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John Motson on England v USA

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John Motson | 15:36 UK time, Sunday, 13 June 2010

England got their World Cup campaign off to a stuttering start against a 1-1 draw with the United States. But remember that in 1966 England drew 0-0 in their opening game of the World Cup, so it's not all doom and gloom. Here's my thoughts about Fabio Capello's performance in their first Group C game in South Africa.

Click on the video below to see my thoughts.

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Comments

  • 1. At 3:57pm on 13 Jun 2010, Nick wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 4:50pm on 13 Jun 2010, GunnerTommyF wrote:

    I LOVE YOU Motty!

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  • 3. At 5:11pm on 13 Jun 2010, CBC wrote:

    Instead of getting comment on the performance and an insight into the game, we again revert to the history of 1966. This time it only took until the start of the second paragraph.............. I want to see the opinions from an insiders standpoint, not a regurgitation of 40 year old history!!!!!

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  • 4. At 5:14pm on 13 Jun 2010, Sim Brow wrote:

    I agree with the need to play Joe Cole. He is vital to our chances and must be allowed to contribute.

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  • 5. At 5:18pm on 13 Jun 2010, FromDuskTillDawn wrote:

    You will not play fabulous football, if you replace one or two players. The whole midfield played awful yesterday. And what should Rooney do? If there is no connection between midfield and the strikers, blame your midfield and not Rooney!

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  • 6. At 5:23pm on 13 Jun 2010, Johnathon Brock wrote:

    We created chances but did not look particularly dangerous in the last third. Service to Rooney was not so good and did not give him the opportunity to use his skill and guile to best effect.

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  • 7. At 5:23pm on 13 Jun 2010, bounce bounce bounce wrote:

    Americans got lucky.

    Dempsey himself admitted it was a fluke. And apart from that and Altidore's attempt, USA did nothing except mark and defend and play for the one point. USA got the point only with a little help from Green. If Green didn't mess up, England had USA beat. England outplayed the USA.

    Now for the next match, it's time for Capello to stop being so stubborn minded (as Hansen indicated on MOTD yesterday), and England play adventurous, with Gerrard behind Rooney. In the US match, Rooney played better with Stevie G near him. We should do this against Algeria, who with all due respect aren't a great team. I also think Green shouldn't be risked, he'd be under mental pressure and Algerians will take advantage of this. Its time for Capello to play Hart, who's the best English keeper we got and the best keeper in the league last season. He'd be so fired up for this, and his enthusiasm showed in the league and in the friendlies. He won't be scared.

    My preferred XI:
    -----------Hart
    Johnson--Terry--Upson--A.Cole
    -------Barry-----Lampard
    Lennon----Gerrard-----J.Cole
    ----------Rooney

    I hope England scores a bucketfull of goals against Slovenia and Algeria so we can top the table on goal difference if US wins theirs. But now given how some American fans have reacted to the draw, I hope Slovenia beat the US, thereby getting 6 points on the table, play lazy against England so we can batter them, and England to win against Algeria, thereby letting England win the group, Slovenia come second, and USA going three and out and going back home early.

    Come on England. Get it right!

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  • 8. At 5:27pm on 13 Jun 2010, silv23 wrote:

    Why did England fail to win?

    Well the obvious answer is because Green made an inexcusable mistake, but the more long winded reason is this.

    Firstly, Gerrard and Lampard in the centre of midfield just does't work. Not because they are both bad players, or because they can't play together. No, because they both want to push forward thus leaving a huge gap in the centre of midfield, particularly the space between defence and midfield, which both the US forwards could exploit.

    Secondly, the ball. Having watched every game so far, it is clear that this ball is very difficult to control - hence the low scoring game due to the lack of controlled build up. English players, no matter what anyone says are not as competent on the ball, especially the first touch (which is vital in tight matches) and therefore found it difficult to sustain any real build up play.

    Thirdly, the pitch. It was a small, narrow pitch, in comparison to other grounds. The high energy and quick closing down of the US team, coupled with the previous point regarding English players technique, resulted in many moves breaking down. England play better on a large pitch like Wembley, where they can spray the ball around - especially the likes of Lampard and Rooney.

    Fourthly, rustiness and the altitude maybe, although I personally don't see how this really is a problem. The English players have complained about the altitude often, but this match was being played at 1,200m. The affects of altitude really shouldn't be an issue until around 2000-2500m. As someone who has played football at over 3000m in Bolivia, and has been as high as 6438m climbing Illimani in the Andes, I can say that the affects of altitude will diminish quickly as players get use to the lack of oxygen - although like I said earlier 1,200m isn't really that high and I am surprised it has been an issue with the players.

    I would for the next game.

    Be really brave and put Hart in goal, I really like the guy, he has had a fantastic season, never makes and error and is youthful and very agile. I just see him as Rooney in 2004, not scared and full of desire. Massive gamble I realise, but I believe it would pay off.
    Leave defence as it is, although obviously bring in Carragher for the injured King.
    Bring in Barry to sit in midfield to break up play. But Gerrard out left, and use A.Cole as an attacking full-back. to support the left hand side when Gerrard moves inside.

    Keep Heskey up front with Rooney, he played really well last night and tell Rooney to not drop so deep, as he was never in a forward position when we were on the attack last night.
    To be frank, I would play the same formation and team that we played against Croatia at Wembley - it worked so why change it?

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  • 9. At 5:28pm on 13 Jun 2010, rjaggar wrote:

    Well Mr Motson

    There are some theorists claiming that Joe Cole was ill for the past 3 days. Is that why he was on media duties?? Surely he should be cooped up in bed in that case???? I agree with you, he should be in at left half.

    I hope Barry comes back in. If he's fit, England normally play well with him in the side. Because he complements the others, doesn't duplicate them.

    The thing is though: how to play Barry, Cole, Rooney, Heskey and still play Lampard and Gerrard. It says Gerrard is on the right side and Lennon is out.

    Because I don't see how you balance the midfield with Heskey, Rooney and Lennon in without saying it's 4-2-3-1. Which to me seems to be Barry plus one in holding roles, with Rooney, Gerrard and Lennon behind Heskey or Crouch. And to be brutal, your second in midfield might be Carrick or Milner in that situation. Messy politics........

    The whole squad injuries situation is Kremlinesque from the outside.

    James' 'injury' can't be bad or he wouldn't be there at all. My opinion is that you can't hide Hart behind 'inexperience'. If he's too inexperienced to play, he shouldn't be there at all. Robinson was ready, so they chose Hart rather than someone with tournament experience. So all this guff about 'protecting' him is guff. He's capable of playing or he shouldn't be there. End of story.

    What's King's groin got to do with his knee? Maybe a lot, but seems a strange connection........to me, it's yet another piece of bad luck.

    What was wrong with Milner to put him in bed for 3 days? If it was Delhi Belly, that goes in a few days, so why take the risk in the first game?? Doesn't make sense......

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  • 10. At 5:30pm on 13 Jun 2010, What Would Clough Do wrote:

    1990 which is cited a lot also started out with a lot of draws between England, Ireland Republic, Netherlands and Egypt before England got the only victory by defeating Egypt 1-0. That said, this is a peculiar situation.

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  • 11. At 5:31pm on 13 Jun 2010, kingdobster wrote:

    'Motty' mentioning 1966??? There's a surprise!!! And they wonder why virtually the whole of Scotland was laughing last night!!!

    Perhaps a little more humility would create a little bit more sympathy from your friends north of hadrians wall!!!

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  • 12. At 5:40pm on 13 Jun 2010, georgito wrote:

    'Afternoon Motty, just moments ago i posted a comment on McNulty's blog saying all the things you have said there! great minds...
    I wonder how Joe Cole was overlooked twice for a berth on the left in this game. I mentioned the same advantages(better variation and reading of the game) so its obviously a dubious decision to go with SWP.

    No doubt Capello will be thinking about changing the keeper for Algeria, it's an awful lot of pressure for Green to handle- sorry, poor choice of words!

