Tuesday, May 30, 2006

England vs Hungary

Here we are at the last-but-one chance Svennis has got for one of his England sub-o-rama fiascos. Let's hope that this time he employs some common sense and lets his first choice eleven get a bit of practice, and lets hope we see a team we can believe in.

Come on England!

We're playing 4-1-3-1-1 with Carragher in the holding role and Gerrard trying to do a DB10. Fuck knows if this is a good idea, it's certainly not what I'd have gone for but then I'm not a Swede with a propensity for shagging secretaries [1].

5:00 Where is Gerrard supposed to be playing? Perhaps someone should tell him, he's all over the shop atm.

8:43 Gerrard clipped over just outside the box, no foul given (nor I think committed, he looked to have lost the ball). Sod Rooney, this guy is probably our best player but I wish he'd stop trying to play everywhere, we're hardly in the last couple of minutes of a match that matters...

11:00 AC3 clattered, free kick. Beckham to take, straight back out again.

England are playing fine and are in control but I think we're seeing the "Curse of Svennis" in that no-one knows whether they're in or out so they're tending to play for themselves rather than for the team.

16:00 Hungary would appear to have got their heads round our rather eccentric formation and are now, predictably, crowding us out of midfield. They don't look ludicrously dangerous but then they really don't seem to be trying too hard.

20:00 Corner to Hungary. The England formation is looking increasingly nonsensical and we're coming under some pressure now.

26:00 Nice bit of work by Joe Cole, but it's all individual stuff. There's just no plan. Free kick to England, though, and Beckham to take. Cleared without undue effort.

31:00 This really does need some fresh thought. Beckham and Gerrard are both trying to play central midfield when they really should be somewhere else. Why we can't just play a formation these players are familiar with is beyond me. I'm starting to see the clamour for Rooney in a different light - at least he can score in a brothel.

34:00 Corner to Hungary. Cleared by Beckham.

36:00 There's a worrying arrogance to England's play. A better team than Hungary - and there are plenty - would be a couple of goals up by now.

38:12 Joe Cole hacked down (not for the first time tonight he made the most of it - something he may well have learned from Drogba but which he needs to unlearn by the World Cup if he wants to stay on the pitch), reasonable free kick.

39:55 Penalty to England. Gerrard down (dive, he didn't get caught), though Owen should have scored from the chance that immediately preceded it. Lampard to take... saved, well as it happens. Lampard certainly hoofed it. At the end of the day it was probably the fair result, given the award.

42:00 England are starting to dominate... Joe Cole header off the post, defender clears it off the crossbar. We can consider ourselves unlucky, IMHO. The team's starting to develop a shape, though I don't think it's the one Svennis intended.

45:51 Corner to England. Nothing comes of it, and now it's half-time.

England are flattering to deceive, we surely won't win too many competetive games playing like this. Awful. Good points? Neville's doing his usual fine job (much though it pains me to say it), Beckham's put in a couple of decent balls and Joe Cole looks like he's playing for his life, let alone his place in the team. Otherwise, Gerrard looks like a fish out of water, sadly, and Lampard is being bypassed. Wake up Svennis, let's have Carrick and TW32 and give it a proper English go.

Oh wow, England substitution: Hargreaves for Neville. Fucking hell.

BTW, I sincerely hope I can watch the World Cup games on a channel other than BBC, I really don't think I can take another Motson/Lawrenson evening...

46:13 Goal to England! Gerrard, very nicely placed header.

51:00 Goal to England! Terry from a fine Beckham free-kick.

54:04 Goal for Hungary. Fabulous out-of-the-blue shot, Robinson couldn't get near it. It's fair to say it was against the run of play, England certainly have had the upper hand since the first goal but we're still far from convincing.

60:00 I'd be expecting to see some substitutions now (I'd particularly like to get the injury-prone Owen off the pitch under his own steam) but there's no sign of anything.

64:36 Gerrard and Owen off, Crouch and TW32 on. TW32 now England's youngest-ever full international. Good for him, let's hope this is just the first of many.

69:18 TW32 takes off like a missile on speed, decent cross aimed at Crouch, cleared.

England are starting to look like a team, at least going forward. The midfield still looks rather confused defensively.

75:00 All a bit aimless at the moment.

75:30 Terry off, SC23 on. Hungary bloody nearly scored whilst he was coming on, England had gone to sleep.

76:45 SC23 booked for taking his man out whilst trying to recover from a dire ball to him.

77:26 Fine save by Robinson.

83:03 Looks like a foul on Crouch in the area, but not given.

84:00 Goal for England! Crouch, very fine cross shot (even better in the replays). He seems to be working well with TW32, whose movement has been very good. They played together at Southampton, of course. Perhaps this is the real "Plan B" - Owen looked really out of sorts whilst Crouch and TW32 look not only right up for it but fit, too. Give them a run together on Saturday?

87:56 Shot by TW32, pretty good though the cross-hit effort went wide. No way is this boy out of his depth.

88:54 Beckham booked. Committed challenge, though hardly a nasty one. Do these bookings count for anything?

So there we have it. "Plus-point" performances: Beckham, Joe Cole, Neville, Crouch, Gerrard (if he sticks to a role) and TW32. "OK" performances: pretty much everyone else on the night, though I'm not fully convinced by Ferdinand or Robinson (can't see any real alternative to the latter however). "Oh Dear" performances: Owen. Give up on the man, he's just not up to it at the moment.

[1] Calls for Prezza to be next England manager will, I hope, fall on deaf ears.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sadly the only real highlight of the night was Crouch and his supposed robot dance. Well taken goal though.

If you smash in a hatrick in the final Pete then dance. Till then stick to training son.