15 June 2006

England/Trinidad and Tobago

Well, I guess England wasn't taking notes on the Spain game, because, wow, that was pathetic. Ten minutes of solid play at the end, but the eighty minutes before that were completely wretched. I'm happy for Crouch and Steven (and really happy Crouch didn't do the robot again), but I can't be happy at all with that performance, especially when you remember Trinidad finished fourth in CONCACAF. The biggest issues in today's game:

1. The midfield still isn't working well together. Steven, when he's defending, completely disappears, leaving Lampard to try to make the kind of shots Steven normally takes. Considering that Lampard had about five shots, and no goals, and Steven scored with his first shot, why is Steven still stuck defending? Oh, right. England can pack 24 tubes of toothpaste, but forgot to bring along a real holding midfielder.

2. Owen's first touch has yet to return, and Crouch was incredibly wasteful. I don't know why we brought Walcott, since he's clearly never going to get a game. But on his current form, Owen needs to be dropped. I adore him, y'all know that, but he's obviously not match-fit yet -- hell, Rooney looked better than he did, and he's barely got a foot. His first touch has gone to pieces, and he's just not there. Crouch, on the other hand, seems to have been reading the papers too much. I like him and all, but he's not the new Maradona. He needs to forget the bicycle kicks, take some time, and get the shots right.

3. John Terry's the only reason that wasn't a 2-0 loss. It hurts me to praise Terry too extravagantly, but his defending was the only good thing about most of the game. It shouldn't take a flight over the goal line to keep a clean sheet against T&T, but since it did, I'm glad he was there.

It didn't cost you here, boys, but it should have. And it sure as hell will in the next round, whether you get Ecuador or Germany. Get it together. The Guardian was being generous here -- you were extremely lucky to get a result, let alone win.


Jones said...

"England can pack 24 tubes of toothpaste, but forgot to bring along a real holding midfielder."
Hargreaves. But everyone hates his guts for some reason. *shrug*

Please tell me that Crouchinho didn't actually try a bicycle kick.

ynba said...

Well, I don't actually hate Hargreaves. But they're clearly not going to use him -- he's been a starter, what, twice? I don't know who else they could take, except Carrick. But for that to happen, Sven would have to drop either Lampard or Gerrard, and that totally won't happen.

I don't know that he did it in that game, but he's done it in the past. He needs to stop getting fancy and just, you know, shoot.

Jones said...

"But they're clearly not going to use him"
True. Yet another symptom of Sven's chronic brain wasting disease.

Did you see the footage that showed he was pulling the Trini player's hair when he scored? He's disgraced the integrity of the robot!

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