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  • 13. At 5:41pm on 13 Jun 2010, Monkey Planet wrote:

    Motty - the points are the same at this stage but does this current England squad compare with that of 1966? Banks v Green? Terry v Moore? I think this says it all. Grasping & straws comes to mind. Enjoying the daily videos though!

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  • 14. At 5:42pm on 13 Jun 2010, georgito wrote:

    it was # 543 on phil mc nulty's for the record.

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  • 15. At 5:53pm on 13 Jun 2010, Pete wrote:

    Motty, I like your thoughts about Joe Cole down the left and yes, if David James is fit, he should come in instead of the new 'calamitous' Green. By the way, I hope Ray Winstone apologises now to Peter Bonetti regarding his comments on the BBC yesterday.

    If this truly is the 'Olden Golden Generation' Then they should go out and make sure they beat Algeria. If they can't do that then there has to be something seriously wrong with the team.

    By the way Motty, Arsenal for the Premiership? That was a howler.

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  • 16. At 5:56pm on 13 Jun 2010, chesterbedandbreakfast wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 17. At 6:02pm on 13 Jun 2010, jonosss wrote:

    1966 this 1966 that blah de blah....

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  • 18. At 6:09pm on 13 Jun 2010, Matley wrote:

    I agree with employing Joe Cole. I would like to see Couch play with Rooney. Couch adds a different perspective to attacking with his height. I would not have Terry on the team so he would not play. I applaud Heskie's work ethic all the way to the 18 yard box but he cannot finish so I would sit him down. I think the coach was correct in saying England played well but close only counts in horseshoes.
    This is not a shot at Capello, but I would have loved to see Ferguson on the bench.

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  • 19. At 6:19pm on 13 Jun 2010, fear_my_googly wrote:

    Joe Cole is one of the few England players in the squad that has a decent level of technical ability. It is a mistake not to use him. England are not a technically gifted team. For instance look at the level of close ball control, it's nowhere near what Argentina displayed, sometimes it wasn't even as accomplished as Nigerias.

    I don't think Gerrard or Lampard did anything wrong, but conversely they didn't do an awful lot. Only Heskey and Johnson seemed to make a constant positive contribution in that match. Rooney did everything he could but the service to him was too infrequent. Heskey won almost everything in the air but it rarely fell for Rooney. He hardly got a cross or a pass anywhere near him in the box for the entire match. With that quality of service to any striker you're going to struggle.

    It sounds a little harsh to berate a team just one match in to a campaign, but there is something a lot of England fans seem to gloss over time and time again. England are not a creative, technical, playmaking team. They don't have the creativity of Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Holland etc. They often rely on fairly simple and predictable tactics. It's fine when it works, but be prepared to accept that it looks really, really ugly when it doesn't work. That's the nature of Englands football, it's often painful to watch!

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  • 20. At 6:21pm on 13 Jun 2010, jake wrote:

    Oh Fabio....play Joe Cole!!!

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  • 21. At 6:26pm on 13 Jun 2010, real life wrote:

    England have had only moderate success in the World Cup, and that is perhaps a fair indication of their standing in the world game. They won the tournament once, in 1966, when it was held on their own soil and they played all their matches at their home ground, Wembley Stadium, an advantage extended to no other team in World Cup history.Fact never ever mentioned by Motson.

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  • 22. At 6:27pm on 13 Jun 2010, goiko wrote:

    Can only imagine that only people who couldn't play the game themselves can take any serious notice of Motson (doubt that he ever could play either). Once again just quotes statistics and jumps to (or just repeats) very simplistic conclusions.

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  • 23. At 6:30pm on 13 Jun 2010, PJHONEY82 wrote:

    Motty,

    Surely by clicking the link I'll be 'hearing' your thoughts?

    Anyways, your team are pretty mediocre and played gash.

    The only positive to take from the whole thing was the fact that your fans didn't riot. Congratulations!

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  • 24. At 6:34pm on 13 Jun 2010, anotherenglandfan wrote:

    Our midfielders might look "world class" against Burnley, Hull, and Wigan, but are nowhere near being "world class" in reality. Let's not get carried away by the unceasing Premier League hype and hyperbole. None of our midfield would get anywhere near the starting line ups for Brazil, Spain, Ghana, Holland, Germany, Italy, or Argentina. They are what they are - very limited, massively over-hyped players. They didn't under-perform against the USA - they performed to the real-life limits of their abilities.

    We'll go out to the first side we meet who have with even an ounce of quality.

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  • 25. At 6:40pm on 13 Jun 2010, Lakshmi Srinivas wrote:

    Did I hear Motty right - about the '66 World Cup? Alexi Lalas of ESPN said this morning that the English are an ordinary team but they do suffer from delusions of grandeur. I was offended as an England die-hard when he said that.

    But where's Motty coming from?

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  • 26. At 6:41pm on 13 Jun 2010, mac_knife wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 27. At 6:43pm on 13 Jun 2010, breal wrote:

    I want to believe Capello’s stubbornness will see us through to the semis (if we and Germany finish top of our groups) but I just can’t see it.

    What has changed from the Erickson/Mclaren era? Gerrard and Lampard still cant play together. Rooney is not entirely happy. No confident keeper. Slow central defenders. Lack of quality delivery from the wide men. In fact, you could argue that we have actually gone backwards in our central positions.

    Capello wont suddenly start playing Gerrard off Rooney so we need to stop that debate. He will stick to what he thinks is our best formation, the formation he has played throughout, 4-4-2.

    We just have to pray for no more injuries, Barry coming in to free up Gerrard/Lampard (cos he wont drop either of them) to play further up the pitch and for Rooney to prove that he is our only world class player.

    And please stop blabbering on about comparisons to 66. It’s embarrassing.

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  • 28. At 6:46pm on 13 Jun 2010, Gwyrangon wrote:

    Maybe the ball doesn't help, but Messi didn't have too many problems controlling it.

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  • 29. At 6:56pm on 13 Jun 2010, samsrean1965 wrote:

    I just can't understand why Wright Phillips is even in this team!absolutely worthless.

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  • 30. At 7:00pm on 13 Jun 2010, ScarletPuffyParrot wrote:

    I agree with Motty, Joe Cole definitely for Milner. Then Upson or Carragher to replace King . Midfield played well especially Gerrard and Lampard. Rooney was quiet, better service needed and Heskey played better than I expected but still missed a great chance to score when maybe Crouch probably would have done.

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  • 31. At 7:04pm on 13 Jun 2010, John Galt wrote:

    England continues to have some of the worse goal keepers in the world. Simply chaps, you can not win the world cup without first rate world keepers, can you? It is all and well to make excuses like Owen's at the Telegraph. That is what the English have been making since the dreadful loss against Germany in 1986 where a 2-0 lead ended on a loss of 3-2 with a shot going under the belly of the English goal keeper. I remember, I was there. And the excuses have not stopped since then.
    I hope Capello lives up to his reputation of leaving sentimentalities aside, as I have been reading in the liberal cry babies newspapers, and sack these loser of a goal keeper. And that is that, if you want to win!

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  • 32. At 7:05pm on 13 Jun 2010, Ryushinku wrote:

    I don't think we even have to go back as far as 1966, I'm reminded of the 1-1 draw against Switzerland at the first match of Euro '96...did okay in the end there, didn't we?

    It was still a very disappointing, blunt-edge performance though. Must do better!

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  • 33. At 7:08pm on 13 Jun 2010, Greig wrote:

    I think that to be going back to 1966 again and again does the current team no good and also makes the auther of this report seem very out of touch.
    Bearing in mind that England have drawn their opening game in other world cups and not gone on to win making the 1966 claim satisticly incorect as well as irelavent.

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  • 34. At 7:10pm on 13 Jun 2010, jimmieg wrote:

    Have not seen any Sportswear Manufacturer claiming to have supplied Robert Green's goalkeeping gloves.

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  • 35. At 7:11pm on 13 Jun 2010, sportster wrote:

    hahaha "remember 66..."
    This is not 66. This is 2010.
    There are just too many teams (including the USA) better than yours...

