World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

The plugs don't work

phil_mcnulty.gifCOLOGNE - It was night of tension and high drama that left those at the centre of the action knee-deep in chewed fingernails at the final whistle - and that was just in the media tribune.

England made it through to the second round with a draw against Sweden, but not without a few serious scares and nervous moments along the way.

Now obviously I'm talking about members of the media here and a fatal flaw in the otherwise perfect planning of a superb World Cup.

For all the high-tech innovation and millions of Euros thrown at this tournament, a major problem has been uncovered.

Namely, as The Verve actually meant to say, the plugs don't work.

Try as hard as you can to plug in your state-of-the-art laptop, but it just keeps popping out. Occasionally instantly, but sometimes after a little period of teasing when you think you've cracked it.

And so, like the sands of time running out, you can see your battery power ticking down to zero hour. Cue anxious glances at the screen. Cue faster typing. Cue heavier sweating.

In Nuremberg the only answer was to type with one foot inelegantly jammed under my desk against the socket.

What looked like McNulty in dashing and relaxed pose while reporting England's latest exploits against Trinidad and Tobago was actually me trying to keep a plug stuck in with my right leg to power up the laptop.

So, armed with thousands of pounds worth of laptop, phone cards and wireless internet access, there was only one saviour in Cologne.

Namely a Fifa volunteer with a trusty roll of gaffa tape, who came to the rescue to ease my desperation.

I also have to say I hope the Japanese journalist who arrived on the stroke of kick-off, knocked over his drink and ripped out my plug didn't grasp all of the message I tried to convey to him.

As for the game itself, what is it about Sweden that drapes a cold chill of fear over England?

The two major talking points after the game were obviously the serious injury to Michael Owen and how England mastered the first 45 minutes then appear to collapse on their feet in the second.

Eriksson's half-time team talks certainly have an effect, but not the one that is desired.

He seems to have quite an ability to drain England of all confidence and ambition in that crucial 15 minutes.

That was certainly how the fans only too keen to discuss the game near the media tribune felt, and who could blame them?

As for Owen, this is just desperate luck for a striker who is now almost a permanent resident on the treatment table.

There was obviously a rush to discover the extent of Owen's injury immediately after the game, and the Football Association were absolutely correct not to indulge in idle speculation.

They will wait for the results of today's scan before delivering the official verdict.

But the face of every player asked about Owen told the story....and it was a grim one.

Paul Robinson stated simply that Owen was out of the World Cup, while his old friend Jamie Carragher offered no more cause for optimism.

Once again it put Eriksson's squad selection under scrutiny and the name on almost everyone's lips was Jermain Defoe.

At least it will be until Eriksson decides Theo Walcott is actually at this World Cup.

So on to Stuttgart and Ecuador - and hopefully an improvement in both England and those vital plugs.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 09:14 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • len wrote:

Of all people, Alan Hansen best described what it feels to be an England supporter..a chasm between euphoria and despair.

Our club sides are among the best in the world. Our technique and skillsets are much better than I remember years ago...but where is our heart?

If the Swedes had pulled one back against Germany, the Germans would know what to do...instinctively! They would play their way out of the problem with football and passion...not let their heads drop. We need a Captain that does not only inspire but who commands..in situations like this..even if his own form is variable.

Avoiding Germany may only be buying time and hope. Ecuador are not a pushover.

Another case of Land of Hype and Gory!

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  • 2.
  • At 10:09 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Lee Davis wrote:

Unfortunately I think alot of people realised what I have been thinking for a couple of weeks now, that England ,sorry cross that out Sven Goran Erikksson isn't good enough to wint he world cup.

As I was sat with my friends he yet again showed his inept tactics his ridiculous loyalty to very average players.

I know this sounds harsh but I think if you really think deep down you will realise that I'm at least a little bit right.

Drop Ferdinand,Beckham,Crouch they are a waste of time and throw the England formation out of sync, yes Crouch you know what I'm saying.

Bring on Lennon, as well as Neville now he's back drop Ferdinand put Carrick in his place. These players need to know if that they do not play they will get swapped. WE have the players we don't have the manager and the one thing I thought I'd never ask is that "Do we have the passion"

Sorry if this seems like a pessimistic comment but I'm only saying what I've felt for a least 6 months now.

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  • 3.
  • At 10:19 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • MARTIN MICHAEL wrote:

once again sven showed that he is tactically poor.england will lose against Ecuador and then McClaren takes over.McClaren must start telling beckham campbell and neville that they will not be invited within 100 miles of future england squads.appoint terry as captain and encourage the likes of lennon.with cole maturing,lennon maturing,rooney maturing terry gerrard and lampard still in their early 20s the future is bright.unfortunately the management of McClaren is not.Military analysts will tell you that the best form of defence is attack.England must play this team to have any chance against Ecuador:Robinson Terry Ferdinand Carragher Cole, Cole Gerrard Lampard,Lennon,Carrick,Roooney.Attack with lennon and cole supporting rooney and gerrard and lampard from midfield.Drop Beckham.

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  • 4.
  • At 10:34 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Scott wrote:

Drop Beckham! He's only the best crosser, corner taker, free kick taker we have! Many of our goals have come via Beckham. This would be disastrous. As much as I dislike Peter Crouch he has been very good leading up the world cup and it would stupid to drop him in favour or.... well Theo Walcott, an uncapped unproven striker, even at club level. Sven has made a mistake not selecting Defoe or Bent for the squad. Also, Rio Ferdinand has shown what a class defender he is in this World Cup. He is calm, cool and good in the air and like to roam forward a bit to support the attack. A greea defender alongside John Terry.

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  • 5.
  • At 10:34 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Mike Meany wrote:

How very english!!!! We would'nt have been at the last world cup if it was'nt for Beckham!!!! And who did Raul and Zidane say has been Real Madrid's best player this season??? We are quick to praise but even quicker to get on peoples backs!!!! The problem is not Beckham, the problem is that inept, swedish playboy that calls himself England manager. No heart, no passion and no ideas have thrown England's best squad since 1970, to the dogs. I'm no arsenal fan but surely Sven should have some bottle with his squad selection and give Theo Walcott a chance!!!! We are too obvious with Crouch and the bigger teams are just gonna lap it up.

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  • 6.
  • At 10:36 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Giovanni wrote:

Being here in Italy, I am not exposed to the media hype surrounding England and I think it gives me a better perspective on what's actually happening without being tainted by all this "we are the greatest team ever" crap!

Has anyone thought that maybe we are playing just enough to win, without wasting too much too soon....no me neither but it would be nice if we were eh!
I am not worried about Eriksson's half time team talks, I am worried about the fact that although Steve McClaren is in their with the boys he doesn't seem to do owt to inspire them either. Therefore, we are destined to be the greatest football team to ever have played 45 minutes!
To take some positives out of last night, when the opposition were better, we were better. Joe Cole and Stevie Gerrard were magnificent (and deserve the England shirt they were wearing) and all round we looked alot better than we have done so far.

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  • 7.
  • At 10:37 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • jp wrote:

When will we see Theo Walcott? Whether he should have been taken or not he's there and he should be used - atleast to see if he can make the grade whilst he's so young. If Gerrard had picked up another yellow after coming on it would have been a ludicrous decision to put him on and not Walcott. As it is we survived, but winning the cup requires the whole squad.

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  • 8.
  • At 10:38 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Blandy wrote:

Clearly Sven has now had plenty of opportunites in training to suss out that Walcott is not up to the standard required at the World Cup. All the pre game bluster about Rooney flying in training and being ready to be unleashed was also revealed to be total hogwash. Presumably Sven will admit to both these things when a publisher offers him a fat enough stash of cash somewhere down the line.

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  • 9.
  • At 10:40 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Dan wrote:

Why, why why have we not seen anything of Theo Walcott? Can one of the interviewers ask Sven this question pleas? Surely this would of been the best opportunity to get him some match experience before the big games? The only possible reason is he isnt ready, and if thats the case why did Sven take him in the first place? I think this might be the biggest error Sven has made, if he doesnt play Walcott soon then, with the probability of Michael Owen out, we have very little options up front.

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  • 10.
  • At 10:47 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

Oh yes, I remember Theo Walcott now, last night I just thought it was Sven and Nancy's son sat on the bench. The commentator told us last night that 'he still only holds a provisional licence', by the time he plays he will have a full one, 6 points and would have raced around the Top Gear track in a crappy Japanese car.
Why did he not play him last night...why even take him...Oh Svennis you confuse me, and forget Defoe, he should have taken Darren Bent.

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  • 11.
  • At 10:49 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Neo wrote:

High time Sven changed tactics. Lampard played very mediocre, if not below par, last night!!
Rather than having his best midfielders together on the field with none of them sure of the role they are supposed to play (holding mid-fielder, attck from the wings??) -its total mishap!!!
England should probably start with
Robinson, Carragher, terry, ferdinand, Cole, Hargeaves,Lennon, Beckham, gerrard, J. Cole, Rooney in a 4-1-3-1-1 formation with Lennon and J.Cole taking the flanks on either side, Beckham playing right in front of Hargreaves, giving Gerrard the space to go forward and strike linking up with Rooney!!!
And Lampard could be brought as a substitute for Gerrard when need be. Playing both these excellent players together is putting a leash on both of them and not extracting the best.
If England has to go all the way, then Sven needs to take some tough decisions. No point in favouring his favourites if results aint achieved!!

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  • 12.
  • At 10:55 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • claire wrote:

i think that ecuador will win the match with england becuase england is too weak with southern american teams.

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  • 13.
  • At 10:56 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Terry Ball wrote:

Beckham is a quality footballer when we are on top of teams but the minute it gets tough he goes missing. Not only is he the best known footballer in the world he is also the biggest carpet bagger. Gerrard or Terry are both leaders of men and world runs through brick walls for the shirt, take your pick from those two to be captain. I'd chose Gerrard as he has shown numerous times that when the chips are down he'll grab the game by the scruff of the neck and make things happen. Only in this country do we pick our best players in positions that they are so effective in. Every team in the world fears Rooney and Gerrard, Rooney isn't 100% fit that can't be helped but because of this there is even move of need for Gerrard to be unleashed. It will suit all the other teams to see Gerrard sat protecting the back for while the one trick pony Lampard shoots at will. Alan Hansen pointed out perfectly what a non-event Beckham is in the defending of corners on the near post, he's out captain for heavens sake show some bottle, show some heart man. Sven clearly can't do this, he's hasn't the bottle to shake things up and unless Rooney, Gerrard, Terry and Joe Cole can pull out all the stops for the next 4 games we are doomed to go out with a whimper again, it sickens me to say this but it's all there for anyone with half a footballing brain to see. Goals we’ve got, ability we have also but leadership we haven’t and bottle sadly only in a few.

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  • 14.
  • At 10:58 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

Just when we were running out of steam, we should have added Lennon.
As a spurs fan, he takes the pressure off the defence simply by switching wings and just running the ball out of defence. ...Imagine if Gerrard would have got a yellow card ! The added injection of pace kicks starts all the players around him...Clearly should have taken Defoe instead of Jenas/Carrick.

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  • 15.
  • At 11:02 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Liam wrote:

Yes Drop Beckham

He can't beat a man , he has no pace, he can't defend (At least not at the near post from corners)
All he does is take EVERY corner and EVERY free kick. He hasn't scored from a free kick for 4 years, If Gerrard took that many free kicks, i am sure his retuen would be much better than Beckhams.
In fact Gerrard would probalby take better corners than Beckham so why is Beckham in the team other than to make the team picture look good.

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  • 16.
  • At 11:09 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Dan wrote:

Yeah, let's drop Beckham (best player for Real Madrid last season, World Cup experience, best set piece taker in the world, etc) for a kid who's played 1/2 a season for Spurs.

That's sarcasm by the way.

What is the logic in playing Walcott in the Sweden game? A draw was enough - we needed to firm up midfield and anyway, Gerrard scored so I really can't see how you can fault the substitutions.

I'm glad some of you lot aren't in charge.

