Saturday, 19 June 2010
England 0 Algeria 0
Oh my good God, that was fucking awful.
You know, I chortled to myself, upon watching France getting thrashed by Mexico 2-0, that England, for all their flaws, will never play sans heart, soul and spirit like the French. We may be bad sometimes but we'll never stoop to that level.
And lo, it came to pass, against an awful Algerian team (something I am grateful for, if they had been any good we would've been crushed like dogs, their number 15 Ziani is perhaps the worst player I've ever seen at a World Cup) we drew nil-nil and played like the French.
And it wasn't even that Algeria were offering tight banks of four and defending well, we could and did break them down, when we managed to string a few basic passes together but that was a rare occurrence indeed.
Quite simply, England played with no heart, no passion and utterly crippled by fear, fear of what I've no idea and if they were apprehensive against Algeria, they will be frozen solid by anguish as they have to beat Slovenia. Wednesday promises to be a terrifying and possibly deeply distressing day. I can't wait...
It feels slightly pointless to investigate England player by player, James was at least impressive, although he had nothing to do but should at least give us a strong figure in goal as the Slovenians pepper us with attacks. In fact, the whole defence looked good, in a solid and untested way that is and we will miss Carragher, who had a good game. Johnson and Cole did well at full back but needed to push on more, occasionally Glenn Johnson looked a bit at sea backtracking but this was hidden by the sheer incompetence of the rest of the team.
Midfield was dire, aside from Barry, who was my man of the match, even though he was a leaky with his passing at times but he covered so well and gave us shape, this will be much needed against Slovenia. Lampard went missing again, taking three touches when he should be taking one, whilst pal Gerrard was also AWOL, leaving Barry to carry all the weight. Lennon was alright at running in straight lines at pace but Wright-Phillips, when he came on, gave us more energy and effort, I hope he starts on Wednesday.
But it was upfront that my heart got broke. Heskey was okay but perhaps now has to go the way of the dinosaur, although I don't think Defoe or Crouch really gives us much. It was Rooney that destroyed me, his touch was awful, he seemed empty of ideas and effort; utterly crap and if he wasn't Rooney he would've been subbed and that cannot be good. He is our best player and he was a million miles away from being any good at all.
I have no idea where we go from here, surely it can't get worse and that seems to be our only succour.
Worryingly, it looks as if the problem exists solely in the mind of the players, what has riddled them with such paralysing fear, I have no idea. How can you be scared of losing if you've not even tried to succeed?
Here's to Wednesday, when I hope England find themselves again and make us proud and fight and battle and do their very best for themselves and for us, so the boo-boys will be silenced and our best player won't feel the need to do this...