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  • 36. At 7:14pm on 13 Jun 2010, Smilsie wrote:

    In response to CBC, it's not about 66, it's about how you win the world cup. Can you win it by drawing and being inadequate in the first game, yes you can. England 66, Italy 82. Can you win it with a sublime team, yes and no, Brazil 70 and 82. Can you win it without a recognised goalscorer, yes you can, France 98. can you build a whole team around one guy, yes you can, Argentina 86. and can you win it just by being damned efficient... Germany.. Say no more. I love the world cup...

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  • 37. At 7:16pm on 13 Jun 2010, sportster wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 38. At 7:21pm on 13 Jun 2010, David from Scotland wrote:

    As someone born in England, but lived my whole life north of the border, I am somewhat unsurprised by Motty's blog.

    England were poor last night.

    However, I do not think that any other previous winners of the World Cup continually hark back to previous victories to justify any game.

    Maybe, just maybe if commentators and media in general just accepted that yes, 1966 was exceptional, but that it was a generation ago (at least) and looked forward, there would be less pressure on players & fans.

    AND you might get more support from outwith England ;)

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  • 39. At 7:25pm on 13 Jun 2010, L A Odicean wrote:

    You are right about Joe Cole, Motty. But should he be playing in the formation in the hole behind Rooney? I think not.

    I'd prefer to see him playing alongside Lampard, but slightly wider and slotting into the space left by Rooney in more of a rectangular setup than a diamond.

    This would mean, of course, that the Ashley Cole could take it upon himself to fill any holes that appear at the back when Joe Cole goes on a dribble. He does that anyway despite the risk.
    And what is this game if it's not about taking risks?

    By the way, Green should play and so should Heskey, who was terrific. But Crouch is far too thin to be a suitable target up front.

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  • 40. At 7:25pm on 13 Jun 2010, Colin S wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 41. At 7:27pm on 13 Jun 2010, mickthejock wrote:

    Motty i think you're great but come on, referring to a 44 year old game in an attempt to conjure up a crumb of comfort is a bit desperate.

    If you are going to compare the two tournaments and teams though lets do it properly.

    Goalkeepers: Green and Banks, enough said.

    Defenders: Charlton, Moore, Wilson and Cohen played all 6 games, let in 3 goals (one from the rampant Eusebio) and looked solid. Can we say the same about Terry and co who looked all at sea. Who would say they are confidently looking forward to facing Messi, Ronaldo, Tevez, and Torres running at our defence.

    Midfield; Stiles, Ball, Peters and Charlton supplied flair, goals and drive, they new their strengths and played in a fixed formation where they new their positions. Our midfield was pedestrian, lacked incision and who knows which position they are going to be playing in for the next game.

    Forwards; Hurst and Hunt is a no contest against Heskey and Rooney.

    Add to that we were playing at home and there were fewer capable teams.

    Yes, lets remember but please don't compare.

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  • 42. At 7:31pm on 13 Jun 2010, mindwise wrote:

    Ooooooow the drama :)

    The view from this footbal layman from Holland:

    England dominated most of the game... the game felt like it was going to England all the time and the posession percentages with nearly 60-40 back that up.
    Corner stats 8-4, shots on target 9-5.... the US was lucky to get a draw...

    Sure, everyone is longing for an England team that passes and plays well, but "group openers" are not exactly known for that now are they...

    I remember the last Euro when Holland did extremely well in the group stage only to do a "team howler" against Russia and out "we" went...

    It's quite insignificant this, and should certainly not result in any concequences...

    So Green had a bad moment, i guess he's got Algerian company and i'm confident more will follow, which should be interesting ;)

    ALl that critisism of SWP, it's a bit much to expect SWP to turn a game in which England was obviously not having it's day.....

    Better to have y'r offday in a groupmatch and still get a draw, then to lose in the first knock out match...

    and btw "american guy"(whose nick i forgot)... you were complaining last night that your posts were not showing quick enough to your liking and you thought that was becasue "the bbc" did not want any negative comments about the England squad.... Jeeez man, i guess you were too busy refreshing the page to read the rediculously critical messages all over the boards....

    Last nights performance will be quickly forgotten and England will get out of the group just fine.(unless they are going to start with Crouch, not that Crouch is not good, but Crouch will lead to less passing and more "kick and rush", and this England team is to good to resort to that (really, it is..)

    I personally think it would be good if England met Germany quickly, i think that lineup will get the best out of the England team :)

    England do need JCole up front to widen the pitch and get better crosses in.

    Cheers :)

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  • 43. At 7:33pm on 13 Jun 2010, Delamod wrote:

    In '66 you 0nly got 2 points for a win- Thanks to Jimmy Hill it's 3 points nowadays

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  • 44. At 7:35pm on 13 Jun 2010, AnemosUK wrote:

    Hahahaha, hard to swollow, the Great English football drew???
    wow, listening to all the English the cup is in the back pocket.
    I am delighted, now we can see England play some football, if that
    is the way they will play on, well I see Brazil,Italy,Spain,Germany
    having a feast on England

    I cant wait

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  • 45. At 7:35pm on 13 Jun 2010, fatbob wrote:

    1966 blah blah, oh by the way Motty England also drew their opening game 54, 58, 90, 02 and never won the competition. Yet more nonsense from a man who should have been retired years ago!

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  • 46. At 7:42pm on 13 Jun 2010, tony65 wrote:

    the England team were exceptionally ordinary last night,when I saw Green was the GK I said to my wife "oh my god .he couldn't catch water if he fell out of a boat " and surprise,surprise he proved my point.

    However this result plays to the grand plan for 2012,I shall explain.When England don't win the European Championships Capello goes to Inter Milan ,where Benites has just signed a contract that runs out in 2012, Benitez goes to Everton to kick Liverpool where it hurts,David Moyes gets the job he deserves at Man Utd and Fergusson gets the England job SORTED!!

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  • 47. At 7:44pm on 13 Jun 2010, Labourwillgetin2015 wrote:

    Green did not lose us the win.

    What lost us the win was a consistent lack of poise in front of goal.

    I am also concerned about Lampard. Yes, he can sometimes belt goals but that's not his main job. In terms of movement and passing, he is far too mechanical and workaday to be in a World Cup starting XV.

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  • 48. At 7:45pm on 13 Jun 2010, largehat - Now We Want Pelé wrote:

    All these references to 1966 are an embarrassment. England were really poor last night. What does drawing 0-0 in our opening game 44 years ago against different opponents tell us? Nothing. We have to end this media driven obsession with 1966 after this tournament. I am English and an England fan and I am sick of hearing about it. It's a completely different game now. Please can we move on? Enough is enough.

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  • 49. At 7:51pm on 13 Jun 2010, RadioRentals wrote:


    Was America a developed country in 1966...??

    Just wondering, like!

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  • 50. At 7:53pm on 13 Jun 2010, sutty wrote:

    Biggest mistake was to not tell the players till a couple of hours before the game that they were the starting 11, surely you have to mentally prepare yourself for a match of such importance

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  • 51. At 8:04pm on 13 Jun 2010, Davey Bones wrote:

    Carragher is so slow my gran would beat him but Upson is useless and Dawson untried so I hope King recovers. Gerard played OK but nowhere near as good as some think. Lampard did nothing and Rooney was anonymous, I don't blame him there was no supply. Lennon was good when he got the ball but he rarely did. SWP did OK, Johnson not bad going forward but not much good defending. Milner was pants, Terry and Cole did what they had to pretty well. Heskey laid the ball off well for the goal but I'm sure Crouch would have done that as well and he probably wouldn't of missed that sitter. Green, well nothing needs to be said about him except what the ITV morons said was a good save is nonsense it just hit him and if he'd have let that one in the two feet inside his post it would have been dreadful. Bring in Calamity James, he makes some bad decisions but he'd never do what the hapless Green did.

