Well we arrived at our local Italian restaurant just in time for the opening England match and we missed the first few minutes as he was a little busy and we were the only English folks in there. But generously he switched it on just for us amidst more than a little local tutting – good on yer Giovanni – and literally the first thing we saw was Gerrard’s lovely opening goal. Would this turn out be goal-fest from the 3 Lions…er no.
The rest of the match was hard to watch, not least the hapless mistake from England goalie Rob Green to allow the USA to draw level with the worst shot in World Cup history. Was it the ball doing things or just crap goalkeeping? I think I know the answer. Sigh… And those Italian tutts (or maybe tutti?) got louder as the game progressed. I felt sorry for the state of our performance but even sorrier for Giovanni who will no doubt be facing some questions from the Veline azzuri no doubt tomorrow.
I know sides who win this blessed competition tend to start slowly but that was a very disjointed performance from England tonight. Why did Milner start after his recent illness given Joe Cole’s blistering recent form? I was listening to Italian commentary so don’t know whether Cole was unavailable or not. But I couldn’t believe it when Milner went off before half-time and the ineffective Wright-Phillips replaced him. What did he do that was at all worthwhile? To compound the problem Aaron Lennon had several chances to put the ball on a plate from the right hand side and failed every time.
Emile Heskey huffed and puffed but given another open goal he blew his chance yet again. Surely, surely he is dead meat now. It’s not about opening things up for Rooney any more is it, because Wayne had a poor match tonight I thought. Maybe now we’ll go with Rooney alone up front, supported by a rampaging Gerrard, with Barry (holding) and Lampard in central midfield. Hart maybe now in goal.
Defence is still a huge problem; is Ledley King now crocked? Quelle surprise if he is. At least two or maybe three headers could have gone in from USA free kicks. Is it time to let a young fresh Michael Dawson have a go? How old was Bobby Moore when we broke into the England side and dominated the position after all? Terry desperately looks like he needs some fresh legs alongside him now. Please tell me we aren’t looking at Upson to be our saviour.
At the end of the day it’s not a bad result; just a poor performance. There’s time to improve but there’s been no sign of some energy and spirit in recent weeks. The team looked tired, understandably, but can they find inspiration? I think they can if Rooney recaptures his form but what do you think?