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  • 17.
  • At 11:11 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

Nice points from Terry Ball, would Sven have the bottle to drop Beckham and give Gerrard the armband, if his half time team talks are indicative of Svens leadership then I think not, but this is the world cup, once every four years, and Sven's leaving after this, come on Sven get some bottle, if not then I think Sven will appear on the back of The Sun morphed as a swede just like old turnip head Taylor got the veggie treatment.
I also reckon that the English game knows best how to play wingers, it is what we have always done well, and no foreign team likes it, the Swedes have confessed that Joe Cole caused them problems. In the first half everything good came down the left, in the second half Cole had drifted into the middle, the width had gone and Sweden took control.

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  • 18.
  • At 11:15 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • richard wrote:

Is it me or is Sven actually the biggest blood donor in england?
I think he takes at least 2 pints of blood from each player at half time...thats why they come out and produce lack lusture second halfs!!!
I thought England had purpose and drive in the first half. If we played like that against anyone they would find us hard to beat
Will someone in Germany go and Tango Sven....i dont think i have ever seen a man so devoid of passion (and tactical awareness) its an embarrassment!!!
LOve the blogs Thanks

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  • 19.
  • At 11:21 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Davinho wrote:

Beckham certainly had an off game last night - in fact the whole of the right side of the team went missing, but the left was superb. The two Coles were brilliant, with Ashley making some fantastic covering tackles on both sides of the pitch. Owen Hargreaves was brilliant - breaking up attacks, or delaying them until the midfield could regroup. We really need Gary Neville back - that also gives options in central defence.
What went wrong in defence? They were great in open play, but the set pieces... After the first mistake (their 1st equaliser), instead of making sure we got the basics right, we just panicked! I'm sure it can be put right on the training pitch - surely by allocating zones to defend rather than man marking it creates less confusion for the keeper and the guys on the line - and it ensures that people know who should take responsibility. We need to sort it out, because we were lucky to get away with it.
Sven took some massive risks last night - with Owen injured, he was crackers to put Crouch on. He didn't know how serious the injury was, and if Crouch had picked up a booking we could have been left with few options in the next round where we HAVE to win.

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  • 20.
  • At 11:25 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Doyze wrote:

I totally agree with Mr Ball (comment 13). Its time to lay the smack down with this England team. We have a wonderful opportunity to win this World Cup with the players we have in the squad, however they have to stand up and be counted. Lampard is a joke, if I had as many shots as he has I would have scored the same number of goals he has in this World Cup, NONE. I ask Frank this – “I am crap at football, what’s your excuse?”. Now for Beckham, utter tosh, Arron Lennon did more this morning when he got up for breakfast than Beckham has done in 270 minutes of World Cup football, captain of England, my backside. I believe the Captain must have the following qualities – heart, conviction, determination, motivation, desire and above all ability. Sadly, Beckham posses none of these qualities, but do the following, Gerrard, Terry, I think they do, they are proud to wear the shirt that millions of people will never do. Are you David, would it help if it was made by D & G?

Any way this is the big man signing off

Thought of the day – Walcott was eligible to play for Germany due to parentage, was he taken to prevent him playing for the fatherland?

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  • 21.
  • At 11:26 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Andreas wrote:

Back to the plugs issue: Are you using an adaptor between your UK plug and a German socket? Or are you actually using German plugs? Because that helps. Being a frequent traveler to the US and UK I learned that adaptors hardly really work and that you always need your real local plug...

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  • 22.
  • At 11:27 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Grant wrote:

The Walcott decision gets more and more incredible. Rather than blood him on a weaker team, or in a game that didn't matter so much, Sven's tactic appears to be to unleash him (for his first every game) against a Brazil or Argentina? Good plan mate!

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  • 23.
  • At 11:32 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Angel wrote:

Beckham is one of the best players in the World...why is everyone on here so determined to put him out to dry because he hasn't scored a goal this world cup from 1000 yards out? Admittedly, Lennon did very well for us against T&T, makes a great Sub! As for Walcott...why did Sven take him if he has no intention of playing him? Lampard has underachieved for the last three games and if any midfielder is to be dropped it has to be Lampard, or Hargreaves...Don't even get me started on Crouch! Sven needs an attacking midfield to win this World Cup now we only have Rooney to rely on up front! Rant over!

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  • 24.
  • At 11:32 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Ryan wrote:

Frank Lmapard is the most over rated player in the world. he has never performed for england, he was our top goal scorer in qualifying but thats because england play with no width or imagination. midfielders will always score more goals than our strikers, as rooney found out just how frustrating it is playing a strikers role in our side. Lampard is never involved and needs 2 pull his finger out. personally i think hargreaves is breathing down his neck for a place in the starting 11.
would he still be the 2nd best player in the world if he wasn't at a major club.
second best player in the world my eye!

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  • 25.
  • At 11:34 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Ronnie wrote:

Sven is not going to drop Beckham get real,he needs to wake up from his coma and smell the coffee and give youth it's chance. As a scotsman I thought England played real good in the first half & good for the last 15 mins of the second half,apart from the 2nd goal!. Give Lennon & Walcott at least a half each,the rest of the world cup teams fear England & it's time Sven & his side kick Steve started to get that message across to the players and maybr then we will see the real England play for a whole game!!

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  • 26.
  • At 11:38 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • cue ball wrote:

terry ball for england i say..dave dont know what hes on about unless his talks about bannanas..i'm off for a paddling

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  • 27.
  • At 11:39 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • cue ball wrote:

terry ball for england i say..dave dont know what hes on about unless his talks about bannanas..i'm off for a paddling

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  • 28.
  • At 11:41 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • abdi wrote:

i think sven lacks tactics.ebgland were playing better football in the first half,but second half they were playing like scholl kids.i dont know what kind of experieced/tactical coach sven is,and who approved his Cv to be a professional coach anyway?when you see things arent working well,he should have changed some gear immediately.that is how coaches are judged to be a mong the best.but he was naive.he should have removed beckham after that moment abd bring in lennon.the other thing is,he should have not picked owen he was not 100% fit in the first place.why left defoe and dareen bent?i dont think england can progress beyong the quarter final.sven,next match,drop beckham after half time because now he is the sort of player who can play now 45 minutes and sleep the other 45 minutes.

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  • 29.
  • At 11:41 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Jim wrote:

*sigh*
Surrounded by intolerably smug Swedes last night after yet another inept 2nd half performance effectively ruined the evening, taking the shine off finsihing top of our group for the first time since whoknowswhen.....ribbed once more by the "Youhaven'tbeatenussince1968" taunts, in spite of Sweden a) never having won the World Cup and b) never having beaten us in the group stages or beyond for that matter........Owen's injury, gutted for him.....Beckham as captain? Give it up - the one person I saw giving encouragement and motivation was Gerrard after his goal-line clearance. As for the tactics, I just despair - what was Svennis thinking?? Throw Walcott on to play with Rooney for the first half, hopefully get 2 or 3 goals (not impossible!) then use Crouch later when needed and only THEN get defensive with play.....! Why wasn't Lennon on last night too? Wasn't it Hargreaves who totally unnecessarily gave away the free kick that led to Larsson's goal? Still, the only hope left for me living here is that the Germans will give the Swedes a bloody good stuffing - the flags and the cheers and the smug grins only came out once they had qualified - and even then it took a fluke 90th minute goal to take them there. Bring on Ecaudor - and hopefully a coach with the balls to make a tactical switch away from the "try and play it safe" routine........*sigh*

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  • 30.
  • At 11:43 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Terry Ball wrote:

Don't know who this Doyze character is but I like the cut of his jib. I bet that man would love to be referred to as cowboy..... Anyway back to it. Didn’t realise the TW crack about the link to the Germans but saying that he'll play as much for them as he will for us. Sven has even said he doesn't regret only taking the 4 strikers. Why doesn't the man stand up hold his hands up, in this country I honestly believe you get more credit when you do this. In interviews Terry and Gerrard both do this, if they see something was bad or not right they say so. Sven is doing a Jose and trying to paper over cracks with lies, tell it like it is boys the English public (on the whole) are not fools if we're poor say so. It's like Roy Keane did for years at Man Utd, he told it like it is and his team mates (which I believe are the most important people in all this) took it on board and pulled there socks up.

My parting note here is; who would you follow into battle Beckham or Gerrard?

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  • 31.
  • At 11:47 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Ronnie wrote:

Sven,Look on the bright side you have 4 days to try and get it right.England need an injection of pace and youth and have that on the bench in Walcott & Lennon. He is not going to drop Beckham,but needs to make subs that will change the game in Englands favour, he also needs to make the team aware that the rest of the teams in the world cup fear England and start playing with a bit of style & this comes from a Scotsman who hopes they win the cup

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  • 32.
  • At 11:47 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Jonnerz wrote:

Sven must go!

He's using the old Italian tactic of defending a 1-0 lead and even the Italians dont do this any more. Its an old tactic that has shafted the Italians on numerous occasions and will shaft us if we continue to do this. The premiership is a fast paced league and playing different styles for club and country cant help. Our best results in recent years have come about as a result of playing fast paced football in an attacking manner.

The Swedes admitted they were scared of J Cole. Maybe a lesson is to play people with pace, Lennon is a must in my eyes, he made us all sit up and must also have opened a few future oppositions eyes.
I also agree with a previous post that the new boss in waiting shows very little to inspire the team on match days. Thats a worry.

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  • 33.
  • At 11:47 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Alan Gibb wrote:

After watching the match last nigt with a number of friends, we retired tom the kitchen for the post mortem and some drinks (more drinks).

My conclusion so far is that my expectations were high but having watched the matches so far my expectations are now more realistic, we are a competent international team but not world beaters so quarter final exit is looming so get ready for the wake its coming.

The squad is short on strikers so we must rely on the midfield, expect 4-5-1 for the next match. Oh some good news 1 won £15 for predicting England would finish with 7 points.

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  • 34.
  • At 11:52 AM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Sam Crow wrote:

You really can't consider dropping Beckham - he's the best deadball specialist in the world.

As far as the captaincy is concerned, however - that's a different matter. Frankly, he should have had the armband taken from him a long time ago and handed to Gerrard, a man who has proved he can inspire a team to feats seemingly beyond the team by pure force of will, never mind a rampaging game feared by the opposition.

And as far as formations are concerned, we really should have gone 3-5-2 some time ago;

Neville/Carragher, Ferdinand/Campbell, Terry/Cole,

Hargreaves/Carrick

Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard, Cole

Owen/Crouch, Rooney

Releases our two most potent attacking midfielders, provides linkage throughout the team and enough defensive capabilities considering the quality of the players there (although they're doing their best to pop that bubble!)

Now all we need is a manager who can understand that the game is moving on - and it's not Sven and certainly not McLaren, the man who said that "Football is not about entertainment".

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  • 35.
  • At 12:00 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Edward wrote:

Hi,
Ref the plugs, how long have you been in Germany? Just go down to the local Computor store and buy a German adaptor for you laptop, having lived in Germany many years these things are available.

As for the important thing , the football.
The Swedes created nothing and looked dangerous from set pieces, why did we not put a player 10yards from the corner kicker, ????No captain on the pitch thats why, give the job to Terry.
Sven is lucky ,Rooney is fit, imagine the problem if his injury had not cleared up!!!
Mans lost the plot, he's gone from the planner to a gambler in squad selection, if Carrick, Bridges ,Jenas are not going to play
why do we not have more forwards?
bring back Terry baggage and ALL.

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  • 36.
  • At 12:01 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Jack and Joe wrote:

Sven needs to play Walcott instead of Crouch, he brought W instead of Defoe so i think he should of played against Sweden. We were through anyway so he should of let him play maybe 20 mins at the end to see whats he like and to see which strikers we would need in trhe next round.

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With the growing injuries and lack of fitness in key areas my optimism is fading slightly but I think we've still got a chance if we get the team selction right.

We need more width and Beckham does not give us this as he is constantly moving in field and getting the ball in our own half off our centre halves. If he wants to play infield let him play there give him the defensive midfield role that he seems to play anyway and let Lennon loose on the right wing. Lets hope also Gary Neville gets fit for his experience and help in attack and play the following team;

Robinson, Neville, Terry, Ferdinand, Cole, Beckham, Lennon, Lampard, Gerrard, Cole, Rooney.