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  • 52. At 8:05pm on 13 Jun 2010, Ali wrote:

    7. At 5:23pm on 13 Jun 2010, RockingTheJoint wrote:

    My preferred XI:
    -----------Hart
    Johnson--Terry--Upson--A.Cole
    -------Barry-----Lampard
    Lennon----Gerrard-----J.Cole
    ----------Rooney

    ----------------------

    SPOT ON!

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  • 53. At 8:21pm on 13 Jun 2010, Sam1r wrote:

    Some good comments here. :)

    I am in agreement with most that J.Cole should be on the left wing.

    My concern is getting the best out of Gerrard.
    It is patently obvious that he is one of the only great, or "World Class" players that we possess.

    Therefore he MUST be played in his favoured position, not out on the left.

    Lampard should be sacrificed as he contributes virtually nothing to the team.
    Yes he will take a punt or two at goal, but the other 91 minutes of the match he spends giving the ball away cheaply, or making 10 yard backward passes.

    Barry should replace Lampard, allowing Gerrard to do his thing from centre mid. (Wishful thinking.)

    My other concern is central defence.

    With Ferdinand and King injured, the centre backs left for selection are simply not good enough.

    Terry, Carragher, Dawson and Upson will drag us through the group stages, but they will all be exposed by the pace and skill of a top class team.
    Upson and Carragher have proven they not good enough at international level, and Dawson is simply another in the same mould: No pace whatsoever, and almost no skill on the ball.

    These "English style" centre backs are relics from the past. There is no room for players with such little skill and pace at the top of the modern game.

    My England team for Algeria:

    Hart

    Johnson - Carragher - Terry - A. Cole

    Lennon - Barry - Gerrard - J. Cole

    Rooney - Heskey


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  • 54. At 8:21pm on 13 Jun 2010, Marc wrote:

    What I Want To Know Is Why On Earth Is Darren Bent Not Their Considering He Done Alot Better Last Season Compared To Heskey And Ccrouch. I Don't Care What People Say About Experience, You Can't Leave A Striker At Home Who Is Able To Score 20 Plus Goals For Sunderland

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  • 55. At 8:22pm on 13 Jun 2010, MoveOverBeckhamLovers wrote:

    pssssttt... find someone on the bench who can feed Rooney. It'll be OK England.

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  • 56. At 8:23pm on 13 Jun 2010, snookerloopy84 wrote:

    I think that Robert Green's error was an accident as it got a hand to the ball then it went over the line. It's something that all goalkeepers get use to especially in the Premier League these days. He is definately our future number one keeper as he has had a fantastic season for West Ham!
    STEVIE WEBSTER
    HERNE BAY
    KENT

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  • 57. At 8:24pm on 13 Jun 2010, scotlandrugbyfan wrote:

    Play Joe Cole.
    Inform the team more than two hours before the match who's starting. I mean really, what is Capello thinking? This is not playground football, it's the world cup.
    And for the love of God stop harping on about 1966! It's excruciatingly boring, self obsessed and most importantly completely and utterly irrelevant.


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  • 58. At 8:26pm on 13 Jun 2010, JimR wrote:

    The journalist wanted this team and they got what they wanted. But who in their right mind would have Heskey and Crouch as their strikers. What happened to only playing footballers who were in form and fit? I’m getting to old waiting for a good England world Cup performance; let’s boycott the media for a month when we get knocked out against the first serious opposition. Maybe then, we will get journalists who reflect the football voice not their own.
    Now we see the media suggesting that with Barry’s return England will be balanced but as the USA showed, we create very few chances and if you keep Wayne Rooney quite, we only have the regular mid fielders who can score. Why not have two Strikers, with Wayne Rooney braking through the middle.
    Why don’t we do like Alex Ferguson does, ignore those who say Wayne Rooney needs Heskey to play? Let’s play a striker whose job is to score GOALS not to make another player look good. Let’s play a striker that can run faster than defenders, will be greedy and shot when in position and can head a ball in a direction that helps the team. Sorry but Heskey and Crouch should be at home and Bent and Zomara should be available on the bench. If a player cannot make it into their own premiership team, why would they be in the England team!

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  • 59. At 8:26pm on 13 Jun 2010, sportster wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 60. At 8:28pm on 13 Jun 2010, MoveOverBeckhamLovers wrote:

    What a burden it must be.

    http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/1139/tumblrl3x34btiyx1qz6l95.jpg

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  • 61. At 8:33pm on 13 Jun 2010, rjaggar wrote:

    Well Mr Motson

    Watching how Germany are performing and looking at their squad, I think one has to say that all this guff about players needing to be 'experienced' is that: guff.

    Germany's squad has 3 outfield players aged 28 or more. Three out of 20. There are six of 21 or less. And 11 of 23 to 26.

    I doubt they'll win this tournament. But they aren't afraid to blood a squad of youngsters. And they don't seem afraid to take a 2 goal lead in 30 minutes of game 1, do they??

    I suspect that choice will fall on the England manager taking a squad to Brazil in 2014. So it might be worthwhile keeping tabs on the Germans, how they do and what they do for future reference.

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  • 62. At 8:33pm on 13 Jun 2010, graewolf wrote:

    I would like to ask why do england pick a goalkeeper who played with a team in the premiership near to relegation,and secondly a striker,who holds the ball up well,has not hardly scored last season in the premiership,or hardly played? Surely you play your best goalie,joe hart,by far the best keeper of the three,as david james has possible injury.Out of the other strikers england took to south africa,who was in the best goal scoring form,well easy jermaine defoe,he should have at least have come on in the second half,he is a provan goalscorer,he would have moved the states defence about,and runs at pace,and would have scored heskeys chance,nae worries! oops yes i am a scot,why was milner playing on the left?-play joe cole!,he's played there before,he creates space and would provide opportunities for goal scoring chances.if i were a english supporter i would be flustrated,but im not,england should qualify,but england have to improve,play inform players.im enjoying the world cup,will be following the dutch!!

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  • 63. At 8:38pm on 13 Jun 2010, AnUnbiasedOpinion wrote:

    1966.......blah blah blah.Different World Cup same old story.
    The talk from Motty and the rest of the English Media is as stale as ever. It was 44 years ago!!!!. Move on, get out of the rut. Look forward to the future and think about World Cup 2010

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  • 64. At 8:47pm on 13 Jun 2010, bounce bounce bounce wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 65. At 8:50pm on 13 Jun 2010, Iain H wrote:

    Take away '66 in Englands record and what have you got? No players in a major International final, let alone won one! Nearly every major footballing country in Europe plus Greece and Denmark have a better record. Why the "Great Expectations"?

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  • 66. At 8:59pm on 13 Jun 2010, inverdavy wrote:

    Why oh why do you keep harking back to 1966? Please drag yourself into the 21st century and understand that the majority of the World like to look at the bigger picture of the WORLD cup. Yes England won the cup then, but that was the last thing they ever won. It is a fact that not everybody in the UK or the World supports England and as you represent the BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION your views should be neutral and balanced.

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  • 67. At 9:02pm on 13 Jun 2010, TheSecondStain wrote:

    Watched the video. Platitudes and cliche, I'm afraid. I'm old enough to have seem England's opening 19966 match. It makes not one jot of difference. It's an empty line. It's encouragement for losers. It's the "never mind" mentality. The bottom line is England play like they don't know each other. Even though their passes connected, they mostly played slowly and uninventively, apart from the first 5 minutes. Some desperate people will point to a lack of technical skill, the ball being too light, the pitch being too narrow, the wrong players, the long premiership season, the altitude, etc... All of it excuses, and all poor ones at that. The sad thing is, at the start of England's match, I knew they'd make heavy going of it.

    Currently, I'm watching Germany v Australia. A similar match perhaps..? Australia are actually doing as well as can be expected, being 2-0 down, as I write. Germany are playing exactly as you'd expect. They are no more skilful than England. They are no fitter and their coach is no better. What they do is play with confidence. They know their jobs and they know exactly where each other player is, and expects to be. Consequently, they are able to play with speed, or slowly, as they dictate, and with invention. Inevitably, they have begun to sit back a little, and have allowed Australia a bit of play. But they are still, very much, in control.

