Poor England have it all to do

by Michael Somerville

Friday, June 18th, 2010

England 0
Algeria 0

England produced a highly disappointing and disjointed performance against Algeria that was lacking in ideas, movement and international class.

After an early goalkeeping error from the Algeria keeper, Wayne Rooney found Gerrard, but instead of hitting it, the Liverpool man attempted to pass back to Rooney. It was agonising: but at least England had started fairly brightly.

Ashley Cole was making some positive runs, taking the steamrollering Glen Johnson’s limelight in the opening exchanges. Algeria really should have had a shot in on goal with five minutes played but Ryad Boudebouz seemed unconvinced of his own ability to score.

David James was recalled for the dropped Robert Green and didn’t exactly look completely assured in the first 12 minutes, especially after Glen Johnson’s unconvincing clearance from a hanging cross.

It was a shaky start from England and the Desert Foxes were enjoying most of the momentum in the first half, while looking comfortable in midfield and strong in defence. Attacking with pace was their obvious forte in the first half.
Emile Heskey remained busy up front but Steven Gerrard remained peripheral on the left hand side. Gerrard has played on the left throughout England successful qualifying campaign, but made way for his preferred central position for Barry this evening.

Aaron Lennon wasn’t fulfilling his obligation as a ‘wide man’ preferring to cut in instead of taking it down the by line. Heskey bullied his way through after a mistake by the Algerian mistake but Bogerra outmuscled Rooney and won a free kick. Rooney was constantly coming deep to collect the ball, instead of playing the striker role. It summed up Englands performance: nobody seemed to know what position they were playing in. Capello should take the criticism for this, as he didn’t name his starting line up until two hours before.

England were being limited to long range shots as frustration grew. Karim Ziani was terrorising Glen Johnson down his left hand side with dribbling and had a decent effort from 20 yards that David James had just about covered.

England were fluffing their lines- big time. Even Princes’ William and Harry couldn’t muster the strength up to look faintly impressed for the cameras.

After all the hype and all the pressure, they just seemed out of kilter. Midfield and attack was only linking up in flashed moments and the back four looked fragile and ponderous. Gareth Barry was doing some good defensive work but struggled to impose himself in midfield. Steven Gerrard seemed to be playing the Lampard role- blast it over the bar whenever you get an opportunity. Lennon again cut inside to play in Barry but his shot was relatively meek.

The first half was a huff and puff effort from England with no real cutting edge up front. Fabio Capello needed to get Rooney fully into the game if England were to win this game, and win it well.
Steven Gerrard had a great chance to put England in front after another mistake but his squared pass was cut with Lampard and Rooney screaming for the ball in the penalty area.

Shaun Wright Philips did his best to drag England over the line, actually getting down wing and winning a free kick. The free kick came to nothing but it was something to cling onto.

Rooney look to be continuing his poor World Cup form as he struggled to get a foothold in the game. The game was surprisingly even, with Algeria looking threateningly positive and fleet of foot in the final third.

The draw between USA and Slovenia had obviously buoyed the Algerians and England looked slightly taken aback by their constructive football. The Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra particularly excelled at centre back, completely nullifying the ‘threat’ of Emile Heskey and Wayne Rooney.

Jermaine Defoe came on for the workman like Heskey to add some pace up front but there was still little to shout about the Spurs man performance.

Gareth Barry made way for cult hero Peter Crouch with 7 minutes remaining but even the tall striker couldn’t break the Algerian defence down.

It was like watching France… on a bad day.

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  • chef

    i think were proper fucked

  • Matt

    I can’t see us winning our next game, we have gone backwards under capello, that’s obvious, it’s like watching mcclaren and svens England rolled into one.

    We’ve also just giving him a 5 year contract, another blooper by the FA.

    Capello has, and always b defensive!

  • stevie

    drastic changes are needed to get through. But it’s not all doom and gloom. We’ve played badly twice, yet we are still in with a shout.

    This HAS to be the team

    GK James
    LB Cole
    CB Terry
    CB Dawson
    RB Johnson
    LM Cole
    CM Barry
    CM Gerrard
    RM Lennon
    CF Crouch
    CF Dafoe

  • dexylongshot

    I have to say that was the worst team performance I have witnessed since since the bad old days McClaren. What are the players doing when they walk out on the pitch, they just seem to be going through the motions. There doesn’t seem to be any urgency. Both USA and Algeria seemed to be spilling there guts to get to balls but it’s as if our lot are playing in daze? As something happened behind the scenes that has been shielded from the press because I’m gobsmaked at the moment.

    You have to sympathise with the some of the fans out there who vented their frustrations in the final moments of the game. You are looking at at least a couple of months wages for the average fan to travel out there and to do a wad like that to watch that sort shower is worthy of a backlash. I was watching it in The Hammersmith Apollo with around 3000 others and there were plenty of boos in there (not from myself) but I wasn’t happy.

