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Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Traditional Slow Start for England...


England 1-1 USA

Hello and Welcome, to what is hopefully going to be a regular and again, hopefully light hearted look at England's progress in South Africa for the World Cup, 2010.

Well, it all started last Friday with a spectacular opening ceremony, followed by a less than spectacular, but entertaining 1-1 draw between the hosts and Mexico. This was swiftly followed later that evening by the quite awful goalless draw between France and Uruguay.

Moving onto Saturday and South Korea's somewhat comfortable 2-0 win over a poor looking Greece and I have now had just about enough...

Of the football, no, I am loving it! I have had enough of the VUVUZELA!! In the first game, I found it quite interesting, the second game, slightly irratating and at the end of the 3rd game, I quite literally want to rip my ears off. To hear a droning sound of swarming bees throughout 90 minutes of football is a bit much and more importantly, it is drowning out the chanting supporters and the commentary - which some may say is by no means a bad thing...

Anyway, moving on, we had Argentina's victory over Nigeria to enjoy before the one we had all been waiting for, England v USA and normal service has been resumed.

Watching England in a tournament has been described as getting on a rollercoaster and last night was no different. It all started well enough though and some slick football saw Heskey feed Gerrard who poked it past Howard after 4 minutes to give England the lead.




Although the USA were by no means out of it, no one quite expected what was to happen on 40 minutes, when Clint Dempsey tried his luck from 25 yards, but Green hopelessly allowed the ball to squeeze through him and roll agonisingly over the line as he tried to recover.



Not surprisingly, the media have slaughtered Green for this blunder, but little have mentioned a superb second half save from Altidore, but the papers had their scapegoat and they milked it.

Personally, as much as I found the game frustrating, I didn't think it was all that bad. Stand out players for me were Emile Heskey, Glen Johnson and mine and many others man of the match - Steven Gerrard. Also, subdued for the majority of the game, Wayne Rooney had a decent last half an hour and England were well on top.

So, a draw it was and the typically slow start to a tournament continues for England. Today we have seen fellow group members Slovenia beat Friday's opponents Algeria, 1-0. Then followed an enjoyable Ghana victory over Serbia as the African's continue their Celebration of the Tournanment competion. A short while ago, the final whistle went on Germany's 4-0 win over Australia and dare I say it, the best team we have seen so far in this World Cup - 14/1 at the start??? Hmmmmmm....

1 Comments:

  • At 1:59 am, Blogger Bobo said…

    LOFTY!!

    I feel bad for Green, it was agonizing watching him reach for that ball, but Heskey's shot straight at Howard was the type of thing that strikers do all the time without getting a tenth the criticism that the keepers get.

    I watched the match with a good mix of Americans and expats and told everyone in sight that the key to match was the US surviving the first 10 minutes. Next thing I know a couple of guys in red shirts are singing Rule, Britannia and the US team is looking like a bunch of U14 players scrimmaging Barcelona. Horrible moment, but for a minute I felt like a real football guru watching my worst nightmare for the back four come true. For the rest of the game the US defense made me eat my words though, particularly Onyewu who I expected to blow out a knee by the half.

    I have to say, from the American side, Aaron Lennon scared the heck out of me every time he touched the ball. He had the pace and strength to go around Bocanegra every time but just could not seem to connect. I think everyone was baffled as to how the US was able to keep Rooney under control. We kept waiting for him to take over, especially the way England was dominating possession.

    Slightly disappointed that Crouch did not make more of an impact when he came on. I know Rooney likes to partner with Heskey, but I kept thinking that Rooney - Crouch would be a dangerous combo.

    Tim Howard had to be the Man of the Match for the US. That is the only position where the US has decent depth, but I really hope his ribs are not cracked after taking Heskey's boot hard to the chest.

    It was a dream to see the US team on the same field as Lampard, Rooney, Gerrard, and Terry, even a few shots of Beckham on the sidelines. Of course I was all fired up to see the US grab a point but I hope England bounce back and take care of qualifying out of the group as soon as possible.

    Best of luck the rest of the way and regard to the entire LH crew!

    Bobo

     

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