    They say that at the highest level, the game of football is played in the brain. Well England play as if they recently received a bang on the head. And Germany..? Now 4-0 up. They're playing with their brains very much intact.

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  • 68. At 9:08pm on 13 Jun 2010, sportster wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 69. At 9:09pm on 13 Jun 2010, dawn_patrol wrote:

    I'm watching the Germany game too. At least Motty is better than Jim Beglin. All he does is be wise after the event - "He should have taken the shot earler" and what might have been

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  • 70. At 9:11pm on 13 Jun 2010, PADDY393 wrote:

    YOUR GOOD AT EXCUSES MOTTY..TELL THE TRUTH NEXT TIME..ENGLAND IS OVERRATED. LUCKY IT WAS A DRAW..YOU ACTUALLY GOT BEAT..BETTER THINK OF A FEW MORE EXCUSES WHEN THE WORLD CUP IS OVER..ALWAYS EXCUSES FOR ENGLAND...ALWAYS.

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  • 71. At 9:13pm on 13 Jun 2010, 1Wattie wrote:

    Motson took only 34 seconds to remind everybody that England won the World Cup in 1966 - no surprise there then.
    I`m pretty sure that all of the reminders the current squad get about repeating history etc are having an effect on their concentration and focus. Sure last nights performance was not one of England`s best but by drawing they haven`t spoiled their chances of doing well. You can`t win the cup in the first game BUT you can certainly lose it with a defeat. England are still very much in the mix and a lot of countries will want to avoid them in the next round.
    I`m Scottish and will be supporting England in all of their matches - I just wish there was a way of keeping the media quiet for the duration.

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  • 72. At 9:14pm on 13 Jun 2010, PADDY393 wrote:

    DON'T YOU HAVE FREE SPEECH OVER THERE..I HAVE TO HAVE A MODERATOR..WHAT IS THIS WW2 OR THE DARK AGES..GET A LIFE

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  • 73. At 9:17pm on 13 Jun 2010, sportster wrote:

    Maybe England should hire an American Manager.

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  • 74. At 9:18pm on 13 Jun 2010, AidaTriggs wrote:

    Why does everyone get on Greens back after one mistake! Nobody is perfect. I am sure everybody in this world has made a mistake in their life and many in pressure situations at work... and this is exactly what Rob Green did. Deal with it!!!
    I was baffled to see James Milner in the starting X1 especially after being ill the later half of the week and he did not play in the left hand side in any of the warm-up games of friendly against the Platinum Stars in South Africa. I think Joe Cole should be one of the first on the team sheet as he always impresses for England and steps up to the plate when others don't around him.
    For me, Matt Upson should replace King in the defence. He has more experience than Michael Dawson and Jamie Carragher is not up to internanional standard. I would definately play 4-5-1 as this gets the best out of Rooney and also the best out of Gerrard and Lampard who to be fair did not to to bad together last night but Gareth Barry is what is needed infront of the defence, which looks shaky when put on under pressure from a counter attack.
    Finally, my team for the Algeria game would be:

    Robert Green
    Glen Johnson
    John Terry
    Matthew Upson
    Ashley Cole
    Aaron Lennon
    Steven Gerrard
    Gareth Barry
    Frank Lampard
    Joe Cole
    Wayne Roonety

    This is a team that could potentially win the 2010 World Cup for this ever expectant nation.

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  • 75. At 9:19pm on 13 Jun 2010, Colin S wrote:

    Would somebody please tell me what qualifies John Motson to say anything about football. Did he ever play the game?, if so, at what level? Was he a coach? I'd love to know what it is that qualifies him to give his "expert" analysis.

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  • 76. At 9:30pm on 13 Jun 2010, Douglas Lee wrote:

    Why on earth isn't Motty the England manager, or at the very least the chief commentator at the World Cup? His expert analysis and unerring judgement are far better than that of those currently filling those roles (yes, Capello, that means you), and his no-nonsense approach is exactly what's needed at a time like this. His huge talent is being sadly wasted.

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  • 77. At 9:36pm on 13 Jun 2010, polisnaemair wrote:

    Firstly as a Scot let me say that i was actually sorry for Robert Green last night, as he will be crucified by the English media now!

    For years, Scots have heard from the English media that their goalkeepers are a joke? well England havent exactly been blessed recently with Seaman v Brazil World Cup 2002, Robinson error away to Croatia in the 2008 Euro qualifiers,(the bobble) and now the hapless Green!

    So onto last nights game, the so called World class Rooney was very poor, as was Lampard, Carragher was run ragged when he came in in the 2nd half and was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch.
    Milner shouldnt have been in the starting line up in my opinion either as he wasnt fit.

    Only Gerrard, Johnson, Lennon(to a lesser degree) and Heskey who was Englands best player in my opinion received pass marks, which for such a big match just isnt good enough.
    England should still make the last 16 though, but USA are no pushovers and I always believed that the game would be a draw.
    I just wish the English media would stop installing England as the World Cup winners before a ball is even kicked.
    This morning England fans were deflated as if they had actually lost the game.
    Why?
    Because the Media put the level of expectation at such a high level that the reality of fact just doesnt match it..

    Will they ever learn? I doubt it.

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  • 78. At 9:36pm on 13 Jun 2010, WorksHardTaxedHard wrote:

    Oh how negative all England fans are!

    England made mistakes last night, not just green, but it was a more entertaining match then any of the England matches in the last world cup. I am already more interested in this world cup. England will probably go out by the quarter finals but if they play like last night it will be a more enjoyable world cup than Germany 2006.

    Yes Englands technical ability is limited but Italy won the last world cup without being inspiring.But for England fans it is much easier to be negative. Come on people buck up!

    And to all Scottish commentators you really think England were poor? What a surprise. But do please give us your IMPARTIAL opinion.

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  • 79. At 9:37pm on 13 Jun 2010, javman05 wrote:

    Hi Motty

    I see along you along with a few other media type folk keep referring to the fact that england also drew the first game of the 1966 tournament also. Pardon my ignorance but does 1966 hold some significance?

    Motherwell Fan

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  • 80. At 9:39pm on 13 Jun 2010, sportster wrote:

    72. At 9:14pm on 13 Jun 2010, PADDY393 wrote:
    DON'T YOU HAVE FREE SPEECH OVER THERE..I HAVE TO HAVE A MODERATOR..WHAT IS THIS WW2 OR THE DARK AGES..GET A LIFE


    -------------------

    Maybe America should liberate England once and for all.

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  • 81. At 9:43pm on 13 Jun 2010, DaveH73 wrote:

    Is it not Capello's duty as National manager to play the best team he can?, surely that must contain the most inform players available, how can he pick a player who hasn't scored for his country in over a year and has only scored 5 times for his club all season and leave Defoe (21 goals last season) & Crouch (better than 1 in 2 for England) on the bench and leave Bent (24 last season) at home!!! Surley the same applies at the other end, don't pick a keeper whose team just clung on to life in the Premiership(same applies to Upson, that others have commented should be picked), its sort of obvious that to be down that end of the table you must have let in a lot of goals. Pick a defender who had probably the best season of his life and held together an ever changing Spurs back four and helped them finish higher than they have for a long time (and he's only out there unfortunate/fortunate injury to Rio). And for God's sake someone screw up all those team sheets pre-printed with Gerrard and Lampards names and lets try something different in midfield you never know it might just work.

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  • 82. At 9:47pm on 13 Jun 2010, Stokerambo wrote:

    I agree 100% with Motty, well nearly. I think Dawson should partner Terry against Algeria, but all of our central defenders are good and should be able to cope with Algeria. I think Joe Cole should come in on the left, Carrick or Barry to partner Lampard and Gerrard to sit behind Rooney. Emile Heskey actually had a good game, set up a goal, but didn't score that chance. He will absolutely batter brittle Algerian defence and Rooney should get plenty of joy out of what looked like a fairly pedestrian side this afternoon.

