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England grind out win

World Cup England
by Adored99 (U6632053) 01 April 2009
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Fabio Capello's England weren't on top of their game this evening but, as the cliche goes, it's the sign of a good team when they don't play well but get the win.

Ukraine, though not carrying much of a goal threat, were the technically better team, and obviously comfortable in possession. They started well, and this put England off their stride, as they continually gave the ball away cheaply. Ashley Cole in particular was guilty of wasting possession with a series of aimless straight balls into the box, but he wasn't the only one. Barry had a poor game by his standards, and Gerard became increasingly peripheral the longer the game went on.

Capello made a mistake in taking off the dangerous Aaron Lennon in only the 55th minute. Though Beckham clearly brought a better quality end product to the table, England looked less of a threat without pace on th right flank. This meant that when Ukraine equalised, Capello was forced to reshuffle the team more than he would have liked, putting Rooney up front (arguably a waste of his talents) and playing Wright-Phillips on the left.

Rooney was our best player again, though he was fortunate to stay on the pitch. One of a number of bizarre decisions by the referee was in not awarding even a free kick when Rooney performed his usual trick of getting the ball but going through a good three feet to deliberately take out the man as well (a trick that Lee Catermole has honed to perfection this season). Lampard was our best midfielder, and Crouch took his goal well. David James had an evening to forget, and you could sense the equaliser coming as the introduction of Beckham had the opposite of it's intended effect. The tempo was lost, England became sloppy, and although you could argue Ukraine scarcely deserved a goal, it wasn't that much of a surprise when it came.

However, two qualities England have displayed consistently under Capello is hard-work and resilience. As usual we closed down well and forced the opposition into mistakes. It was no surprise that the winner came from a set piece, as we'd looked dangerous from dead balls all evening.

So not a vintage display, and the manager will, I'm sure, have berated certain players for wasting so much possession. However this evning's result means we're almost in South Africa, so that's clearly the huge positive to take from the game.

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posted Apr 2, 2009

''Hargreaves/ Seriously? Barry is wayyyyyy better. I know from your name you are a ManU supporter, but please.''

Gareth Barry is a playmaker playing out of position as a holding player, Owen Hargreaves is a top quality defensive midfielder.

If he returns fit and healthy next season i can guarantee that he'll force his way into the England starting line-up (at probably Barry's expense), he's a superb player. <ok>

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posted Apr 2, 2009

comment by darkanddom (U11758637)
posted 10 Minutes Ago

comment by Nevs_A_Red (U9447746)
posted 26 Minutes Ago

Englands record with Rooney and Owen starting up front together is pretty good I think. Owens just gotta get fit! Provifing Foster starts playing regularly and players stay fit/dont lose form then my England team for the world cup would be:

---------------------------------------------
Your lineup is out of whack....I thought you all wanted a coach who picks players ONLY if they are fit and on form rather than on past glory? You have one now, and we are winning, and you want to bring back old retreads who are out of form? Seriously?

1. Owen should be nowhere near an England shirt for a long while. Sorry. He is out of form at the moment.
2. Beckham is in better form for RM than Walcott and SWP combined. You have to start Beckham and thn replace him with Walcott or SWP after defenses are tired.

3. Hargreaves/ Seriously? Barry is wayyyyyy better. I know from your name you are a ManU supporter, but please.
4. Anyway, the team as Capello is having it works. Let it be. I would add Gabby and Ashley Young in the rotation.
--------
June 2010 is a long time a way, and we can only go on past/present ability to try and guess the squad, hence my choices. Becks wont be starting a game again - it is bad planning to start a player you know will probably not last 90 minutes! As for Barry better than Hargreaves, that is a joke. Barry's in the team because he has a good left foot. He is out of his depth against better players - look at last nights game for one, then the games against Spain, Germany, Brazil, Croatia and Russia in the Euro qualifiers etc.

