lost and I know that when the dust settles I'll be grateful we finished top of our group and we have Ecuador in the second round of the World Cup and I'll wonder why I was being so crabby but I just can't bloody help it!

Once again I shouted myself horse and got covered in beer and hugged strangers when we scored and punched the walls and cursed as Sweden kept pegging us back like the bastards they are. WE'VE NOT BEATEN THEM SINCE 1968!

And once again it was a tale of two halves, in the first half we played well, defense looked tight and attacked well when it could; Joe Cole was awesome on the left-wing, taking the Swedish defense on at will with Beckham grafting on the right (he has still to get going yet but he is such a worker). Owen Hargreaves was brilliant as the anchor man, throwing himself into every tackle with gusto and breaking down many Swedish moves across the park, playing with real heart; while Lampard once again has an endless stream of shoots on goal without converting a single one.

Rooney looked understandably short of match fitness and offered less and less as the game progressed but it was good to see him back and England are a far superior team with him on board (when he got substituted, he throw his boots off and punched the dug-out in frustration; which is why we all love him). Michael Owen's awful luck was compounded when he was injured in the first minute and my height twin (all 6ft 7in of him) Peter Crouch had to come on. As I write, it seems Owen may be out of the World Cup, a real shame indeed.

For the second half England sent out the same team but they couldn't get going at all, as Sweden lay siege to England's goal and then scored an equaliser to cancel out Joe Cole's goal of the tournament. From then on it was dour battling and both teams lacking an attacking urge and so it was that a tired Rooney was off and Gerrard came on to make a five man midfield and the draw was on. That was until Gerrard popped up to score what I thought was the winner until some shocking defending meant Sweden took a point off us...again.

What concerns me most is the defending, which up to now has been so solid, Sweden's set pieces and crosses presented real danger when they should be fodder for our centre-halves; they caught us out far too many times with near post corners, which is shocking. Their equaliser was particularly upsetting as our defence flapped.

On the plus side, Hargreaves was immense and freed Lampard up to miss more goal chances, Sol Campbell stepped in for Ferdinand and looked as solid as ever, Gerrard is really finding his goal scoring feet and Joe Cole is in excellent form (even if he did have a strangely quiet second half).

We should do Equador easily but we'll see...

8 comments:

  1. Not a footie fan but it was on in the pub so I half watched it. Have to say that if England don't learn pretty rapidly how to defend against corners there gonna get creamed by the first class team that they play.

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  2. AAARRRRGH Stop defending each goal like you have won you freaking halfwits. EVERY SINGLE TIME, has no one had a word with them that for the past twenty years we hold back its so much of a cliche its boring STOP DOING YOU MONKEYS.

    That said we are top of the group and I truly belive that England play like a newtonian liquid, we do seem to play to the force applied, and frankly I want to see us play a class team to see how class we can play.

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  3. The US is playing like crap, Colombia and Ireland are not in the cup, and I'm not in Germany, so my interest is waning a bit.

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  4. All I have to say is Go Go Sweden... Bye bye Beckham... :)

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  5. Doogie: you are so very right.

    UWL: SHOW MORE COMMITMENT! :-P

    Fiddelli: if you weren't so hot I'd kick your ass! Beckham ain't going no where and Sweden drew with T&T. Kiss it!

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  6. Dude--you're as bad as I am (maybe worse) regarding your team. I like it!

    And no need to apologize about your aversion to memes. It's all cool. We're the tolerant ones, remember?

    Yeharr

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  7. From what all I've heard, England is doing pretty good so far. I really do hope they win all they can.

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  8. BP: you got it man! Football is the be all and end all!

    Leslie: thanks for the kind wishes, pray for us!

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