Hargreaves was good last night but Beckhams passing and crossing will always get him the nod.

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  • 38.
  • At 12:12 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Graham wrote:

As a Scotsman who has lived in England for half my life and one who much prefers rugby to football I hope I can comment with no particular axe to grind.

England played well in the first half. Hargreaves worked hard and, for the most part, was secure and effective in what he did. Joe Cole was nippy, gave the Swedes trouble and whilst it was a great goal it could just have easily ended up in row Z! Rooney showed one or two flashes but seemed a bit 'off' to me.

As the players left the pitch at half time I thought most of the England players looked a bit subdued - odd considering they were ahead.

Second half Sweden played better but it was the goal conceded on 51 minutes that really seemed to knock the stuffing out of England - almost a visible 'Oh No, here we go again!' It took them 20 minutes to recover - that isn't acceptable. Like falling off a bike you have to right back on a get going again. That was the time to keep possession and press forward not just belt the ball up the field and then have to absorb 15 minutes of Sedish pressure.

The Gerrard goal was very nicely worked and taken and England were careless to allow Larsson in to score at the death. That sort of careless play will be really punished by bigger, better teams.

Beckham didn't have a great game. Lampard seems intent on trying to score form 30 yards out at every opportunity - in fact, this seems to be a problem afflicting virtually every player in the team. It looks as though they lack the patience (or is it skill?) to build up an attack as Argentina did with their wonderful 24 pass goal (much better than Cole's last night). I didn't think Robinson looked very strong or confident in goal, too much punching and poor postioning on both goals - a potential problem behind what looked, for the most part, a strong back four.

Overall, a draw was probably about right but a win would have been so much better for English confidence.

I have to also say that passion seems distinctly lacking throughout the team. Perhaps that's a deliberate style that Sven encourages but at this level passion and commitment is sometimes the edge that sees you through - it would have been against the Swedes last night. I found it telling that when defending against a Swedish free kick - Joe Cole and the other player in the wall had their arm wrapped around their face to protect it from the ball. Passion and concern for your good(?) looks cannot ever go together.

Where do England go from here? Well, I'm not well versed enough in football to suggest a possible line-up but England need to be much more attack-minded. They have a good defence in open play so get forward and put the opposition on the back foot.

I was interested to read comment 20 about Walcott's eligibility for Germany - you might have made the right call on that one! I did think he was selected because it distracted attention from Rooney's foot for a week - big gamble just for some positive media coverage but... who knows?

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  • 39.
  • At 12:14 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Graham wrote:

As a Scotsman who has lived in England for half my life and one who much prefers rugby to football I hope I can comment with no particular axe to grind.

England played well in the first half. Hargreaves worked hard and, for the most part, was secure and effective in what he did. Joe Cole was nippy, gave the Swedes trouble and whilst it was a great goal it could just have easily ended up in row Z! Rooney showed one or two flashes but seemed a bit 'off' to me.

As the players left the pitch at half time I thought most of the England players looked a bit subdued - odd considering they were ahead.

Second half Sweden played better but it was the goal conceded on 51 minutes that really seemed to knock the stuffing out of England - almost a visible 'Oh No, here we go again!' It took them 20 minutes to recover - that isn't acceptable. Like falling off a bike you have to right back on a get going again. That was the time to keep possession and press forward not just belt the ball up the field and then have to absorb 15 minutes of Sedish pressure.

The Gerrard goal was very nicely worked and taken and England were careless to allow Larsson in to score at the death. That sort of careless play will be really punished by bigger, better teams.

Beckham didn't have a great game. Lampard seems intent on trying to score form 30 yards out at every opportunity - in fact, this seems to be a problem afflicting virtually every player in the team. It looks as though they lack the patience (or is it skill?) to build up an attack as Argentina did with their wonderful 24 pass goal (much better than Cole's last night). I didn't think Robinson looked very strong or confident in goal, too much punching and poor postioning on both goals - a potential problem behind what looked, for the most part, a strong back four.

Overall, a draw was probably about right but a win would have been so much better for English confidence.

I have to also say that passion seems distinctly lacking throughout the team. Perhaps that's a deliberate style that Sven encourages but at this level passion and commitment is sometimes the edge that sees you through - it would have been against the Swedes last night. I found it telling that when defending against a Swedish free kick - Joe Cole and the other player in the wall had their arm wrapped around their face to protect it from the ball. Passion and concern for your good(?) looks cannot ever go together.

Where do England go from here? Well, I'm not well versed enough in football to suggest a possible line-up but England need to be much more attack-minded. They have a good defence in open play so get forward and put the opposition on the back foot.

I was interested to read comment 20 about Walcott's eligibility for Germany - you might have made the right call on that one! I did think he was selected because it distracted attention from Rooney's foot for a week - big gamble just for some positive media coverage but... who knows?

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  • 40.
  • At 12:14 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Joost wrote:

I don't see why everybody's so upset about the Owen injury. It's a common mental problem with top players who can't reach the level of form they want at the right time. The pressure mounts up so high that the only thing the mind can do is bring on an injury, this to avoid serious mental damage. It's a psychological fact and Michael Owen is not the first, nor the last athlete, who will bow to this phenomena.

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  • 41.
  • At 12:14 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • The Rev wrote:

If at the start of the tournament we'd have known we'd have topped the group with 7 points and have a RO16 match against Ecuador we'd have been more than happy. Doesn't matter how we played we qualified for the knockout stages and thats all that counts so far.

The World Cup starts here now.

We have potentially 4 games left to play and i dont care if we play like a pub team and grind out a 1-0 win in every last one of them as long as we have that gold pot to show for it!

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  • 42.
  • At 12:18 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Jon Pilkington wrote:

How gutted were we watching Michael Owen crawling off the pitch. Once again we geared ourselves up for the a game full of passion and had it destroyed in the first minute. It seems there is no hope for us.
I however beleive that there still is hope, in the form of the young Theo Walcott!! I also realised there is a lot of passion as i found myself on my feet yelling at a very small TV watching Peter Crouch come on instead of Walcott.
I like the rest of the country have no idea how good the boy is but when a squad spends all week gearing up to a new improved passing game then changes the plan 1 minute into the game, it confuses me. Surely Walcott is a like for like swap for Owen and surely a game that we didn't need to win is the right opportunity to use him.
i get the feeling Rooney would of prefferred to play with him as well.

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  • 43.
  • At 12:20 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • N Marritt wrote:

Has a manager ever been replaced during a World Cup? Because that’s what we need to do, I was amazed when he only named 4 strikers, not because there was only 4, but one was carrying a broken foot and may not play (Doctors may have ruled him out) so that was a gamble, one was a player that hadn’t played hardly this year after a broken foot, and one was a young kid we had never even seen play at high level, crazy.
I though it was right was the Sweden Coach said yesterday, Sven earns in a week what he earns in a year, and what do we get for it? He doesn’t even get off the bench when we make changes, no passion at all, some may think it’s cool, I think it’s out of order, these players look to a manager to inspire and motivate, this guy is a joke.

Now we have a poor strike force for the knockout stages, Rooney was not fit, that was easy to see, he won’t be fit at all in this World Cup, na dit seems he’ll never play the young Theo, if he was going to play him, why not play him against Sweeden when Owen cam off instead of risking Gerard?

We won’t win the world cup playing 4-5-1

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  • 44.
  • At 12:21 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Terry wrote:

Well what can apart from I told you so, I think what happens in this country is we watch the Premiership only and in doing that have this false beleif that it's the best league in the world with the best players.
This is simply not true it may be the most pyhsical league or the league where everything is played fasy but technically and skills wise it lags behind definatly Spain.
With this in mind it's no wonder we overate the players in this country, honestly England have 2 maybe 3 world class players Rooney, Gerrard definatley not so sure about anyone else, so I think more realistic expectations are called for, while you have to be positive in support of your team you should also no their limitations.
With 2 unfit strikers and another striker who has not scored against a top side in a competitve game you are asking a bit much and to be fair it's a bit arrogant to assume that while Rooney is declared fit you expect the levels of performance he achieved when fully fit? don't make sense to me. Any way good luck against Ecudor you will need it.

T and T fan

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  • 45.
  • At 12:22 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • mark wrote:

gutted for owen hes been so unlucky i doubt we can win without him

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  • 46.
  • At 12:23 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • AC wrote:

The performance was an embarrassment, in particular the defending. Sweden's second goal was literally (bar the faintest of touches) thrown in the goal. That is appalling.

Out attacking play was better and Joe Cole excelled. I was also impressed with Owen Hargreaves, he ran and tackled all day and was very effective, particlarly winning back possession in the last third.

Lampard was ineffective, and I think we have clearly seen that Gerrard is the better attacking option, despite Lampards good performances for Chelsea.

Also, why include Walcott in the squad if you don't have enough faith in him? Eriksson knew that Owen and Rooney had problems coming into the tournament, he knew he would have to use and rely on all four strikers. Needless to say, Crouch is a disaster and should never have been anywhere near the squad. Being able to head the ball and hold it up occasionally is not good enough at this level.

I predicted a second round exit before the tournament began, and I have seen nothing to change my mind, especially with Owen's injury.

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  • 47.
  • At 12:24 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • AC wrote:

The performance was an embarrassment, in particular the defending. Sweden's second goal was literally (bar the faintest of touches) thrown in the goal. That is appalling.

Out attacking play was better and Joe Cole excelled. I was also impressed with Owen Hargreaves, he ran and tackled all day and was very effective, particlarly winning back possession in the last third.

Lampard was ineffective, and I think we have clearly seen that Gerrard is the better attacking option, despite Lampards good performances for Chelsea.

Also, why include Walcott in the squad if you don't have enough faith in him? Eriksson knew that Owen and Rooney had problems coming into the tournament, he knew he would have to use and rely on all four strikers. Needless to say, Crouch is a disaster and should never have been anywhere near the squad. Being able to head the ball and hold it up occasionally is not good enough at this level.

I predicted a second round exit before the tournament began, and I have seen nothing to change my mind, especially with Owen's injury.

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  • 48.
  • At 12:30 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Gadgetnutter wrote:

Can't they replace Owen if he's out for the rest of the tournament??

If not, why are certain players on standby back at home?

If so, then surely Defoe will get his chance!

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  • 49.
  • At 12:31 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • zero wrote:

There once was an old Swede named Sven,
Who had a squad of top footballing men,
His dodgy match tactics, would suit geriatrics,
Inspired not on good sense but on zen.

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  • 50.
  • At 12:38 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • zero the poet wrote:

A creaky old man, SGE,
Had a striker with a pain in his knee,
At the half time team chat, to make the boys flat,
He put bromide in everyones tea.

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  • 51.
  • At 12:39 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Doyze wrote:

Lads, it all sorted, I’ve phoned me mam and she’s on her way to Germany with her slippers, coz she’s got more chance of scoring than Lampard. Also I can confirm that there is a player in Australia who is eligible to play for England. This season he has scored 4500 goals for Wagga Wagga Wednesday who play in the Aussie Sunday League, he goes by the name of Bobby Del Stubbs. I have spoken to Cobba Smiley who works for the local paper Wagga Wagga Weekly and he had the following to say about Bobby “he’s got arms like tree trunks....eyes like steel....big shock a hair....RED like the fires a hell!”. Sounds good to me.

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  • 52.
  • At 12:42 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • george wrote:

Why oh why didn’t the FA sack Sven when they had the chance. It's obvious he is incapable of making decisions and his tactics are a joke. What’s even more hilarious is that they appoint Steve Mclaren to replace him, who has a whole load of experience in loosing tournaments. I can only think Sven must be taking his revenge on the FA by deliberately picking an unbalanced squad. He's had months to experiment with formations and this is all he can come up with.

Why is Beckham the captain? He can barley string a sentence together let alone rally the team. Why is Beckham in the starting line-up? yes, he can cross the ball, but he cannot run, take anybody on, hold up the ball, he would be better coming off the bench for the last 20 minutes playing at fullback with Lennon.

