Sunday, 13 June 2010
England 1 USA 1
And so England's World Cup has begun and, result aside, it was a refreshing surprise, in that England played very well indeed and deserved to win by some margin. Of course, we did not. Arse.
Perhaps that could be blamed on the USA, who played very well defensively and were very hard to beat, they made a number of essential clearances and competed very well.
Saying that, I'm not used to watching England play such fine football in a major tournament and it was a real shame that they were not rewarded for all their hard work. England would've shaded it if it wasn't for an EPIC ROB GREEN FAIL and of course, I feel utterly gutted for him and hope that faith is shown in his keeping abilities because he pulled off a grand save that stopped us being beat. We shall see whether Capello is so forgiving of the goalkeeper...
Man of the match for me was Emile Heskey of all people, the big galoot was awesome, winning everything in the air and dominating the American defence at every turn. His attacking partner Rooney had an average game but as always grafted hard and was the only player to show the flashes of genius required in world football to win matches like these.
The highlight of England's midfield was Frank Lampard's impassioned rendering of the national anthem before kick-off, from that he drifted in and out of the game, far too often stuck as anchor man, a role he is utterly unsuited for. Skipper Gerrard had a cracking match but it was more intense effort than substance, it would be nice to have seen him further up the pitch. Out wide we were disappointing, Lennon did his best wide-right and had flashes of brilliance but needs to believe more in his abilities, good to see him taking people on though. Milner had a mare, why Capello picked him I've no idea, he was off the pace and looked ill and in yet more bizarre management skills, he was replaced after half an hour by Wright-Phillips who, bless him, dribbles with the ball as if any moment he will fall over it. He tried hard but lacked final product and also meant that Ashley Cole at left-back was pinned back defensively.
Cole was of course great, he is a fine talent, Johnson was also brilliant, real flair and was not exposed defensively, we are lucky to have two grand full-backs. As for central defence, Terry was as solid as ever, King looked alright but is already injured, which along with the selection of Milner, makes Capello's decision making look a little off. I was glad to see Carragher on for the second half, he is a resolute defender and maybe lacking pace but makes up for it with positioning and defensive genius.
Plenty of elements bode well for the game against Algeria, which is however, now a must win game for us.
COME ON ENGLAND!