England’s start to the World Cup continues to falter. With all due respect to Algeria, we should be looking to beat them – and we didn’t, we didn’t even score – and didn’t really deserve to, to be honest. Another very frustratingly disjointed and unproductive performance, and tantrums from the ‘great English hope’ Rooney after the fans showed their disapproval.
Not too good is it? I know a few people who flew out for the game, for a very fleeting visit to South Africa. It cost them a lot of money, and whilst any football fan knows there’s no guarantee of a result no matter what lengths you go to to follow them, they do have a right to see something a little more effective than that was from the supposed cream of the crop for English football.
Of course, that can all be forgotten if England can beat Slovenia on Wednesday. Beating them would leave us with five points, meaning we’d be above Slovenia who’d be on four, and of course above Algeria who can only achieve a maximum of four points should they beat the USA. So we’d be through to the knock-out stage of the tournament. If we win and better USA’s scoreline against Algeria then we top the group.
So all’s not lost, and really there’s no need for Shrek to be throwing his toys out the pram – I can understand his frustration though, he’s a passionate player and it must be galling for him too. At least I hope it is, you can never be too sure – these lads have been so far removed from any tangible reality that the likes of us understand you can never be too sure.
Capello has a few things to consider – I think Carragher is now suspended which sorts out the first problem. My god he’s awful, he’s had a bad season in a club that has struggled (by its’ own standards). James didn’t have too much to do, but that he did he did well I thought – so a good call for nets. Midfield is the problem, neither Gerrard nor Lampard recreate their talismanic domestic form in an England shirt, and Wright-Phillips is – frankly – bloody awful.
Up front Rooney is – despite struggling to get involved in games – a must pick for me, but this flimsy suggestion that Heskey + Rooney = Goals is clearly a fallacy. I admire Heskey’s willingness, his workrate – he was integral to the one goal we have scored in the tournament, but well, all that doesn’t make up for what he lacks. I think Crouch can cause as many problems as him and more, and is more likely to score – I’d like to see him more involved than being a late sub.
These of course are dilemmas for the gaffer – also, in a side with wingers who struggle for end product (Wright-Phillips and Lennon, plus the wingers-that-aren’t-really-wingers like Gerrard), and nobody with a right foot – why on Earth he hasn’t given Joe Cole a run I’ll never know. He’s right-footed, but plays often on the left – and has a great understanding already with our left back. It’s a no-brainer isn’t it?
Maybe not – either way, naturally I’ll be tuning in at 3pm on Wednesday for our clash with Slovenia and hope that things can click enough to at least get the win we need to get in to the next stage of the tournament. Whether Fabio is thinking along similar lines to me or not doesn’t matter – I’d be more than happy for a scrappy 1-0 thanks to an excellent Wright-Phillips cross bouncing in from Heskey’s arse!