Why is Jenas in the team? Sven has Hargreaves and Carrick, why not leave Jenas out and take another striker. At least then we would have someone up front like Defoe or Bent with pace and who is proven to get goals, unlike Crouch who requires the ball to be inches from the line for a tap in or gets flooded with long balls for him to head down to the opposition defence.

Because of Sven’s team selection the right midfield was non existent, once the defence had the ball the only player looking to go forward was Joe Cole, he passes to Lampard who in turn passes it to the opposition goalkeeper. Where is the passing? getting behind the defence? Argentina or Spain would slaughter us.

Sven needs to start making big decisions. Replacing Beckham with Lennon, giving the captaincy to Gerrard or Terry. The squad is obvious for the Ecuador match. Playing a team with pace and belief, a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 it doesn't matter as long as he picks the right players who can play together.

robinson,cole,terry,ferdinand,carragher,j cole,carrick,gerrad,lennon,rooney,walcott. With that team Gerrard can get forward like he does for Liverpool and help play in Rooney and Walcott who has pace and can finish, about time Sven played him. Crouch is only good coming off the bench for the last 15 minutes. Lennon can beat defenders, Carrick can cover for gerrard and start moves with his passing. What does Lampard do? apart from pass it to the linesman or the opposition goalkeeper? at least leave him on the bench and you can always bring him on for gerrard or Carrick in the second half. Sven should know by now you cannot play them together.

We have the players to progress at this World Cup, we just don’t have a manager capable of leading them there.

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  • 53.
  • At 12:46 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Mysterio wrote:

I dont agree with people to drop Beckham but surely he doesnt deserve to be the Captain of such a football passionate nation. On the field he looks like he is just coming back from Victoria's funeral. In yesterday's it was Gerrard who won the match for England.As soon as he was on the field he saved a definate goal and I think A.COle should have been near the goal post at second goal instead standing way inside the goal. But surely England needs a passionate Captain who doesnt look dull as if someone has forced this job on him. Rooney,Gerrard,both Coles, Terry, Carrangher , Lampard ..they are guys who would take England as far as they go.
And Crouch looks nowhere near to be called as a Striker ..just wandering here and there on the field and putting his head on some of the crosses. I will you OWEN!!!

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  • 54.
  • At 12:49 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Mysterio wrote:

I dont agree with people to drop Beckham but surely he doesnt deserve to be the Captain of such a football passionate nation. On the field he looks like he is just coming back from Victoria's funeral. In yesterday's it was Gerrard who won the match for England.As soon as he was on the field he saved a definate goal and I think A.COle should have been near the goal post at second goal instead standing way inside the goal. But surely England needs a passionate Captain who doesnt look dull as if someone has forced this job on him. Rooney,Gerrard,both Coles, Terry, Carrangher , Lampard ..they are guys who would take England as far as they go.
And Crouch looks nowhere near to be called as a Striker ..just wandering here and there on the field and putting his head on some of the crosses. I will you OWEN!!!

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  • 55.
  • At 12:50 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Russ wrote:

So here we are - 7 points in the bag. Feeling good? Absolutely not! Why? Because so far Lady Luck has been with us - and Luck only lasts so long. Whatever dear Sven says to the team at half time has, so it appears, the most dramatic effect of demoralising a team that it is almost uncanny. Managers such as Ferguson, Bill Shankly, and Brian Clough would fire-up a team, but not dear old Sven. He seems tactically devoid of ideas. Like some of the other respondents I agree that MacLaren likewise appears to have no idea of what to do.
Much has been said about the poor defending against set pieces. Much indeed has been said about this over the past couple of years - but has anything been done? Apparently not! It's not a case of "sack the manager" but more a case of taking him to court under the Trade Descriptions Act to retrieve the vast amounts of money thrown in his direction by the FA!
After every game over the past two years, when we have underperformed, we get Beckham (was he on the field last night?)saying "oh yes we played badly, but we will do better in our next game..." It's becoming so repetitious as to be boring and predictable (like our play to Crouch). It's about time Beckham & Co put their huge fortunes where his mouth is. We HAVE good players. It's an unfortunate shame we don't have a good manager!

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  • 56.
  • At 12:58 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Wesley Smith wrote:

After watching the whole game of England v Sweden, we all heard a lot of criticism for England regarding those corners. Not one of the TV pundits managed to notice how they were all taken illegally. Even the referee took the whole of the second half to notice.
When the Swedes took corners from the side nearest the camera (the side with no linesman), they were all taken outside of the corner segment. One of these led to the goal. I know its petty, but its the rules of the game. If sweden can't abide by them, it makes it a shame.

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  • 57.
  • At 12:59 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

Not sure if anyone noticed Steve Mclarens reaction after Cole's goal...he reacted less than Sven and looked totally disinterested...where is the passion. Big Phil Scolari did a full on samba routine after Portugals first goal, give me the passion of that man any day, no wonder he won the World Cup and got Portugal to Euro 2004 final, is Sven that inspirational, passion spreads from the top down. Oh for the likes of Sam Allardyce or Stu Pearce, maybe not as managers, but we could have them as dressing room motivators.
If England fail in this World Cup it will be because of lack of passion and belief, it is not always about technique and skill (Greece 2004), but hey cheer up, beat Equador and we may face Big Phil in the quarters:(

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  • 58.
  • At 01:00 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Nat wrote:

Formations and selection - we've talked our a**es off about them. None of it matters if we can't even pass the ball to each other, as was the case in the second half against Sweden.

Our squad is good enough to compete with anyone - if we play! So we need to see our top players, our leaders on the pitch driving this team forward.

The England fans have been magnificant. Loud, proud, colourful and well behaved.

COME ON ENGLAND!!!!

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  • 59.
  • At 01:00 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • John wrote:

Is it me or did I miss something last night...as far as i was aware, the idea behind putting Crouch and Gerrard on the bench was because they had yellow cards. So why did Sven decide to risk them in this game. I am totally bemused by his decisions. This was an ideal opportunity to try out Lennon and Wallcott, not to mention Carrick. The future for England doesn't bode well, we had Graham 'The Turnip' Taylor, now we have Sven 'The Swede' Ericsson, and soon we will have Steve 'The Carrot' McLaren!

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  • 60.
  • At 01:00 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Mthux wrote:

It was the Dutch who said that it doesn't matter how many goals the opposition score just as long as you score one more!!

3-1-4-2

Ferdinand, Terry, Cole.

Beckham

Lennon, Gerrard (Captain), Lampard, Cole.

Rooney, Walcott (Olive Oyl (Crouch) on after 60 min)

I reckon if we do badly enough at Euro 2008, the FA finds a spine and employs an inspiring manager such as O'Neil we will win the 2010 world cup with a squad peaking as we did with the Rugby!

We won't beat Ecuador! I am depressed.

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  • 61.
  • At 01:02 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • martin'66 wrote:

Let's get some perspective.
The OTT comments about certain players are just inaccurate and unhelpful.
On individuals taking the greatest stick:
(i) Beckham is a fine player, with clear strengths and some weaknesses (name footballers who have no weaknesses). It is debatable if he should be captain given the availability of Terry and Gerrard.
But slagging him as "useless" etc is simply ridiculous and says more about the person making the comment than about Beckham.
(ii) Lampard is a fine player, a good support man, good at getting forward into the box, normally good at converting chances, a good all-rounder etc , but is not a creator nor a defensive supremo. But slagging him as "useless" etc is ridiculous.

The problem is not individual players - it IS selection and tactics. The shape and cohesion of the team is always less than the sum of its parts.
The shape of the team has never been right for 5 years.
There is a resounding silence in defence of Sven's selection, tactics and use of subs etc. from any authoritative source, players or managers (aside from England current players, who obviously are not going to be too outspoken. But it would not take Einstein to interpret some of Gerrard's comments).

I am afraid we do not have a good manager or coach (or whatever he is).
I am also very unconvinced by his successor, but we'll have to wait before we can draw conclusions.

Ironically, it is still not necessarily too late, as we do have sufficient good players to make an impact. Too late to go for a back three, and Gary Neville is a miss, but put Hargreaves in his natural role as holding midfielder, which any team needs, and decide on shape in front - there are several permutations still possible. The only permutation that WILL not work in a month of Sundays is 4-4-2 with Gerrard and Lampard in the middle. Bloody silly. Does ANYONE apart from Sven thinks it CAN work? If so, I have never heard them say so.

The must-have is that Gerrard is given his best and most natural role. That does not necessarily mean sacrificing Lampard, but if (as one option) it does, so be it (ask Jose Mourinho about that one)

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  • 62.
  • At 01:03 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • lucy wrote:

I agree with those people saying we that Gerrard should be the England captain - he is an awesome captain for Liverpool and is one of those players who never gives up, even when things start looking dire. He single handedly inspired Liverpool's Champion's League final come back last year and if we beat Ecuador, with the prospect of playing Argentina or Portugal in the quarters, he is the man we need to lead the way.

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  • 63.
  • At 01:05 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Twisted in Bermuda wrote:

I have to put some blame on the manager after yesterday. I thought he could of swapped like for like with and Owen and brought the young lad on. Then if necessary brought Crouch on later. He took a big risk putting Crouch on so early with a card hanging over his head.
We played great football at a great tempo, a lot on the floor with good inter-passing resulting in a great goal from Cole.
2nd half was reminiscent of countless other 2nd half performances where we tried to defend a 1 goal adavantage. What the hell did Sven tell them at half time. We looked a different team playing at 1/2 of the pace of 1st half and 2nd to every tackle. That is exactly what we don't need. It would be really refreshing to see an England team come out all guns blazing for the second half even though we are 1 - 0 up.(not to point where we expose ourselves unnecessarily) I've never seeen it in 25 yrs of watching English football.
I hope Sven's negative mgmt style does not ruin our chances for this World Cup.

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  • 64.
  • At 01:06 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Rob Wright wrote:

I live in Scotland and the football loving public here would give their right arm to be where England are now. Stop whinging, get behind the team and they may just surprise most of you and win this tournament!

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  • 65.
  • At 01:06 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • mrbooks wrote:

I cannot believe the lack of faith and moaning in some of the previous comments. It reminds me of the ill- informed rubbish I used to hear from the old men in the Barratt stand at Blundel Park (Grimsby Town in case you didn't know.) We have qualified in first place in the group. But for a totally freak soft goal, and an obvious jinx against Sweden, we would have won all three matches. What does everyone want? Maybe the Keegan sexy football? The Hoddle mixed metaphors and inspiration from our past lives? Turnip Taylor's failure to even qualify for the tournament? Sven is a winner, this is the only thing he is bothered about winning which he hasn't already won. When you get to the knockout stages each match is like the cup final. We are now in with a good shout. Have faith, the best is yet to come, and the Owen setback, may just make his mind up and give him less of a selection headache.

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  • 66.
  • At 01:08 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Mark G wrote:

Lets just face it, without proper management and leadership we are doomed !
We need a captain that leads and motivates by example (SG ?) and need a manager with some guts to follow through on the important desicions (definately NOT Sven).
No point in keeping the same team hoping that they will get better! If they dont perform they're out.
As for taking untried players, what's the point? TW hasn't even played a premier league game yet! Perhaps he'll be unleashed as our secret weapon later......
As much as I hate to say it, my pre-tournament tip of Argentina is looking a good bet.

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  • 67.
  • At 01:09 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Jimmy wrote:

I find it hard to believe that there is so many out there willing to defend Beckham.
The claim that he is the best dead ball taker can be debated and he has proven it in the past,but against sweden and trinidad even this side of his game let him down and i'm sure there is players in the squad who can put in a corner nearly as well as beckham at his best.
The fact that the majority of englands goals have come from set-pieces only proves the teams inabilities to score from play and maybe with someone in beckhams place this could change.Apart from set-pieces he gives absolutely nothing else to the team,can't defend and can't beat a player.
For a replacement,lennon is probably too inexperienced yet, but what about gerard on the right.He has some pace and can whip in a great cross and with the extra freedom he could break forward and link-up with rooney better than beckham will. not to mention that he actually can defend.
Beckham out-big improvement.
ps. not much of a captain really,maybe he could get back to making his perfume.