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  • 83. At 9:47pm on 13 Jun 2010, Reiver Armstrong wrote:

    I do not know why England Managers repeatedly give Joe Cole such short shrift. He is a great player that mixes it up and creates situations. Play him!

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  • 84. At 9:47pm on 13 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    Dear Motty
    Has it occured to you yet that England are going to struggle to get out of their current World Cup group now and progress?
    Slovenia now have 3 points and England will be lucky to now qualify to the next round on goal difference, even if they can win a couple of matches.

    By the way what is Italian for 'turnip'? (just in case)

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  • 85. At 9:50pm on 13 Jun 2010, Super1979 wrote:

    Its completely obvious why Capello could not start with, nor bring on Joe Cole and that's as he was terrified that he would play well and then he would be compelled to drop his beloved Heskey or Milner.
    Far better to play Wright-Phillips and not win and then be compelled to play a player who may ruin his direct/pressing game by actually doing something unpredictable.
    Also is it me or does Milner play like a man who is wearing cardboard boxes in a effort to look like a robot.

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  • 86. At 9:51pm on 13 Jun 2010, dazzler67 wrote:

    Whilst not wishing to pick on Rob Green his season can be best descibed as indifferent Im afraid he was an accident waiting to happen but to use a cliche at the end of the day Capello is the man in charge I am sure I am not the only person to find some of his recent decisions baffling Carragher poor for Liverpool last season pace of a aged cart horse brought out of retirement? Ledley King great when fit but rarely fit? Shaun Wright Phillips on the left hand side when Joe Cole is sat on the bench? Emile Heskey not good enough for Villa but central to our plans?(although to be fair played well)my only hope is that we are saving our best for later

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  • 87. At 9:56pm on 13 Jun 2010, sotuneup wrote:

    I agree that Joe Cole will give us other attacking options.

    The match against the USA was like a FA Cup game between a Premiership and a Championship team in many ways. The waves of England attacks beat themselves out against the rocks of the USA defence who came for a draw and once they had it they shut up shop. It seemed that we had no answer to their defence.

    It would have been good to have Wright-Philips or Lennon go on a run into their box and invite the foul that would surely come and tuck away the resulting penalty.

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  • 88. At 9:58pm on 13 Jun 2010, roybus wrote:

    I'm not posting my comment because it would break the house rules.

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  • 89. At 9:59pm on 13 Jun 2010, Dunmow Wolf wrote:

    I always find reference to the 1990 World Cup a tad bizarre? The reality of that tournament is that it was a very poor one. We played poorly in the group but scraped through! Scraped through 1-0 after extra time against Belgium and were very lucky to beat Cameroon in QF 3-2. Luck ran out in the semi though. The final was perhaps the worst final in history, certainly the worst I've seen (since 74) and a well organised but uninspiring German team took the title.

    As for 66, as others have pointed out there is a gulf in class between then and now! I would say that potentially the only three players currently in the squad comparable are Gerrard, Rooney and possibly Ashley Cole! The rest are just nowhere near! Quite why the nation thinks Capello can turn the same players who failed so miserably under McClown into world beaters is beyond me? If we get to QF it will be a good result. The group is so lightweight I can't imagine we will fail to get out and probably meet Ghana in last 16! Winnable but not a gimme! Then QF against any of the big boys and we'll be on our way home! It could be worse tho! We could be Scotland!:-)

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  • 90. At 10:00pm on 13 Jun 2010, Peterslife wrote:

    Oh dear such expectation.. the precise quick accurate passing of the Argentina crew was a joy.. our often muddled hopeful playing style was not in the same class.The USA were better than we expected with a couple of talented gifted players who were as good as our lot. I like Heskey but is this holding up the ball a really useful tactic I mean invariably the ball goes back 10 yds then off we charge towards the goal.Yes lets have Joe in the side hes a bit of a Messi/ Gascoigne he goes for it & has the confidence creativity & tech ability. Our goal was a beaut yes but we are not giving Wayne the service to score.. he provides others.. the team must gell .. still looking like a saturday afternoon knockabout.

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  • 91. At 10:07pm on 13 Jun 2010, accessibilityhelp wrote:

    this man, such a snoozer. there is no significance for young people in mentioning 1966. wot a geezer, inspire me with someone younger and more knowledgeable so i'll come back to the bbc site

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  • 92. At 10:07pm on 13 Jun 2010, IslandLogic wrote:

    Notomorrow, you want an unbiased opinion? Looking in the wrong place on these message boards I think.

    Here's my tuppence. England should have won, but the link up to the strikers was not there. But that's not the problem. Englands defence will get found out be quicker teams.

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  • 93. At 10:13pm on 13 Jun 2010, snawbawz wrote:

    It's very hard to type and guffaw at the same time.

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  • 94. At 10:14pm on 13 Jun 2010, Herman39 wrote:

    Yawn...here we go again....1966...World Champions...bring it home...and the reality? Out in the last 16, if that far, then "who appointed Capello, we never really wanted him",then Germany, Italy, Brazil, Spain and such make England look like the bunch of incompetents they really are. Then on to 2014, now, that's goin' to be the year! Yo....flags out!

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  • 95. At 10:15pm on 13 Jun 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:

    I wonder if the Germans bang on about their 3 WC wins as much as England's media bangs on about their one win in '66?

    England are going to face some quality opposition (no offence to the US) shortly and are going to get schooled.

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  • 96. At 10:16pm on 13 Jun 2010, sydney arthur wrote:

    Why does no one ever face the truth which is in my opinion is, that the best players in English football are not English, the best players in world football are not English and therefore the fact that we struggle to do well at international level, barring the odd fluke, is no surprise?

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  • 97. At 10:17pm on 13 Jun 2010, Jimmy Bullards Funny Face wrote:

    Exactly what i was expecting from England. Capello has proven that he is another great club manager who can't manage a national team.

    Milner, Gerrard & Lampard all play central attacking midfield for their club, yet Capello seems to think a 2 week training camp is enough to transform all of them into different players.. basically Capello alike our previous two managers is a COWARD!!! It is this simple- pick a formation that all of your players understand, and then pick the best player to slot into each position.. then start looking deeper at ways of them to compliment one another.. so if you play a 4-4-2 then you can only pick one of Milner, Gerrard and Lampard.. from there get technical; Gerrard plays best with Barry as his defensive midfield partner, whereas Lampard works better with someone like Carrick, or more ideally Hargreaves.. We only have one left winger who plays there (ever) for his club, that's Joe Cole, yet left out the likes of Adam Johnson and Stuart Downing.. basically Fabio, "pick a balanced team with players playing in the positions they play for their clubs", which is for which you picked them in the first place!!!

    on the keepers, that is just baffling, Green was the West Ham keeper (they conceded a few this season right?), yet our two best performing keepers this season are Hart and Robinson, the latter isn't even in the squad..

    Forget 1966, the game back then has no basis on the modern game.. we have the players, so please Fabio, just use your common sense and have some faith in the less famous members of your squad!!!

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  • 98. At 10:18pm on 13 Jun 2010, AnUnbiasedOpinion wrote:

    Yawn Yawn Yawn. 1966 1966 1966. Motty the so-called expert (no professional football experience) boring everyone as usual with the same tired old 1966 story.If this '66 excuse is the best the English media can come up with then the bottom of the barrel has been scraped away!!!.Fresh start, new team, new World Cup, new story. Leave the worn out decades old excuses in the past and start telling good stories about THIS England team in THIS World Cup playing THIS century!!!!. When the English media start harping on again about 1966 it makes England the laughing stock of the world, especially when they get knocked out again.

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  • 99. At 10:23pm on 13 Jun 2010, Karamel wrote:

    I am Algerian, living in England and was completely chocked by the commentary of Simon Brotherton and Martin Keown of the Algeria v Slovenia game, as well as the horrible comments by Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer. Do you really believe that nations like Algeria or Slovenia and many others are in the world cup to win it? We are there, first because we deserve it, we have won our qualifying games (Scotland are not even in it Mr Hansen) and we all want to do our best. We deserve the respect of the BBC pundits and commentators. The game today was not boring and was definitely worth me cancelling my Sunday lunch, Mr Lineker...