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posted Apr 2, 2009

what really annoys me is argentina lose 6-0 however theyre ranked 2 in the world (worst defeat for 60 years), brazil have drawn 4 of their games and 4th in a group of 8 (and the teams above them are simply not good teams)....because theyre crapp...hardly ANYTHING is said badly about them,
Ok england werent a "superhero " team by any standards, but theyve still stored 16 goals and only conceded like 4.....took full points.
what they hell is wrong with people in england? you any idea what ridiculous RELENTLESS pressure is placed on them to achieve? not just achieve but wipe the floor with other teams?
Even france didnt get this when they went out to senegal in the first round 2 world cups ago!!
its ridiculous!!!
Im english btw, moved to the US in 2001

the english press need to friggin grow up

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posted Apr 2, 2009

Methink that James was the missing link under McLaren's fiasco reign.

Capo is cognizant of that and has been successful ever since he started James for WC qualifier.
Talismanic and experience GKs are hard to be replaced.
Even VDS was begged to returned to Holland's fold!

Don't tinker with this especially the rapport James has with the defence. And please don't ever bring back calamity Neville. IMHO.

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posted Apr 2, 2009

rabbitroger, youre a typical idiott that complains.

Tell you what, capello should go ask maradonna how to make a team lose to a bunch of crapp 6-0. Or to draw 1-1 to a team that were ALL OVER Brazil (who in my eyes shouldnt even be ranked in the top 30 in the world) Maybe he will be just another manager the press hang like they did sven

your comments are not constructive, not promising, and its the same moaning garbage we see in the English press day in day out. In fact a 1-1 wouldnt have been a disaster!!!
people are carrying on like they lost 3-0
the only game they have lost recently was to spain, and come on theyre the best team in the world...Losing 2-0 to spain was hardly a disaster either.
Instead of piling pressure on the team to WIN the world cup, and EXPECT them to, just give them support

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posted Apr 2, 2009

main problem is we rely on Rooney, and he's not that good. let's get Gerrard involved, get Owen in the team, Becks on the right, with Barry holding it together in the middle. Ashley Young is so much better than Downing it hurts.

my England team:

---------------------Kirkland----------------------
Johnson--------Terry------------Ferdinand---------Cole

---------------------Barry-------------------------

Beckham--------------------------------------A. Young

----------------------Gerrard-------------------------

----------------Owen------------Rooney----------------

any opinions?

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comment by Marantz (U3939791)

posted Apr 2, 2009

Great result, if not a great performane.

A few negatives such as losing the tempo a bit in the second half. Also, whilst I admire Peter crouch in many ways, it seems we rarely play that well with him in the side. Too many of players seem to think "Oh, crouch is playing, I might as well ping it long towards his head." The defence also continues to look a bit shaky and it hardly helps with David James as their last line of defence behind them.

As for player ratings:

David James - 6 - still doesn't convince.
Johnson - 7 - Thought he was encouraging.
A.cole - 5 - What has happened to this guy!?
Terry - 7 - Did ok and got the winning goal.
Ferdinand - 7 - Did well enough.
Barry - 5 - Recent poor England form continues. Booked, some sloppy play and should have had a penalty awarded against him.
Lampard - 7 - Did well enough and continues to prove to his critics that he is an intelligent, adapatable footballer.
Lennon - 6.5 - Looked lively, caused some problems but doubts remain about his end product.
Gerrard - 6 - Average at best. Did pretty much nothing for most of the match. Still continues to struggle at this level imo.
Rooney - 8 - Star man. Again. Linked played superbly and looked threatening throughout though. Guilty of one aboslutely daft tackle which would get him sent-off in a summer tournament.
crouch - 7 - Did what was asked of him and scored a nice goal.

All substitutes failed to add anything much. All ranked 6 imo.