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  • 68.
  • At 01:18 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • StevieJ wrote:

I share the concerns expressed about McClaren - I just hope when Sven gets another job he persuades his new club to buy out McClaren's England contract and take him as his assistant.
With regard to Beckham - he doesn't do enough to warrant his place in the team. He hits the occasional good free kick or corner but if anyone takes ALL these kicks in a match, like he does, they would hit a couple of good ones. Get Lennon on!

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  • 69.
  • At 01:23 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Neal wrote:

Let's get this out of the way first - I am not an England fan (I'm Irish). I watch England games from a totally neutral perspective. And, as a neutral, I can tell you now that England aren't going to win the World Cup. It's not about Sven, it's not about lacking heart or passion, it's not even about the tactics. It's because there are at least 3 or 4 teams that are better than England. Every tournament it's the same, the media start hyping it up and everyone seems to start believing that England are actually going to win. The squad just isn't as good as everyone seems to think, and most of England's players are good but nowhere near as good as their hype. Terry, Gerard and a fully fit Rooney are 'world-class' players. None of the rest of the squad are. Theo Walcott shouldn't be anywhere near a full England squad for at least another year. And finally, will everyone stop slagging off the only England striker to score in the world cup so far. Peter Crouch isn't a world beater, but he's a decent enough striker.

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  • 70.
  • At 01:23 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • jack wrote:

i cant believe what this doyze fella has said in his comments who he think he is alan hansen or something and who is bobby del stubbs. The thing wrong with england is Crouch why he playing everytime a see him reminds me of rodney trotter the hopeless sod. And for Lampard jesus he,s fat greedy and lazy and why is carrick not playing good season at spurs but yet hargreaves is playing who we dont see for the season because he plays in germany. But at Least we got the beast from man utd eh ROONEY!!!! ROONEY!!!!!

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  • 71.
  • At 01:24 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Francis Simpson wrote:

This English team seems to represent a case of "too many (uninspired)Indians - no Chief". Just adding more passion seems to be no cure. More horrors to come for the faithful?

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  • 72.
  • At 01:25 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Nick Ritson wrote:

The only answer now is for a keeper to be used who is commanding in the six yard box. Robinson has not made any impression during the last two games. The only two chances T & T had were following flaps in the air by Robinson and his reluctance to leave his line to meet any crosses during the Sweden game led to his defence retreating further and further until there was no room in the six yard box to move in. Both of Sweden's goals came from flicks through a crowded area. A keeper with presence would have the defensive line pushed out and organised and despite his other frailties James has more presence in these situations. It's a height thing!

With the injury to Owen, Sven needs to use his strikers sparingly and with Hargreaves taking the pressure to defend off Gerrard and Lampard, this may be the support they need to get forward and interract with a lone striker. Pushing them both up the field into a fluid 4-1-4-1 formation means they could defend in this formation further up the field and develop it forward as a 2-3-4-1 with the full backs pushing on safe in the knowledge that three players will remain in a defensive triangle. A tiring Rooney could be replaced by Crouch as the game neared its end provided the players were given strict instructions not to just lump the ball up to lanky-boy.

My fear is that he will stick to 4-4-2, the defence will be exposed as Gerrard and Lampard push on, and we run the risk of another striker being injured, leaving us far too thin. Even Ecuador would be galvanised into all out attck in that scenario and I doubt our ability to resist.

What a waste of talent!!!

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  • 73.
  • At 01:29 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

Michael Owen is going home...but don't worry Sven has just announced this on 5 live...


"I think we can easily handle the situation because we haven't seen Theo Walcott yet," Eriksson told Five Live.

Er Sven, excuse me asking, but we could have seen him last night!

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  • 74.
  • At 01:36 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Warfa wrote:

England has too much hype but no football. I cannot understand why we keep saying we are favorites yet we are struggling in every game. Beckam is poor, Ashley Cole is not the same player. Against the Swedes Crouch was ineffective and Lampard was not helping the team. Believe me Terry was shit!Solution drop Beckam now.

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  • 75.
  • At 01:44 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Paul Calf wrote:

The one thing that Svennis should be doing, is to make sure the players are mentally in the right state - and MOTIVATED.

Clearly (as per comments in this blog) he fails miserably at half-time and in my view, overall.

He just doesn't do it. We need a 'Psycho' in the dressing room to get them going. That is what may get the English players in the right frame. If not, they just think they are auditioning for a shag with the next pop idolette and the next edition of 'Hello'.

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  • 76.
  • At 01:47 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Luke North Devon wrote:

When will we finally play a formation that suits the players?
With Neville injured and Carragher a stop gap right back, why dont we revert to 3 at the back? Carragher, Terry and Ferdinand. Then play Beckham at right wing back, his best deliverys come from halfway inside the opposition half not the goal line eg. Crouch's goal against Tinadad. Ashly Cole is an exellent attacking full back so left wing back would suit him. Owen Hargreaves is incredibly fit and can play the anchor role protecting all sides of the defence very well. This then releases Gerrard and Lampard in advanced midfield roles, with Rooney dictating behind Walcott or Crouch?

I wish Sven would play to the strenghts of our players.

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  • 77.
  • At 01:47 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • James Scote Ball wrote:

I love Owen!

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  • 78.
  • At 01:52 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Daryl wrote:

So, after all your comments, on Sunday we will just go on as usual! We may win that game, but I've no hope beyond that. England's coming home, they coming home.....

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  • 79.
  • At 01:59 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

I agree with some of the comments about putting Crouch on. It's difficult to argue the point though because the tactics worked, but I believe this to be down to luck more than anything. Engalnd should have lost 4 - 2 last night at least considering the chances Sweden had. I personally can't put it into words how annoyed I am that Sven hasn't used Walcott, unless he's saving him for later in the tournament, but that is such an enormous gamble. Crouch makes England play absolutely terribly, you could see Rooney's frustation when he came off. Rooney needs a quick, clever player to work with and Crouch is the complete opposite. Sven is the worse manager I have ever seen, his subs virtually always make the team perform worse. It's as if someone is paying him to ruin England's chances, and I mean that with full seriousness. I wish Crouch picked up a second yellow so he wouldn't have to play the next game.

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  • 80.
  • At 02:00 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

I agree with some of the comments about putting Crouch on. It's difficult to argue the point though because the tactics worked, but I believe this to be down to luck more than anything. Engalnd should have lost 4 - 2 last night at least considering the chances Sweden had. I personally can't put it into words how annoyed I am that Sven hasn't used Walcott, unless he's saving him for later in the tournament, but that is such an enormous gamble. Crouch makes England play absolutely terribly, you could see Rooney's frustation when he came off. Rooney needs a quick, clever player to work with and Crouch is the complete opposite. Sven is the worse manager I have ever seen, his subs virtually always make the team perform worse. It's as if someone is paying him to ruin England's chances, and I mean that with full seriousness. I wish Crouch picked up a second yellow so he wouldn't have to play the next game.

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  • 81.
  • At 02:01 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • The Hamburgler wrote:

Sack Sven? yeah that would be a great move.
"I know we qualified Sven but thats just not good enough, clear your desk by the morning please."

Honestly, all this scaremongering is doin' me head in. Two wins, One draw, Top of the group. Thank you very much that'll do me.

Big improvement in the first half, it shows that the players know where they can improve. Having Hargreaves in the side made a big difference and balanced the midfield out. Now i'm not saying the performance was the best but its not exacly a disaster. Having your No1 striker crawling off the pitch in the first mins is bound to have an impact and I thought the reacted well.

Defending set pieces was awfull, but even my mum could tell you that. It's better it happend now and not in the knock out stages. They just seemed to panic when they realised they were in trouble. I'm sure they will sort that out before the next match.

All this talk of dropping Beckham is a bit silly too. Everyone seems to forget what a great player he's been. The captains armband doesn't really mean a whole lot on the international scene anyway. Every player knows what there doing and players like Terry and Gerrard will be giving orders wearing an armband or not.

Lennon looks sharp and effective BUT we have not seen him up against quality defenders yet. I dont think it would be right to play him from the off, it would be much more effective to see him come on with half an hour to go and terrorise a tired full back.

I believe it was Svens intention to use Walcott and Lennon last night. However due to the injuries to Owen and Rio he had to change his tactics. Joe Cole is on fire and Gerrard again poped up. I think Sven will have to drop one of the attacking midfielders next match to make way for Hargreaves and on current form that would mean Lampard sitting on the bench. Not a bad move to have him chomping on the bit wanting to come on and prove himself.

We're missing Nevill as well, never thought i'd say that but he does work really well with Beckham, gives the side more width on the right. Carrager is a quality defender but not as handy supporting the midfield.

Thats my £2.99s worth

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  • 82.
  • At 02:04 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • ash wrote:

the team has to revert to a 4-5-1 with hagreaves as a holding midfielder giving gerrard n lampard the freedom to go forward and link up with rooney.Bring Crouch on as a substitute if we are losing,Lennon for Beckham to take the pressure off if we are defending a lead.Defenders look ok,but had an off day against Sweden.

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  • 83.
  • At 02:07 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • colin harvey wrote:

Sven......Make Gerrard Captain and we will see a man who is determined
to see England win.
Keep Beckham (for the time being), get rid of crouch and lampard to the bench, bring on the young one's who I'm sure would be proud to give all for the england shirt.
I would rather see us go out of the world cup trying to play football and not getting into this wait and see crap.
As an expat living in france the only thing that is good so far is that the french are worse than us!!!

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  • 84.
  • At 02:08 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • ned wrote:

A few points

Aaron Lennon would have done for the right wing what Joe Cole did for the left.

Hargreaves had his best game and impressed.

The only players who dont look scared to death of our national expectation can be counted on one hand. Rooney, J Cole and Gerrard.

The rest look world beaters in any first half and when they are infront, but peg them back a goal and they're a bunch of nervous schoolboys.

One nil up with twenty minutes to go and you know what you'll get as an England supporter. - 20 minutes of palpations as the other team put us on the rack.

Our boys need to be assured in their play and kill games off either with possession or another goal.

I would have been annoyed at pub football level to see that second goal go in with all it's inept defending, nevermind having to put up with that rubbish from our National side.

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  • 85.
  • At 02:09 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • redjayman wrote:

I feel not quite so alarmed as many others obviously are.

The first half was ours, the Swede's went in wondering if they could stay close to us. But they'd done their homework and are a very good set-piece team, i believe that they would cause anyone a problem with those, but yes, we were slow to react on occasions. but luckily not on the line.
Overall the team is performing better with each game, we have a definite change of tactic now which we didn't four years ago (re: Brazil). Beckham works hard for the team and does a lot of tracking around the right half of the field. hargreaves did well and was needed for that type of game. And with that performance he may now give Lampard a nudge which would give Stevie the right to roam. something we all want.
The biggest worry is Ferdinand and Owen, not Owen for the way he's been playing (and whining) but because of staff shortage and Ferdinand because he is proving himself in this tournament.
It is dissappointing that Wallcott didn't get on but the structure of the team needed changing as Sweden were bossing the middle of the park, and putting him on doesn't change that. against Trinidad we change the formation - goals, did it last night - goal. and with Lennon as a threat i think this team will do well.
but can someone tell Lampard that there is a keeper in the middle of the goal!

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  • 86.
  • At 02:12 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Mustafa Muflehi wrote:

For goodness sake, when are we going to watch Theo Walcott?

He's a player of pace and this is precisely what we need! Why is Sven so stuck with using Crouch; a player who can only jump over defenders and concede fouls!

Sven is obfuscating his tactics - he is literally lost!

Replace Crouch with Walcott and substitute Beckham with Lennon if we are leading the first half.

The next match shall be easiest hurdle of the second round. If Sven fails to make radical changes on this match, he will have no more chances to try out any new tactics when playing in the quarter finals - facing the highest calibre of world-class teams, the likes of Argentina and Holland!