    Shame on you BBC commentators. How dare you laugh at us, when your countries are not even able to qualify or to win their games, with all the money you have invested in football. I used to look up at you who are supposed to be the masters of football and football commentary. Today's comments were a disgrace for the BBC. Remember, the German were forced to cheat after behaving this way with Algeria, laughing and promising to score 10 goals. You should learn from these mistakes and be a bit more humble...

    Alan Hansen, the world cup is about players trying their best, we do not all have Rooney, Gerrard and Capello in our teams. You might deserve better for your birthday, but we Algerian supporters deserve better than you laughing at our national team. Go home Mr Hansen, if Africa is not good enough for you...

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  • 100. At 10:28pm on 13 Jun 2010, BlueBird69 wrote:

    Motson, you sound like a silly old twit, wittering on about 1966. Nobody outside of your country could care less. It's ancient history, but you're obsessed with it.

    You were poor against a very average team. Your players simply aren't good enough. Try a little humility and maybe people will hate England less. There's nothing worse than bragging when you can't back it up.

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  • 101. At 10:28pm on 13 Jun 2010, jchubeta_aBridgeTooFar wrote:

    Funny how, most people are now saying Joe Cole should start against Algeria.

    What about all the pre-World Cup hype about Milner? About how Milner " was the best midfielder in the premiership' and should play in ther centre. All this goes to show that one good season in the Premiership doesnt make one a great World Cup or world class player.

    The press are baying for Hart to replace Green, but I would like to see what would happen if Green has a howler of a game. Watch them turn on him with calls for him to be drawn, hung and quartered.

    1966 was almost half a century ago. I wonder what Uruguayans would think with their 2 WC wins in 1930 and 1950! They dont seem to make a fuss about it. Im sure they also have a Copa America title as well.

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  • 102. At 10:31pm on 13 Jun 2010, RoyOfTheRovers wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 103. At 10:55pm on 13 Jun 2010, yoooreds wrote:

    Vuvuzela problem solved.

    Why can't the BBC sound engineers, cancel out the low frequency noise, caused by Vuvuzelas, using the same technology used with "noise reducing headphones"???

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  • 104. At 11:12pm on 13 Jun 2010, Cyril wrote:

    Is there no one in England aware of how fortunate we are to come away with a point from such a dire Soccer match against the USA. The USA would have two goals were it not for the woodwork when Green spilled a second save. We never looked capable of scoring again and just remind us all, how many shots did Rooney have on target? Heskey was the best up front and if that does not tell us everything about the lack of quality in our team them nothing will.

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  • 105. At 11:22pm on 13 Jun 2010, comeonthebears wrote:

    Now there's a surprise, Motty making reference to the start of the England campaign of 1966 ! I had hoped that since he had stopped commentating that maybe these statements would diminish. Grasping at straws for the last 11 tournaments, well i never.
    It's classed as history due to being in the past, as I recollect. Change the record and view the team as they are... under achievers in every respect of the word.
    The rest of the UK would get behind the England team, once everyone wakes up and realises that you cannot build your future on a lucky break 44 years ago. And you wonder why the rest of the world gloats every time you mess up !

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  • 106. At 00:10am on 14 Jun 2010, Cyril wrote:

    It is only last month that Scotland was denied "Nation status" by the governor Generals of the BBC and now we find that it is offered to England. Imagine that these are the same who were campaigning for a British/ United Kingdom/England football team to represent all the UK nations at the London Vanity project (olympics 2012). The USA could knock us out by out by 2012.

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  • 107. At 00:25am on 14 Jun 2010, enneffess wrote:

    There are two things the BBC simply cannot let go of: 1966 and Beckham. 5 Live were commentating on the Germany match, and almost every second sentence was on the lines of "that's like Beckham" or - and I kid you not - "Beckhamism".

    Beckham isn't playing this World Cup. He is an irrelevance to this competition, no matter how great his previous contributions have been. Perhaps the 5 Live commentary team could concentrate on the English players who are actually part of the team.

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  • 108. At 00:44am on 14 Jun 2010, red_not_tangerine wrote:

    95. At 10:15pm on 13 Jun 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:
    I wonder if the Germans bang on about their 3 WC wins as much as England's media bangs on about their one win in '66?

    =============================

    Yes they do.

    What I find funny is the amount of comments about 'yawn 1966 yawn' and so on.

    We had a poor game and the BBC has taken the line to try and draw similarities as well as boost morale as some folks seem to think our WC is over already!

    After just one game, there isn't more to be said than already has been and so to keep the media machine going, of course there's going to be past histories brought out of the cupboard for it's 4 yearly dust off.

    ..Or would you rather have nothing said until the eve of the next England game?

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  • 109. At 00:52am on 14 Jun 2010, Universal0 wrote:

    I concur with you John Motson on the history of England's opening games of major tournaments always being a let down only for us to improve as the tournament progresses. . .1966, 0.0, Italia 90, 1.1, Euro 96, 1.1, 2002 1.1. . .These opening games were dreadful for us, however we improved and were a whisker away from winning the tournament. . .However what I do not concur with is denying a goalkeeper who has a chance to redeem himself. . .If you wish to have David James, may I remind viewers how Euro 2004 started off, with James squandering a save against Henry to cause a penalty in injury time of the match when we 1.0 up, we ended up losing 2.1, now that was gloomy, however we picked up the pace after that as did James, and I think in my opinion were the best team in the tournament, but as you know the best teams don’t always win tournaments. . .So as James picked up the tempo in Euro 2004, why cant Green? Maybe give him a second chance against Algeria and then see what happens, as James is injured and less agile in his years now as he once was. . .

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  • 110. At 01:21am on 14 Jun 2010, DaveyB wrote:

    Phew did you see the Germany v Australia game? Germany would tear apart the paceless English central defenders! Oezil getting into that hole between defence and midfield (that you'll have if you persist in playing Lampard and Gerrard together) would rip you to pieces! England get frustrated when they don't have possession and Germany kept the ball very well (as did Spain in the friendly against England).
    I'm afraid this isn't going to be England's tournament either.

    Johnson was exciting coming forward but a bit AWOL in defence, but still your best player I reckon. Heskey did well but not good enough. How frustrating it must be to work hard creating somethng only for Heskey to be offside again and again.
    A team like the USA shouldn't be able to make England work so hard, not when they only have a couple of "star names", yet they did. Maybe you're not as good as you think you are after all? 66 should be forgotten I think. It doesn't do you any favours. It works against you actually.

    Still, good luck, but I reckon you'll be very lucky to get further than the quarters

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  • 111. At 01:30am on 14 Jun 2010, jsme84 wrote:

    I am English and I really want England to win but I just can't understand why people in this country are so deluded and actually think we are any good.In terms of technical ability,keeping possession and creativity we are one of the worst teams in the world cup.It's pathetic - our players get paid 50-100 grand a week and can't string 5 passes together without panicking or lumping it up the pitch.I have a couple of points.

    Heskey : Heskey was probably our best player the other night but he should not be playing,he is simply just not good enough - his touch , finishing and overall play will just not work against the better sides.

    Capello : I just don't understand why people aren't questioning this clown yet - does he really think lumping it up field for Heskey is going to win the world cup , give me a break - it may just get us out the group but unless we start to play real football,we have no chance.His tactical decisions and substitutions against the US were shambolic to say the least - how can he leave our only creative and technically gifted player,Joe Cole on the bench.

    My team for the next game would be:

    Green
    Johnson Upson Terry A.Cole

    Lennon Lampard Barry J.Cole


    Gerrard

    Rooney

    Any manager with a brain would pick that formation/side

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  • 112. At 03:30am on 14 Jun 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:

    108 red_not_tangerine:

    "What I find funny is the amount of comments about 'yawn 1966 yawn' and so on"

    Funny, what I find funny is the amount of media hype an repetition ad nauseam about '66.

