england v switzerland review

Well 2-1’s alright I guess. What do you reckon 6 out of 10? What did we learn from tonight?

– that the anticipated line-up wasn’t quite right which clearly suggests Capello isn’t going to leak news to favoured journalists – good on yer

– I think I was justified in saying Rooney isn’t a target man. He’s always better heading towards goal rather than with his back to it. He just got better as the game went on, when he was allowed to play deeper. Incidentally did you notice physio Gary Lewin run down to whisper in Fabio’s shell-like when Rooney looked exhausted late on. It’s never occurred to me before but do you reckon Ferguson has a hot line into the back-room staff and called through to insist they take him off?

– very good game from J Cole when he stuck out left – the position is clearly his. And a decent game from Bentley too when he stuck out wide. He didn’t seem half as effective when SWP came on, Bentley moved inside and it all got a bit crowded over there. Bentley needs a second or so which the wide position affords him to pick his pass/cross etc. Whilst I’m on the subject SWP isn’t England class is he? He gives far too much possession away.

– ditto Brown and Upson; they are decent players but lacking true class. Neither looked commanding. Barry, Ferdinand, JamesĀ  and A Cole especially had indifferent games. In fact A Cole played really poorly andĀ  it was no surprise to see him substituted by Capello (and Cheryl I suspect).

– tactically I thought Capello got out-manoeuvered early on. It was widely anticipated that he that he was going to play 5 in the middle (even if the personnel were not spot on) and Huhn the Swiss coach matched him up. It created an attritional game with no space nor time for anyone to create anything. If anything Switzerland looked the more comfortable playing this type of system.This is the only time when the long pass becomes justified – to escape the midfield crowd – but we only had relatively short Rooney up front usually unsupported and the long option wasn’t available. It looked better later I reckon. I’m sure Barry could have been sacrificed earlier to allow Crouch to come on to create more options and space upfront.

– one of the things I did admire in Mourinho was his ability to use substitutions to change game tactics. He never did like for like switches so beloved by Sven which were usually pointless and ineffective. But Mourinho could change the nature of the game and I think that’s what Capello did tonight with his initial changes. I’m not saying Crouch is a great player or should start necessarily but he’s a frigging handful and he disrupted that defence immediately and his introduction also allowed Rooney to cut loose and for Gerrard to impose himself at last. I just think the change could have been made far earlier say after 30-40 mins. I don’t hold with the view that substitutions shouldn’t be made in the first half as it upsets players, not least because the the jeering had already started around the 36 minute mark?

– I liked the fact that Capello got down there on the touchline and gave the team some serious looks and shouts. At last someone who feels the pain like we do and shows a bit of passion out there. Also how refreshing to see the Pearce the under 21 manager playing a key role alongside Capello. Why has this never been done before I wonder? Ego?

So a pretty good start all things considered. Bit of a strange selection but he corrected things and got really good performance out of Cole, Bentley and Rooney eventually and good supporting roles from Jenas, Gerrard (eventually too) and Crouch. And it’s a win. Not fab but not bad Fab.

The papers should be generally supportive I reckon/hope!


11 thoughts on “england v switzerland review

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  3. hi il

    i think that right hand touch line was pretty crowded as it was!

    before the game i thought the FA might just put pressure on capello to pick beckham and celebrate his 100th cap as a kind of tribute. but capello’s proven that he’s not one for empty gestures – people are clearly going to be selected on the basis of fitness and form and no-one is excused that. i think he’s sent out the right message to be honest. and once the FA had sold all their tickets i don’t suppose they were too worried one way or the other.

    i personally hope beckham gets to a condition that allows him to become selected as a squad member and to get that 100th cap – but it will have to be on those terms as far is capello is concerned.

    what tonight didn’t need was the beckham circus monopolising the proceedings. there was enough poignancy with the minute’s silence for the munich victims. i think i like this guy.

  4. Well, he’s done the right thing in establishing himself as Boss man. I think that there is a lot of emotional blackmail with players like Beckham and many others who went before so, yes, I hope he gets his chance but the first game for Coppello was definitely not the one to make such a gesture.

  5. What did you think of Ashley Young’s brief outing? Also, do you think he might have played a different system had Agbonlahor been fit?

    What changes do you see for the France game? I think Terry will come back (obviously!, although I thought Upson had a fair game and should be given a chance), and if Owen can get a run in the side he will probably start.

  6. Hey Paulie!

    First of all great post. The lads definitely looked shakey early on, but they were trying to come to grips with this whole “team” concept. When they started moving the ball and probing the defense instead of unleashing a blinder into row 32 it looked like they were buying into the Capello system.

    Beckham needs to get his 100th in a real match, when he’s fit enough to put in the full 90 minutes and not look like a tired old man playing the part. When he’s ready Capello will give him the chance to make it memorable not some farce for the fans.

    I think that Agbonlahor would have made a difference in the match with his youth, exuberance and pace he would have been a great foil for Rooney.


  7. apologies if i’ve just sent you a half-finished response.

    if not, hi chris and mark,

    thanks for checking in and for your comments guys. i have to say, what do i know to be honest? i just talk like an under 12’s instructor. but if you ask me……i reckon beckham like owen’s had his time; he’s lost his pace and destructive effectiveness. still useful but only squad players now, and briefly.

    agbonlahor and young look the real deal to me but i totally believe it’s one player per role for me. so maybe it’s young or joe cole, agbon or bentley (or rooney perhaps?). capello’s success i maintain will be based on picking the right round pegs in the right round holes, just as simply as Ramsey did.

    but focusing on youth, pace, skill and brutal teamwork would suit me. I’d settle for a bunch of inspired England kids and some world class players like Rooney, Ferdinand, Gerrard etc playing their hearts out and losing in the qualifying stages but pref the semi’s /final 3-5 to Brazil/Italy anyday rather than losing out 0-1 dully in the QF’s. wouldn’t you? so bring on the youngsters; let’s frighten the othert nations with exuberance and vitality. that’d make a nice change

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