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  • 87.
  • At 02:15 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Rob Cowling wrote:

Its the players mentality and Svens decisions that are the problem. It was finally good to see us be patient with the ball against Sweden, passing it about and creating chances rather than just lumping it forward and hoping for the best. Yet as soon as we get a goal we automatically sit deep and try to defend the lead, remember Portugal, Brazil and France to name but a few! why? because Eriksson has got us playing that way and believe me, it wont change now or when McClaren begains his reign. The players dont show any passion (with the exception of Terry, Gerrard, Joe Cole and Rooney) the way Rooney reacted last night when he was substituted told us all how frustrated he was with himself and the team, we need more players like this! To win the world cup we need to start playing for more than 45 minutes, get Aaron Lennon in the side and start killing off teams. Stop showing teams respect and go out there and give them the beating they deserve, no other teams give us respect so why should we show it to them? because its the English way!!!!!!!!!
Yes we have won the group but we wont be so lucky in the knock outs! the loss of Owen is a blow but Walcott is an unknown quantity across the globe so lets get him involved and put the frighteners on whoever it is that we might play. Most importantly lets get organised, get passionate, stop listening to Sven and play our own game not someone else's.

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  • 88.
  • At 02:17 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • redjayman wrote:

i believe that if we are winning by a couple of goals or more then we will see Wallcott on Sunday, but if its tight then i doubt it. the poor kid will get thrown on, but it will be a big game, he will be under immense pressure as its his first game in the tournament, Joe Cole said that the first game was the most pressure he's ever felt. Does Sven want TW feeling like that against the might of say Brazil or the Argies? we all beg he does it against Ecuador but the team has to perform first. and he will change the midfield around toa five before he does anything else. he's predictable.
There is a conspiracy theory at the mo that Wallcott just isn't cutting it, and the fact that the injury he recently picked up in training was a cover up to save Sven's face. who knows.

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  • 89.
  • At 02:22 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Matt Allsop wrote:

I agree that Beckham did not have a good game last night but he doesnt deserve to dropped.

What i feel England need to do is drop Lampard and now that Owen is injured we should play Walcott.

The thinking behind this is that height is easier to play against than pace, but having said that being able to bring Crouch on from the bench is a great option if we need to change the game. Lampard has been out of form for the last 5 games for England, and Hargreaves proved last night that he can play as an 'anchorman'.

This would mean that we would have Gerard available to do the sort of things we all know he is capable of, but we also have 3 great substitutes in Aaron Lennon (bring on for Beckham if we need some life on the flanks), Peter Crouch (showed what sort of impact he can make in the freindly against Argentina) and Frank Lampard who we can bring on if the chips are down for a defender, play 3 at the back and 5 in midfield with Gerard still able to bomb on.

But hey, im not Sven Golum Eriksson so i cant see this happening.

We need to be more positive and stop playing as if the other team is much better than us!

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  • 90.
  • At 02:23 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • ned wrote:

A few points

Aaron Lennon would have done for the right wing what Joe Cole did for the left.

Hargreaves had his best game and impressed.

The only players who dont look scared to death of our national expectation can be counted on one hand. Rooney, J Cole and Gerrard.

The rest look world beaters in any first half and when they are infront, but peg them back a goal and they're a bunch of nervous schoolboys.

One nil up with twenty minutes to go and you know what you'll get as an England supporter. - 20 minutes of palpations as the other team put us on the rack.

Our boys need to be assured in their play and kill games off either with possession or another goal.

I would have been annoyed at pub football level to see that second goal go in with all it's inept defending, nevermind having to put up with that rubbish from our National side.

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  • 91.
  • At 02:32 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • manish wrote:

alas - i wish the team had the same passion for football as its supporters have.. english supporters are the best.. the manager is a lame duck.. and the players on the team need more adrenaline.. i only hope the world cup does not end up for england with what could have been and what happened.. england has the skills to win.. All they need to do is inject passion when they are on the field//

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  • 92.
  • At 02:32 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Scott Liles wrote:

Living in Holland and surporting the England team. The dutch press thinks England are rubbish. A team of socaled stars that can't preform on the big stage. It's always the same story and excuss. I'm getting tired of seeing the England team.

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  • 93.
  • At 02:35 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • mr sensible wrote:

having read all the above letters it amazes me how intelligent people can be hoodwinked by the media, over the years we have been told that as the originators of football that our place at the high table of football is assured but to get to the top one has to shed sweat blood and tears, unfortunately in our media lead country we believe the hype even when our eyes see the truth, our over paid managers and players haven't a chance against the big boys of the game, we do not have the nous nor the talent to win the cup, and it is only through the luck of the draw that england will be fortunate to get to the quarters or the semis but they will come unstuck against quality teams who do not fear them as paraguay did in the first game, that was a game england should have lost if the other team had only "believed" a bit more in their own talent.

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  • 94.
  • At 02:37 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • mr sensible wrote:

having read all the above letters it amazes me how intelligent people can be hoodwinked by the media, over the years we have been told that as the originators of football that our place at the high table of football is assured but to get to the top one has to shed sweat blood and tears, unfortunately in our media lead country we believe the hype even when our eyes see the truth, our over paid managers and players haven't a chance against the big boys of the game, we do not have the nous nor the talent to win the cup, and it is only through the luck of the draw that england will be fortunate to get to the quarters or the semis but they will come unstuck against quality teams who do not fear them as paraguay did in the first game, that was a game england should have lost if the other team had only "believed" a bit more in their own talent.

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  • 95.
  • At 02:39 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • mr sensible wrote:

having read all the above letters it amazes me how intelligent people can be hoodwinked by the media, over the years we have been told that as the originators of football that our place at the high table of football is assured but to get to the top one has to shed sweat blood and tears, unfortunately in our media lead country we believe the hype even when our eyes see the truth, our over paid managers and players haven't a chance against the big boys of the game, we do not have the nous nor the talent to win the cup, and it is only through the luck of the draw that england will be fortunate to get to the quarters or the semis but they will come unstuck against quality teams who do not fear them as paraguay did in the first game, that was a game england should have lost if the other team had only "believed" a bit more in their own talent.

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  • 96.
  • At 02:40 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Leif wrote:

wow...Here you have the most succesfull coach England ever had and everybody keep on complaning...

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  • 97.
  • At 02:40 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • george wrote:

why are people saying "we won the group, stop worrying, two wins and a draw thatl do me" ... i think thats just covering over the huge cracks in the team. If you look at any of the better teams in this tournament, spain, argentina, holland. they all have pacy attacking players who KEEP and PASS the ball, not strike from 40 yards just to be the big hero for 5 mins (lampard). Have we actually scored a goal yet from a clever passing move? all of our chances at the moment come from 25 yards out, or long balls aimed at a kafuffeling Crouch in the box, one of which like last night reached someone who can actually head the ball (Gerrard). You hear the team saying how "good crouchy is on the deck but hes actually not good in the air" ... i bet walcott's good on the deck too, and can run with the ball and finish. Crouch is best comming on for the last 20 minutes when the opposition is tired, just like in the friendly with argentina. We cannot win the world cup with a toothpick up front. With Lennon on the right and J Cole on the left we will actually start to look like a team capeable of worrying a defence.

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  • 98.
  • At 02:44 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Ben Mumford wrote:

You have got to feel for owen he has had injury after injury it has ruined his career. When he was 18 he was better than pele was but now he is little more than a good striker he could have been one of the best ever but not any more. He will be out for 6 months and if he does return he will never regain his old talent.

Anyway the only England can win now is ste up a new formation and for gods sake stick to it. 4 5 1 hargreaves or carrick holding with rooney upfront. If need be remove holding role and bring crouchy on.

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  • 99.
  • At 02:45 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Ben Mumford wrote:

You have got to feel for owen he has had injury after injury it has ruined his career. When he was 18 he was better than pele was but now he is little more than a good striker he could have been one of the best ever but not any more. He will be out for 6 months and if he does return he will never regain his old talent.

Anyway the only England can win now is ste up a new formation and for gods sake stick to it. 4 5 1 hargreaves or carrick holding with rooney upfront. If need be remove holding role and bring crouchy on.

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  • 100.
  • At 02:46 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • meltonblue wrote:

Sorry, I really don't get what the problem is here. We finished top of the group, what more do we want?! Historically, no team who has started well has ever won the World Cup, the only thing we have to worry about is the fact that we have lost the only world class out and out striker we've got.

Oh, and now Owen isn't playing, wouldn't it make sense to keep the best crosser in the world in the team if we are going to play Crouch up front?!! Apart from last night, thats where all our goals are coming from recently.

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  • 101.
  • At 02:48 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Michelle wrote:

RE: Comment number 45

Quote 'Can't win the cup without Owen' Unquote.

Well we won the game last night didn't we!

There is not a single player for the England team who can win a game on their own. They are a team, play as a team and will WIN as a team.

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  • 102.
  • At 02:50 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Adrian McGough wrote:

Erikson is so afraid of losing he just can't focus on how to win!

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  • 103.
  • At 02:53 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • meltonblue wrote:

RE Comment number 101.

Erm, no. we didn't.

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  • 104.
  • At 03:02 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Manjit wrote:

Interesting the BBC's Chief Internet Football reporter could not find it himself to mention in his report Owen Hargreaves performance given last week he felt that he should not be in the squad?

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  • 105.
  • At 03:05 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

RE : Comment 101

No we drew

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  • 106.
  • At 03:11 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • The Hamburgler wrote:

SACK SVEN? er you right in the head?

"Sorry Sven, I know we qualified and all but its just not good enough, clear you're desk by the morning please."

Top of the Group, Two Wins, One Draw. I'll take that straight away thank you very much.

Ok so we know the set piece defending was a mess but at least they have time to sort it out before the next match. I think they just got a little flustered and yes I don't think Beckham will ever be defending the front post again.

On a positive note however. First half was a much improved performance, passing it about, no rush to bomb it up the field, this tells me that they have worked on a few things in training. The team reacted well after owens departure and even with Crouch on the pitch they refrained from bombing the long ball about.

I believe it was Svens intention to use Walcott for the last half hour last night, swapping him for Rooney. Unfortunatly the injuries and nature of the game ment he had to change his plans.

Hargreaves played well and having that holding midfielder must surely be the reason we passed it about better. Lampard is a good palyer but on form you have to pick Gerrard ahead of him and stick Frank on the bench. Little bit of competition for places never hurt anyone and he'll be gee'd up coming off the bench.

Lennon looked very good against a division 3 defence who had already been runabout for 60 mins but you cant think hes gonna do that for 90 mins against someone like the Dutch or Brazil? Hes an ace card to throw on for the last half an hour but it would be a mistake to play him from the start.

People seem to forget how many times Beckham has won a game for us with just one kick of the ball? He deserves his place but like the rest of them needs to raise his game. As for being Captain I really dont think it matters that much. The team is full of captains and just because someone like Terry or Gerrard arn't wearing the armband isn't gonna stop them barking orders.

Thats my £2.99's worth

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  • 107.
  • At 03:22 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Galahad wrote:

The reason why the right looked so weak last night (Beckham etc), is because the ball was mainly on the left. Hence why Joe cool etc looked so good...

Ball can't be everywhere at once...geddit?

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  • 108.
  • At 03:27 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Tim wrote:

>. How very English. The weather's too hot, the weather's too wet. Food's too cold, food's too spicy. Etc, etc. A miserable nation of whinging pessemists. I hear it in the pub and on the street. Tiresome. I'm starting to hope we win not because it would be one of the best events of my life and would leave me with a grin so wide my head might fall off, but just so Sven and Beckham, Crouch and Lamps can stuff all this negativity down our throats. However, there's another part of me that hopes we loose to Ecuador, simply 'cos that'll put an end to this ceaseless whining!

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  • 109.
  • At 03:35 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Emma wrote:

Yes we won the group BUT i feel that we a)Have the wrong players there ie Peter (do you know how to jump) Crouch. This guy oh words can't describe it...and please don't come back saying he scored and saved us in the T&T game. Beckham made that goal and you me and even your Granny could of headed that in! B)Too many of our superstar players can't play as a unit. They just can't gel. Is this becasue the money and superstardom has made them lose the passion who knows!?!
All i do know that they shouldn't be paid to play for England - wearing the 3 shirt is the biggest payment! The WAG's should be paying their own hotel costs etc... Sven shouldn't be paid half as much and then the savings can be ploughed back into kids grass roots football.
I do know one thing though and that is Peter Crouch's WAG wouldn't be going out with him if he wasn't a footballer! These footballers are so shallow!!