    Rooney has just issued a statement about his mouthful he aimed at the booboys, apologising for his actions saying it was heat of the moment stuff. I love rooney and have his name on the back of England top this year but for me, he simply doesn’t look fully recovered and I would drop him for the Slov game. I would drop Lampard too. I know last nights team was pretty much the one which was so successful in qualifying but if Rooney ain’t up to it, we need a change. I totally agree with Stevies team above. I would put Gerard at the tip of the diamond and play Crouch and Defoe. Jermaine looked a lot sharper than most when he came on and Crouch is a handful for anyone (plus he scores). Look at the recent games he has had more than 10 mins. Egypt (2), Mexico (1). The game after against Japan was a struggle (No Crouchy). USA (No Crouchy). Last night, can you see what i’m getting at. He causes problems and we know have to utilise it. He is one of my Jokers in the pack.

    The other Joker is Joe Cole, again another player who has that bit extra. We need to take men on and get into the box. the passing game and long balls are not working with this Jubalani balloon skying every other shot, it has really made this World Cup into a laughing stock, Adidas and FIFA and have loads to answer for, this wc will go down in history as basically a pony one because the ball simply wasn’t going in to the net enough.

    So, rant over, I’ve had my moan, forget what went on last night, now let’s get behind the team for Wednesday. It could be worse, we could be France…………or Germany……………or Spain.
    It’s not just us with problems.

    Come on England, lip up, do it for Bobby!

  • Darren

    I’ve never been a Capello fan but WE HAVE to get behind the boys, Dexy is right. That game has finished lets forget about it (easily done) and move onto Wednesday.

    If Capello doe show some balls and drop Rooney & Lampard then I will be 100% behind him.

    You say we could be Germany but they have 3 points. I still put my money on them to get to the semi final.

  • Mike

    It’s all about confidence. Drop Rooney? I’m not so sure about that. He’s been complaining that he is bored between games. Give the guy something fun to do. If that means bringing the wags over then so be it! It’s clear that we have the technical and physical ability to beat Slovenia but it’s just that urgency that is lacking. If Capello cannot put (I think is a small matter) right over the next few days then he’s not the right man for England.

  • dave h

    I think the whole ‘everyone blame capello’ thing is complete and utter crap…

    A few months ago he was the saviour of England, havnig come in and gotten rid of that ‘ideserve to be here’ thet everyone was constantly saying was the problem with the england team. Now, we have a couple of bad performances and all of a sudden he’s the devil, and his methods which were praised two month ago all of a sudden are wrong….does that really makes sense to anyone?

    It’s not like he’s a different person/doing anything different at all, and i don’t hink it’s disputable that he’s an excellent manager so when he says he can’t understand what is happening i belive him – if you are really honest about it, does it really surprise you to hear that the boys are not replicating in matches what he sees them do every day in training?

    For me the problem is not Capello, it’s the inability of supposed ‘world-class’ players to follow simple instructions….do you think when you see him stood in the technical area going ballistic that it’s because they’re doing what they are told, because i don’t. How many times has he told:

    – rooney to stay further forwards
    – the wingers to actually play on the wings
    – the whole team to keep possession rather than lump the ball up the field

    and yet what do we see every game – rooney dropping too deep, wingers coming inside all the time making marking easy, and everyone just giving the ball away and smashing the long ball. You can’t blame a manager for the player’s playing like idiots…

    and as for Terry, what a bell-end. He had no business coming out and even speaking to the press about that stuff whether it’s true or not – he’s not the captain and it’s not his place to discuss other players. I’ve always thought that he was overrated and made to look better by having a quality ball-playing defender next to him (i.e Rio or Carvalho), and without that he just looks slow/sloppy/awkward – that backpass against Algeria almost cost us the match, and yet everyone appears to be on his side rather than capello’s – his head obviously isn’t in the game. (plus he’s one of the worst culprits for giving the ball away – neither him nor carragher can pass for toffee, and on so many occassions we just saw them pass it between themselves and then punt it upfield – never mind their complete lack of pace.

    i for one would actually prefer to see Dawson and Upson start against Slovenia – they are both better in possession and so will start the passing from the back which is what we need to kick off proper possession football – plus they are both hungry and want to cement places in the squad going forwards (especially dawson) so i would bet that we would see 100% effort and concentration through the entire match.

  • dexylongshot

    Was an interesting piece by Oliver Holt in the Mirror today. Someone high up in the FA wants Terry out of the way.

  • Mike

    Theres been a lot of support for Capello in the media considering. A prominent football writer from the Guardian said that Terry’s behaviour was “pathetic.” Think back to his captain armband stunt at Chelsea. People say that he is obssesed with being captain, and felt that he had to assert some authority, when in reality he has very little.

  • http://dexysden.com Bill

    It appears as if Capello’s job is safe……for now!

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