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  • 113. At 08:45am on 14 Jun 2010, Gouch99 wrote:

    What the hell was Capello doing? Now we see that Ledley King will be out until the quarter finals (if we get there). Jamie Carragher is tooooooo slooooowwwwwww!!!!! Rooney had to come chasing for the ball in the second half. Capello should be playing Gerrard behind Rooney - then sort out the midfield from the plethora or player he has picked. Then stick Dawson in next to Terry - job done. BUT - why did he take King and Carragher was the point?

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  • 114. At 10:11am on 14 Jun 2010, photo762 wrote:

    The England failing is orchestrated from the walk-on to the walk-off.
    I wonder if the players are motivated sufficiently to play for their country ?
    Now, it appears to me that, to play for your country, you want to be seriously up for it: you wear the shirt, you all sing the National Anthem and you play your heart out, `til you drop. Can't say I've seen any of that sort of thing.
    The World Cup is about as good as it gets: come on England, let's see the whole team seriously fired up; wear the shirt with inestimable pride, belt out the song and put the ball into the opposition's goal, more times than they put it in your goal.
    FABIO, if you buy into the "opposing goal strategy", a mention will do, I don't need the cash !
    AK

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  • 115. At 11:33am on 14 Jun 2010, Universal0 wrote:

    @jsme84 to reiterate England's pattern on thier opening game, you dont need to go back to 1966! In the World Cup 1990, we draw against the Republic of Ireland 1.1 and received the same criticism from the press, in Euro 96, when we drew against Switzerland 1.1 and played terrible I remember the coined phrases 'cuckoo clots'!. . .The players after that match were criticised far worse than after the USA match, needless to say after these starting matches on these two tournaments we improved and got to the semi finals where we lost on penalities to the eventual winners. . . Even in the World Cup 2002 we were dreadful against Sweden drawing 1.1 and I remember Danny Mills playing so dreadful he was substituted after 25 minutes, again we then went onto play well in the tournamnet. . .It is Englands pattern, we have got excellent players and remember the opening games are never proof of what a winning team can do. . .I wonder if we would of won 1.0 against USA you would have even commented on this matter?

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  • 116. At 11:46am on 14 Jun 2010, westlake72 wrote:

    Please explain in what way my coments where:

    "Comments posted to BBC blogs will be removed if they are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others; are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable; are considered to have been posted with an intention to disrupt; contain swear words (including abbreviations or alternative spellings) or other language likely to offend. "???

    Is it not surely Motson's comments about South Africa being DISCOVERED?!?! by the Dutch that are rascist?

    Dan Westlake

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  • 117. At 11:48am on 14 Jun 2010, westlake72 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 118. At 2:10pm on 14 Jun 2010, Gatundu wrote:

    Here we go again with all that malarkey - 66 and all that. WC is not won by looking at signs! there was also a goal in 66 that did not cross the line!

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  • 119. At 3:05pm on 14 Jun 2010, Universal0 wrote:

    As I keep explaining having read through some rather interesting comments, is England always start their best tournaments shakily and go on to produce more robust and skilful football. . .USA are not the team they were years ago, they have been sponsoring and training immensely for this tournament and through the last 3 years have become a well organised team, so yes we did not really play well, yes we drew to a mistake from Green and trust me all the players will be eager to get on the field on Friday to play Algeria. . .

    Also I don’t know why people are criticising John Motson, this man has watched more games, apart from professional managers and footballers in England, he is a great commentator with years of World Cup commentating back to 1970. . .

    Listen to Linekar, Klinsman, Townsend etc and other ex World Cup stars, listen to commentators of the sport who personally meet these players and managers who have years of experience of monitoring the game. . .

    Also why criticise comments about John Motson’s analysis of other countries performances? Come on let us unite. . .This is the World Cup, united, other countries are as pivotal in this tournament as England. . .We may meet some that are mentioned later on in the tournament it is vital to review how they performed. . .

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  • 120. At 5:37pm on 14 Jun 2010, bill stewart wrote:

    Forget about the game with USA, that's gone now we should get behind the boys.
    A good speech for Capello before the next game should be;
    "Let no man forget how manacing we are!
    We are Lions!
    You know what lies there waiting for you! Immortality!!
    Take it it's yours!"
    It worked for Brad Pitt in the movie Troy so you never know it might even bring a smile to Capello's face.
    Glad your there Motty keep up the good work.

    Bill Stewart
    Linlithgow.

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  • 121. At 11:57pm on 14 Jun 2010, Stephen wrote:

    I find it rather odd that not one soul has registered a certain amount of irony in Mr Motson's reference to 1966.
    Heskey's pass to Gerrard for our goal was superb, and his contribution was important.
    Outfield players lose matches with howling mistakes in every match, in every position. Everyone though loves an easy pot at keepers.
    The U.S. beat Spain and drew with Italy, I think, quite recently. They are quality battlers, as in all their sports.
    John Motson's views have been respected by professional footballers and managers etc for 40 years.
    By the way, I have registered as being El Salvadoran. This was as close as I could alphabetically get as an Englishman on an English website talking about England.

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  • 122. At 02:32am on 15 Jun 2010, A Hoser wrote:

    RockingtheJoint, I thought you were going to burn all the England memorabilia you had if England didn't thrash the US? When's the bonfire? Can't wait for it. Your such a sad bitter little brat. Show some respect for us instead of being senile and give credit where credit's due. Fluke or not, England didn't score for another 86 minutes.

    As for everybody else, you lot have nothing to worry about, England will top this group easily and hopefully the US will follow. If Fabio makes the right tweeks on the team like putting in Joe Cole instead of SWP, and selecting Hart in goal, you lot should be fine.

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  • 123. At 12:20pm on 15 Jun 2010, Marchitect wrote:

    121. At 11:57pm on 14 Jun 2010, Stephen wrote:

    By the way, I have registered as being El Salvadoran. This was as close as I could alphabetically get as an Englishman on an English website talking about England.

    ---------------------

    Fud.

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  • 124. At 8:29pm on 15 Jun 2010, red_not_tangerine wrote:

    112. At 03:30am on 14 Jun 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:
    108 red_not_tangerine:

    "What I find funny is the amount of comments about 'yawn 1966 yawn' and so on"

    Funny, what I find funny is the amount of media hype an repetition ad nauseam about '66.


    Point still stands though even if taken out of context

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  • 125. At 00:16am on 16 Jun 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:

    124....as does mine.

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  • 126. At 01:26am on 16 Jun 2010, Matt Kirkpatrick wrote:

    Even Motty is saying Joe Cole on the left!!!!!.....it is such an easy choice for me regardless of the shape of the team

    We must have Gerrard closer to Rooney.....playing 4-5-1, or however you want to define it. A lot of people are saying this and i agree with them. It might be getting tiresome but it is clearly on the minds of most knowledgeable football people. Joe Cole on the left, Lennon on the right, Barry holding, Lampard in front of him, and then Gerrard and Rooney. We do not have many world class players and we are not as good as people think we are, but to get the best out of our best players, surely this has to be considered? It doesn't solve our lack of pace at the back though.....
    I think against the 'weaker' teams, we can win games playing 4-4-2. But if i were to pick our strongest 4-4-2 team to win games, as much as i rate him, Lampard would be the one to miss out for the balance of the team

    4-4-2 against "weaker" teams
    Johnson - Terry - Upson or Dawson - Cole
    Barry
    Lennon - Gerrard - Joe Cole
    Crouch - Rooney

    4-5-1 against better teams
    Johnson - Terry - Upson or Dawson - Cole
    Barry
    Lennon - Lampard - Joe Cole
    Gerrard
    Rooney

    Regardless of team selections and shape, lets get behind the team and stop all this negativity. I hope every player does well, i hope Green is solid and i hope Heskey plays well and scores......however, i know that hope is not a strategy!

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