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  • 110.
  • At 03:52 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Joe wrote:

I think everybody needs to calm down a little. Too often people are quick to moan about a certain player or sven. It was only a couple of days a go that i gurantee most of the people on here were saying "hargreaves what a waste of time" and now its back to sven and beckham to get abuse. You should listen to yourselves! sounds like school children squabbling in the playground!
Beckham has done so much for our country and has had a great season for Real Madrid. The sweden game was not his best i admit but he is still going to be a massive weapon for us this tournament, especially now crouch is gonna be playing every game. As for those of you saying he goes mssing in the big games WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!!! remember greece at old trafford? argentina last world cup? both huge games and he was fantastic. The fact he had the balls to step up and take the penalty against the argentinians tells you everything about the man.

Now i am just a fan like all of you but i feel sometimes a lot of you forget that. We are fans for a reason and sven is the manager for a reason. Just because he does not explain what he did in interviews does not mean he has lost it! He knows what he is doing and If he wins us the world cup i wanna see everyone of you who has slated him state an apology on here! Now come on lets get behind him and the team!

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  • 111.
  • At 03:54 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Gerry-your joking wrote:

Why is it that everytime England plays badly Sven gets it in the neck. If you dont like the guy you should have said that when the FA first hired him ...smells like a bit of foreigner bashing.
Why shouldnt these overpaid players be on the front line. So much was said and written about Lampard, if he is a "world class" player then my nanny can do the Fosbery Flop.
And so much was written about Rooney i fear that the pressure would get to the overpaid kiddo and he is going to do something really stupid. Common the press and media(especially the BBC) get a grip on yourselves, please dont use hyberboles on average players, other wise you run the risk of being sued for gross misrepresentation..

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  • 112.
  • At 03:55 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Man Eater wrote:

"Crouch's bird wouldn't be going out with him if he wasn't a footballer"

What? You mean to say in this day an age Status & Wealth is more important that beauty to some folk?

Sometimes the world can be so cruel...

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  • 113.
  • At 04:21 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • pablo honey wrote:

Hey, less football, more about the plugs, it's more interesting.

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  • 114.
  • At 04:29 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Kevin55 wrote:

The tragedy is that Eriksson has inherited a golden generation of English players and yet (through his own tragic squad selection) has our hopes resting with the lieable but ineffective Peter Crouch. England will never be able to finish teams off with the tall man. He's an 8 goal a season player at best. There is an argument that England would play better should Crouch be sent off as their style would have to change, and their sense of injustice might propmt them to inject some urgency into their play. Michael Owen literally overstretched himself last niight trying to react to unfair media criticism over his earlier performances. We've probably seen the last of Owen in any world cup. - as I can't see his pace any better at 30 in South Africa. Also, why has there been no criticism over Frank Lampard. He is basically a deep lying forward, a poor man's Gus Poyet, shooting on sight and racking up the largest number of innocuous efforts on goal in the tournament. This only works when he's beeing teed up every 2 mins by Makelele, Essien et al at Chelsea. His presence means we sacrifice Gerrard as an attacker,the only one of our true world class players that's 100% fit. We'll be out to Holland in the quarter finals.

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  • 115.
  • At 04:38 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

According to Radio 5 there was a chap in Inverness that put £40,000 on England beating Sweden, perhaps he should have delivered the half time team talk!.

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  • 116.
  • At 04:41 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Anti wrote:

Theo Walcott must be some sort of modern day mascot because managers seem to love him but never have the nerve to play him

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  • 117.
  • At 04:55 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • craig wrote:

Owen's injury just shows why we needed five strikers. I don't think Crouch and Rooney will work together as well as Crouch and Owen (his five goals against Columbia and Argentina with Crouch in the only games they've played together with Owen match fit) as both of them are primarily in the team to provide the link between midfield and a striker in the box, and now we don't have one. We have three strikers, one who isn't close to match fitness, and one I don't think will play at the world cup (if you're going to play a 17 yr old debutant at all, you'd do it the group stages right?)If one of these gets injured we're up the proverbial creek as Rooney/Walcott aren't going to play 90 minutes.

I agree with a number of points mentioned earlier. Strip Beckham of the captaincy but keep him in the team, he provides us with quality crossing and set pieces (look at his form in the friendly games prior to the World Cup), but why is he captain? We have two players who are captains of their clubs but we give the England captaincy to someone who isn't? Give it to Gerrard, you just need to see the way he inspired Liverpool against AC Milan.

Lampard. Drop him. Gerrard is far better playing in that attacking position than he is. Play Carrick as the holding midfielder. He has a good passing game which should help counter the way England constantly give the ball away.

But the players aren't the big problem, it's Sven. The longer he's here the worse we get, he's taken a team which beat Germany 5:1 and turned them into a team which lose to N. Ireland. I've said since Euro 2004 that he has the midfield playing the wrong way, too narrow and too far back. When our defense has the ball the midfield drop back to pick the ball up, which means that there's fewer people to pass the ball to up front. Perfect example last night, Crouch in our own half a number of times when we had the ball! What's that all about? All this does is that with fewer people to mark in their half the opposition can get forward and rob us of the ball in our own half. Instead our defense should push up when they have the ball, drawing the opposition out, which then creates space around the midfield for us to pass into. Basic stuff really, but Sven's coached in Italy, and has us playing the Italian game of slow, slow, quick, slow, which just doesn't seem to be working anymore (look at Inter/Villareal, AC/Lyon AC/Barcelona and Juventus/Arsenal last year. The Italians found it really tough).

Playing the way we are, I think we'll be lucky to make it past the quarter finals. Saying that, we do have quality players, even if they're not working as a team, and, despite Sven, they can play a bit. Anyone see Argentina v Serbia and Montenegro? And to think we beat them not too long ago!

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  • 118.
  • At 05:18 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Paul Anderson wrote:

Typical rubbish by the BBC...

"England made it through to the second round with a draw against Sweden"

No we didn't. We'd already qualified a week earlier.

What makes me laugh is that England got two wins and a draw against 3 difficult teams and for me that was all I could have asked for. Go ask the Scottish fans if they'd be happy to be our position and you know the answer...

England fans should stop and think about the last time we qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup and give thanks. Hell, we didn't look great but then again, neither have Germany, Brazil or any of the other favourites. Damn, Korea and Australia have looked better than most but are they in the last 16...not yet!

England are under constant pressure from every angle and I'm sure they'd love to win the whole thing just to shut the newspapers up once and for all - "screw the medal - at least The Sun cant knock us anymore"

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  • 119.
  • At 05:22 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • tom wrote:

problem is with our team, its a team full of superstars who are the main attraction of their respective teams;
beckham - madrid
gerrard - liverpool
rooney - united
lampard - chelsea
owen - newcastle
etc.... and in their club teams, the team practically revolves around them, but this isnt the case in the national squad (ok maybe it is for rooney) and therefore i think theres too many guys out there trying to be the centre of attention and not playing as a team, lampard has too many distance shots, when a neat pass into the area would usually be more effective, owen waits for the ball to come to him, beckham just boots the ball all over the place and gerrard doesent look as effective as he does for liverpool. joe cole on the other hand is magnificant and i think sven should give chances to lennon and walcott, but hes a plank for not taking someone like defoe. and everyone is right, theres more passion in a team like trinidad and tobago than there is in ours.

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  • 120.
  • At 05:24 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Paul Anderson wrote:

wins and a draw against 3 difficult teams and for me that was all I could have asked for. Go ask the Scottish fans if they'd be happy to be our position and you know the answer...

England fans should stop and think about the last time we qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup and give thanks. Hell, we didn't look great but then again, neither have Germany, Brazil or any of the other favourites. Damn, Korea and Australia have looked better than most but are they in the last 16...not yet!

England are under constant pressure from every angle and I'm sure they'd love to win the whole thing just to shut the newspapers up once and for all - "screw the medal - at least The Sun cant knock us anymore"

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  • 121.
  • At 05:35 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • MARTIN MICHAEL wrote:

Having read all your comments since i posted mine this morning looks like some of you believe we have no one else that can take free kicks and corners so becks must play.I have since changed my mind about England:Beckhams corners and free kicks will be enough to win the world cup regardless of how badly England play.Get a life.Besides boys and girls if you think this is bad wait until McClaren takes over.

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  • 122.
  • At 06:09 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Jon wrote:

I CAN TAKE NO MORE!!!! Enough of this talk about Gerrard being a world class player and a leader. He's one of the most over rated players in football. OK so he's scored some goals for us but apart from that his performances for England at this tournament and every other have been bordering on embarrasing. Comments about him taking games by the scruff off the neck are just laughable. He's the first to drop his head when the teams up against it. And dont even start about Liverpools Champions League run (Id need another page on that one). England played the best 45 minutes of football in a long time with Gerrard on the bench and Svens half time team talk probably involved him telling the team he was going to bring Gerrard on and thats enough to put anyone off! Gerrard is a good Premiership footballer and nothing more. World Class?! Please.

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  • 123.
  • At 06:45 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • andrew wrote:

Playing 4-4-2

When Brazil play the beautiful game they move up and down the field as one block keeping in a 4-4-2 formation until they reach the 20 yard mark when the wings come forward to make 2-4-4. Within this formation they swap positions one at a time. Everyone on the ball knows where a fellow player is without needing to look up. Passes are made and met.

We need to do the same. So far England can't keep shape. That is the reason the 2nd half against Sweden went badly. In the 1st half the Coles on the left kept the formation going swapping over with each other. Occassional Cole moved inside but the shape was kept. In the 2nd half Joe Cole moved inside too much and no one covered his position. When Gerrard did we scored.

The system works. It's what we have coaches for. If players lack the disciplin to keep to the shape and lack the fluency to move around the formation posing new questions for the opposition while keeping the team shape then they aren't good enough for this level. It's not just skill on the ball and pace that counts.

Beckham hasn't been keeping position or covering. Alex ferguson let him go when he started to lose his disciplin. It cost Man U. It won't cost England we have Gerrard

Not with standing the above, at this level pace and fluency are the key attributes attackers need. Crouch will never have these, Beckham has lost them and there is something wrong with Lampard. Walcott and Lennon are needed and Rooney knows it hence the petulence.

Neville is out so play Bridge and Cole as right and left backs either way round or even swapping during the game. It shores up the defence and gives balance to the attack.

Some of the team and combinations work. Keep the Coles, Rooney, Ferdinand, Terry, Gerrard, Hargreaves. They are all disciplined and fluid with various mixtures of power, pace and precision.

So my team based on performance is
Robinson, Bridge, Terry, Ferdinand, Cole, Lennon, Gerrard, Hargreaves, Cole, Rooney and lastly Walcott based on Sven's intuition.

That makes 10 outfielders who have the fluency, power and pace to make 4-4-2 work at this level.

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  • 124.
  • At 06:56 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Stu wrote:

I have read a lot of the comments here and some of them I think quite laughable. Comment 122 by Jon was particulary comical.

In Gerrard, England have one of the top 5 players in the world. Class all over and along with Rooney will be key to England's hopeful sucess if played in the correct position. It really annoys me when Sven plays him as a holding midfielder as you are taking so much away from his game. He needs that freedom and it was just so evident last night.

I was saddened to see Sol Campbell come in for some unfair stick. He played very well last night. Got in a good few tackles and key blocks and I do not fault him for the 2nd goal. That was down to John Terry misjusdging the ball and leaving Campbell in no mans land. I do like John Terry as a player but unfortunately he had a nightmare last night and was at fault for both goals last night. Terry will be kicking himself for his errors and balls he knows he should have cleared/headed away and out of danger.

As for Beckham, he needs to be dropped. I don't care how he does for Real Madrid, he's playing for England here. He has been a waste of space in all 3 matches so far. Yes he put over a couple of balls into the box but apart from that nothing. Last night was probably the worst of the 3 performances for Beckham. Also at fault for 1 goal for his inability to mark at set pieces. Oh yes, did you know the man is a dead ball specialist? This WAS evident last night as he whipped in a couple of vicious floating corner kicks with no pace on them. Sweden showed exactly how corners should be taken last night.

