from russia with a loss

Well that was a desperately disappointing set of results tonight. England played well for 70 minutes, really well, but 5 minutes of poor defending cost them the match. It was a game that should have been safe after Rooney scored a belting first goal. Those misses by Gerrard and Richards looked more horrible each time they were replayed. I think everyone agrees it was a clumsy tackle by Rooney that led to the penalty but it was clearly outside the area. What was the point in sticking Lescott in there as a third central defender and expecting Joe Cole/Rooney to cover at left back given how well the Russians played against regular full backs in the second half at Wembley? And is that now the end of Robinson’s time in goal? Is there any hope of Russia dropping points against a disinterested Israel? I wouldn’t bet the house on it. The only saving grace in all this is that McQuiff Moscow now.

As if England’s result wasn’t bad enough, Scotland lost with a poor performance in Georgia. At least all they have to do is beat Italy at home to qualify. Another big ask. Wales were abject; only just beating mighty San Marino 2-1. After Tossack’s rant against the team yesterday, tonight Bellamy took the chance to rant about the Welsh fans after the match. It’s not a happy ship is it? Ireland scored a last minute goal to achieve a draw against awesome Cyprus at Croke park. Staunton’s another dead man walking.

Best result of the night was undoubtedly N Ireland’s performance (and how many times have we said that during this campaign) drawing against Sweden away. It’s possible, if unlikely, that they could still qualify. How would it be if N.Ireland and Scotland got through against all the odds whilst England failed to qualify from an easier group? Ironic, justified and utterly painful. Thank God for the bloody rugby.


4 thoughts on “from russia with a loss

  1. PP

    Have just finished reading the papers, listening to phone ins and watching press interviews and have come to the conclusion that there were two distinct viewpoints on last night;

    1) The view of McCock, Hoddle, the FA & Graham Taylor

    The players were at their best, dominating the game, running the pace and deserved to win – with especial mention for Ferdinand, Campbell & Lescott (not Richards interestingly) who held the Russians at bay. It was a travesty that the penalty was given and this upset the game plan and we subsequently shipped another one and lost. Such is the lot of the England manager who is responsible if we loose and has to watch the palyers take the plaudits if we win.

    2) The view of those who either aren’t responsible or who haven’t been responsible.

    We played poorly with no cohesion between back four and keeper, back four and midfield and our midfield and strikers. The turning point of the game was a poor decision by the ref, but equally so by the jug eared Scouse twat to defend like he was in Paris at the weekend, which broke up the ‘game plan’ of getting a goal and parking the team bus across the goal. Especial mention was made of Robinsons poor handling, Lescotts ‘Rabbit in the Headlamps’ defending style and Gerrards anonymity generally and poor finishing specifically.

    Needless to say I am very much with the latter view.

    Pig sick that we have been in a position that that game meant so much – we should have qualified long before this, annoyed that the quiffed tosser having found a system that worked against Russia then abandoned it to play Div 1 style football internationally, and really despondent that our players don’t seem to be able to carry club form into their country. Apart from Robinson who is so lacking in confidence that he looks a liability even during the national anthems.

    The FA must be held to account, they have to have a public responsibility for the farce that saw us getting a third rate manger. On current form they are probably thinking that Sammy Lee would be good at the job.

    On an interesting note, I caught a bit of the Redneck radio drive programme last night and they were touting Harry ‘ no bungs here guvenor’ Redknapp as the next likely, and I did the no way….not good enough bit as a gut reaction, but I am beginning to see a rationale in this one, not least because he must know some handy east End boys who would take some of the prima donas out after the game and give ’em a taste of lead passification around the earholes if they failed to perform…. bring on the man with the facial tick.

    Stuff it up ’em Harry!


  2. oh thanks mac. that’s not a pleasant thought. you teaser.

    hi pgob
    it’s just so depressing isn’t it?

    i’ve had the feeling that this goombah McQ will lead us nowhere ever since his appt. i absolutely agree he f**ked up again with his selection and tactics. as i said in my posting after the home match, Huddink had spotted that we weren’t great defensively esp at left back and that was our achilles heel. so what does he do in Russia, select a rookie and tell him to push into the centre leaving cole and rooney to cover any danger on the wing. Is it just me or is he a complete moron? Hiddink had had a trial run-out of the tactic at Wembley and we were a little lucky to get away with it. we haven’t got the talent/skill to close games down playing defensively. they couldn’t keep out a pub team playing those tactics. so naive. i’m sure it would have been better to keep piling the pressure on – they were there for the taking. that’s our best chance to close games out – score two more goals. as we had done in the previous 4 matches.

    i agree the FA have to do something bold and imaginative and decisive now. I think harry is a better manager than mcQ, a better tactician, and has a no nonsense approach with the sulky egos. he might just work you know. i’d be v tempted to boot mcQ out now, put harry in on a caretaker basis and keep him there until he a)actually proved to be the right choice or b)until the FA get the manager they really really want – Wenger, mourinho, hiddink, o’neill, scolari, coppell or whoever.

    anybody with some tactical nous and decent leadership qualities should be able to get the most from this england team. it’s not like we’re short of talented players. which squad do you suppose hiddink would prefer to have at his disposal? it ain’t russia. llook what N Ireland have achieved.

    i’m really despairing that the FA have let it go on for so long. and today there were reports emanating from the FA that they stand to lose £8m from missing out on the Championships (plus McQ’s pay off) and later they announced they were standing behind mcQ. Hopefully with a f**king shotgun.

  3. you were right mac. now i feel really crap; two big losses in one week is hard to bear – but usual stuff for an england supporter. come on lewis, you can do it son. please

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