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posted Apr 3, 2009


---------------------Kirkland----------------------
Johnson--------Terry------------Ferdinand---------Cole

---------------------Barry-------------------------

Beckham--------------------------------------A. Young

----------------------Gerrard-------------------------

----------------Owen------------Rooney----------------

any opinions?


I personally think Beckham should remain in the squad for the mentality side of things, and the super sub performance. Nothing else. We need to focus on getting a team ready for the tournament, and something that we can build on afterwards. This should clearly involve Walcott.

I think Wes Brown is a much better RB in every aspect than Johnson. I also think that when Hargreaves is fit he outplays most of our England players, so he should go in for Barry no questions asked. Young is a good option for the left, but J Cole is usually brilliant for England so it should probably be picked on current form between those two.

I'd like to see Walcott become a striker at some point. With everyone fit I'd go for...


------------Foster---------
Brown----Rio---Terry---Cole
----------Hargreaves-------
Walcott--------Gerrard-Cole
--------Rooney--Heskey-----

Heskey is a good 'dummy' player with a lot of strength. Walcott, Rooney, Gerrard and Cole/Young could rotate around him.

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posted Apr 3, 2009

Fabio Capello has done a good job in a sense that the media's expectations to play "attractive" football have gone away. This has stabilised the team and has taken the pressure off of certain players which in turn allows them to perform with confidence.
Another thing that Capello has changed is the character/mentality of the players. When we conceded the equaliser against Ukraine there was a belief in the fans and the players that England could win, and they did. Under Steve McClaren this wouldn't have happened. The ability to grind out results in the future could be huge, and the win against Ukraine shows England can do that.
However, the losses against France and Spain under Capello proves England can't yet win the World Cup as they will have to get results against the bigger teams.
Dissapointed with the performances of Ashley Cole, Aaron Lennon, Gareth Barry and Glen Johnson against Ukraine. Drop Ashley Cole and show him that he's not as big as what he thinks. (and that's coming from a Chelsea fan) Glad to see Lampard, Gerrard and Rooney performing for their country once again.

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posted Apr 5, 2009

Dear Friends,

Letís not forget that winning the ultimate trophy is a long four years process, and that during this long process every winning team (including the greatest) have failed at time to produce great football and sometimes went through but just. Why? Because of the following factors:

1. Football players are humans, and not robots

2. The opposite teams are made up of eleven players, often of great quality

3. When the other side does not have the ball, they play to disrupt your playing (this is part of the game), especially taking measure to neutralize your main strength (such us the combination Gerard-Rooney, for instance)

4. Physical condition may affect performances in particular periods: Ex. the English players are at the end of a long stressing seasons, with often two games per week, Ukraine championship have a long winter break

5. Etc, Etc.

Looking at the all picture:

What I am trying to say is that we should put things into perspective. We should not look at one single performance to make our judgement, we should look at the overall picture instead. The fact is that, winning even when you do not play so well is the sign of a great team, and that you will have to get used to see a narrow victory from time to time, especially when you meet strong teams, because this is in the nature of things. And the fact is that the overall picture tell us that England is currently a goal machine which concedes very few: goal scored 14, conceded 4, in 5 official matches, (with 5 wins and 0 loss), which mean that England has scored an average of more than 3 goals per match and conceded less the 1 per match. This, in my view tells the all story so far.

And the goals were scored by different players, which means that England have many options, so many players that can score that it is a scaring prospect for any opponent, because they cannot possibly check all players all the time and not loosing concentration or renouncing to their own playing.

Finally, with the method now adopted to call players on merit, players that each time are in the best form, new players have had the chance to join the national team and gain valuable experience. This, in turn, has hugely increased the depth of the squad, which you really need to win long championships: I believe that, to win anything significant in modern football you need 22 players of international level, and you cannot have the luxury to build the team around one or two great champions, also because they need a rest and they may get injure and then you may not have plan B or C. Versatility is also important in modern football, and now, in my view, England can switch to different ways of playing if necessary, instead of relaying on long crosses only.


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