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...


  1. I thought Algeria played with heart.

  2. I watched all three matches on Saturday and our match was the dullest to behold. If Algeria had been any stronger, we'd had been done for - but to echo your sentiments the defence and goalie were the only players who could be bothered.

    Rooney needs to be taken out and shot. This is our star player and it appears that he doesn't have the balls skills to be able to trap and pass a ball. Instead, he just punts it forward in a vain attempt that the wind might blow it into the opponents goal. I remember playing with boys like that when I was at school. Heskey is similarly useless.

    Yes, they say that they are fearful. Of course, there's an element to all sports the niggling fear that you might lose, but if you play like a loser you will be...well...a loser. Half the battle is the psychology and if they actually believed they could win, they might just start putting passes together and making plays, instead of lobbing the ball forward and hoping for the best.

    For the first time in a long time, I don't blame the manager. The look on Capello's face mirrored the English fans - he was exasperated by what he was witnessing. It was almost as if he couldn't believe his eyes - and neither could the fans.

    As for the English fan's reception - well, it is not surprising, is it? Some of those people have paid thousands of pounds to be there, saved up, made sacrifices, left wives and families at home and for what? To watch a third-rate team do nothing. If this continues, I'll probably end up switching my allegiance to Team USA - who at least seem hungry for a win.

    But I am not looking forward to the next match. I have a funny feeling that for us, the game is already over...

  3. Claude:

    I'm not sure it is that, higher wages actually buys you better performance because players are happier. Just read a great book on football economics, very enlightening.


    I thought Algeria were shit, I suppose they had heart, they had something that England lacked.


    Spot on, wise words, as always.


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