As for Crouch, it's a shame we have comments from the visually impaired here. Crouch has done a good job in all matches. His touches, running and distribution have all be top notch and he's got a goal. Yes he even knows he should have 2 goals but he has been consistant and has only been let down buy a lack of service from the midfield as had Owen.

Englands chances? It's now going to be difficult with no Owen. There is very little margin for error and yellow cards will play a major part. Gerrard, Rooney and Crouch will have to be extremely careful to pick up no more than 1 each.

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  • 125.
  • At 08:01 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Barney wrote:

Yep, we gotta drop Beckham. Yeh i know he's the best crosser, free kick taker and all that but god....he has absolutely no pace at all. He can't beat people like Lennon can, and while i'm moaning, why are we not playing Walcott? The Sweden game would have been an ideal opportunity to test him out!

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  • 126.
  • At 08:51 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Jim Mighigan USA wrote:

Through some quirk of Divo recording I watch the England game in Korean yesterday, and to be honest they made as much sense as most of your correspondence. Like most England fans over the years I've had my heart torn out by the national team, but yesterday wasn't one of them, hello!! it was basically a friendly, ie you run around until half-time then kill the game gracefully. The realities are through injuries or lack of world class depth, our first eleven pick's itself, and we have a second tier South American team in the last 16in europe, not withstanding the Swedish bikini team serving adult beverages, it doesn't get much better than this.

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  • 127.
  • At 09:17 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Jim99 wrote:

So, sack this functionary, drop this player, move an armband about and all will be right with England? Well, good to see the ´fans´ can distribute negative dross nearly as well as the media and significantly better than England can distribute a football ...

Coming into the tournament England apparently had some of the best players in the world? Either everyone was talking b*****s or they suddenly got worse or others suddenly got better. If each player can only be truly effective in one particular aspect of play then they aren´t ever going to be world class players. The best in the world should be able to vary their style of play and adapt to situations.

It´s true, England should not have handed the game back to Sweden, irrespective of injuries (or yellow cards). However, I am prepared to make a small wager that the coach had not instructed his players to have 11 men in the penalty area for Swedish corners, which is what England did, thus giving no relief from pressure if/when the ball was cleared. If we have so many clear minded, committed, passionate players who could captain, how come none of them could actually make a commitment to clearing the incoming ball on corners? It does seem that Robinson should not be overawed by those around him and spend a little more time beating up his defence as many of the best psycho goalies have often done.

I do agree that squad selection has given some suprises. I do hear a lot of talk about the number of strikers, but don´t we have quite a number of goalscorers there? I suspect that there is some justification in arguing that Defoe should have been kept on. However, if you work on only selecting players from the English premiership, as there are relatively so few (most seem to be foreigners these days), one youngster with prospects from outside doesn´t seem completely outlandish.

However, most countries may think topping the group with 2 wins and a draw not too bad, something to work with. If you have good players that´s another plus. If you can see that the next couple of teams you are likely to play tend to be playing at about the same level as you, that´s another plus.

Let´s face it, the only team that doesn´t seem to have had wobbly moments so far is Argentina, with the possiblity that Holland may provide them with a challenge. Intriguing possibility.

All is not lost. Owen, of course, is a blow, but still plenty for the rest to play for and, I understand, replacing him is a possibility. Intuitively, rather than analytically, I suspect Croucho may have one or two moments yet to come, but not as a defender!

The team have played some nice football. If they could move the ball a little quicker, spend a little more time working positions and a little less giving it away and taking long range pot shots (some are worth a go) then we may yet do ourselves plenty of credit.

To win the tournament is a big ask, but not impossible. Tails up lads, tomorrow is another day!

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  • 128.
  • At 10:13 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Rolf-Dieter Habich wrote:

All in all that great fuss from post 1 to 127 ( have not read all of them, though) seems to indicate first and foremost one thing: it is beginning to dawn upon England supporters that there is a chasm between what English media made them believe about their team's potential and the hard facts of England's performance in their first three matches. Equador should close that chapter for good.

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  • 129.
  • At 11:15 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Rolf-Dieter Habich wrote:

Equador will show England the door.

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  • 130.
  • At 11:53 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • and thats the end wrote:

and thats the end of that chapter

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  • 131.
  • At 11:54 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • and thats the end wrote:

and thats the end of that chapter

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Yes, the plugs are not working in their way for Mr. Sven likewise you faced with your plugs but you got a person who took you to a solution and I do not know what will happen for England coach but I am sure he can think about Jermain Defoe as Mr. Sven has seen him even in the practice session of world cup England squad. I hope Owen will be fit as soon as possible.

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  • 133.
  • At 04:18 AM on 22 Jun 2006,
  • Rich Clark wrote:

Some good posts there (not tha I've read all of them. Anyway here's my 2 pence worth.

We played ok against Sweden obviously 1st half was good and we couldn't defend set pieces.

I think the major problem is there is passion missing and not enough of the 'World Class' players stepping up to the mark. These players should be able to take the game by the scruff of the neck but aren't - Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard. Only Joe Cole has wanted the ball constantly to make things happen. We should have enough leaders in the team for everyone to be pushing people on or ranting at them, its not just for Beckham to do it as captain (though he should lead by example). Terry and Gerrard are club captains so why not show it for England. If players performed how they do for their clubs we would have no problem, I can't think of one that plays better for England than his club side.

Also to those wanting to drop Beckham, I think thats a stupid idea, he never gives up and is always a threat with his delivery and as others have said he's been Real's best player this year. Lennon should be used as an impact sub. If anyone should be dropped its Lampard, he's just not performed, he needs to know that he's not untouchable. Steven Gerrard is twice the player. We also need Gary Neville back as Carragher while an excellent centre back isn't a full back, there is no overlapping runs or decent delivery.

My team against Ecuador would be, Robbo, G Nev (if fit), Rio, Terry, Cole, Beckham, Lampard (or Hargreaves), Gerrard, Crouch and Rooney. The reason for Crouch being Ecuador are dodgy on crosses and he will cause problems.

Unfortunately at this moment I don't see England winning the world cup mainly because of the lack of goalscoreres - i mean who's going to get the 4-5 goals the tournament winner normally gets? Hopefully Rooney will be fit and do it.

Lastly, we always knew that Sven had screwed up with his striker, why bring Jenas when he's got 4 others in front of him? I would have preffered a back up for G/ Nev than another midfielder. Should have gone with Defoe or even Ashton.

So lets get behind the team and start to encourage them to deliver rather than slaging them off all the time.

Blimey, long post, sorry zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  • 134.
  • At 09:27 AM on 22 Jun 2006,
  • Little Yang wrote:

Why not give Doyze's mam a try (Comment 51)? Sure, she might be a bit short on pace and have a tendency to drift out of position but she has two good feet and them slippers can be deadly. Solves the captaincy problem as well 'cos if anyone needs to pull their socks up she can do it for them and then clip them round the ear in front of everybody.
Re Comment 70 by jack:
I think the Bobby Del Stubbs thing is a bit of a wind up. I think.

Yours, Alan H.

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  • 135.
  • At 09:48 AM on 22 Jun 2006,
  • Alan Fountain wrote:

The comment that captaincy at the highest level matters little made me smile. There was not one of the galaxy of stars around Roy Keane in the Manchester United team that relished the thought of the skipper benevolently pointing out that he was marginally unappreciative of their efforts and could they possibly apply themselves a tad more effectively.
Even top class players can let their heads drop. After Sweden's early second half equalizer, galvanizing leadership was called for. A lacklustre David Beckham failed to provide it. With sterner tests to come, surely it is time to entrust the captaincy to John Terry or Steven Gerrard.

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  • 136.
  • At 11:57 AM on 22 Jun 2006,
  • Gip Morgensen wrote:

How Terry Ball can say (Comment 13) can say that the Eng team has no guts is incredible - ok maybe Bex is a little short in that dept but wot about Roonsi, Gerrardsi and Butcher! they all hav the balls and hav blinding game on Tuesday against I countrymen....as for Errikson he is best manager my country has produced since Hip Morgensen (no relation)and currently no one this side of the Hardangar Fjords can touch him.. I think Mr Balls needs to wake up and smell the surströmming!!
Eng will beat Equatoria Guinney by 5 point to the 1 or my name is not Stanley Mathewson......go Sven!!!

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  • 137.
  • At 01:47 PM on 22 Jun 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

Hello One and all,

Well what started off about plugs not working has turned into a free for all on the England Squad. It's good to see we have so many budding England managers - all with passion - something that seems to lack on the bench when England are playing (with the exception of Sammy Lee!!). Maybe we should not bother employing Mclaren in the future and instead use a voting system to see who should play in any England game after all we are all good at talking football.
There are some good comments here, like why did we bring Theo if SGE is not prepared to use him. Becks performance on the right. Lampards performance etc. For my managers input, I feel that this is because we miss Neville in the RB position, and that Carragher is too negative there. How many passes FORWARD did he make, how many overlaps did he do??
Playing opposition like Sweden is a bit like playing England against England, they have a very similar style. Against Ecuador who have a different style, it may be worth playing Crouch in the good old English manner - wingers en all!!
Back to the Theo/striker issue, we came out with a stiker who was crocked, one who was still on his way back from being crocked, one who does not have a particularly high goal scoring record and one who is 17 and never even played at such a high level. What was going through the Swedes head when he made his choice. Rooney I can understand, Owen, the signs were there by the length of time he was taking to get back to full fitness. (Even if his injury now is a different one). Theo - maybe a Pele in disguise?? Only if he plays otherwise we will never know. Crouch, going on very recent history could have made it as a 3rd 4th or 5th striker.
Oh by the way what type of notes is Mclaren making on a scrap piece of paper?? Is it for the half time talk, maybe he is taking the orders for the tea instead of writing down tactics!!?? Compare this to Brazil who have what looks like an oversized palm top. But then again if the plugs don't work then at least we still have the trusty pen and paper! Hope you enjoy my nonsense.
Greetz Andy from Holland

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  • 138.
  • At 01:59 PM on 22 Jun 2006,
  • MARTIN MICHAEL wrote:

heard on the news this morning that Gerrard had a fall out with Becks over the long ball tactics favoured by Becks.Says it all.Easy to understand why Becks favours long passes:cant run on to through balls,can beat defenders,and too slow to catch up with a fast passing game.Solution:hit it long every time.Really really really really hope England wins the world cup but ........

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  • 139.
  • At 02:17 PM on 22 Jun 2006,
  • Joe wrote:

I agree with the comments from post 137, it is clear to me that SGE has the tactical knowledge of an amoeba, how else could he justify his selections of Messrs Walcott & Owen, it was clear to everyone that this was a gamble too far, I would suggest to post 137 that he should ask the FA to reconsider their choice of Manager and throw his hat into the ring !!.

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  • 140.
  • At 02:35 PM on 22 Jun 2006,
  • Dany wrote:

Martin Michael,

No body complained when Beckham put that long pass through to Rooney which nearly produced a goal in the first half. But hey as the post 137 says, playing Sweden was like playing another England, they are used to the long ball, maybe Ecuador aren't and maybe it is just one of a number of weapons that can be used!!

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  • 141.
  • At 03:51 PM on 22 Jun 2006,
  • Alice wrote:

What wouldn't I give to see Guus Hiddinck managing England?

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  • 142.
  • At 03:56 PM on 22 Jun 2006,
  • Alice wrote:

What wouldn't I give to see Guus Hiddinck managing England?

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  • 143.
  • At 02:29 AM on 23 Jun 2006,
  • Rich Clark wrote:

In reply to Post 138, if they did have a fallout I'm not sure why in recent years Beckham, Lampard and Gerrard have taken the ball from the central defenders looked up and tried ot hit a 60 yard 'Hollywood' ball. And it's worked one in 30 maybe.

And in response to 141, Guus in my opinion was always the man the FA should have gone after.

Just seen Shearer may be asked to take up a coaching role, think that would be a good thing too.

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