Date:Sunday June 13 2010
I am not going to jump on a bandwagon, which to be fair seems a fairly small minority from what I have seen, of people 'writing England off' after our 1-1 draw with America. To be honest with you as much as I wanted, and hoped, for an England win I always had this thought in my head that in all honesty it would be a draw.
Yep, we need to improve areas of our game, that is a given, but I think we did some things well, in fact very well at times, so lets not be on a complete downer.
I thought Steven Gerrard had a good game, the fullbacks got forward well - at the right times. John Terry looked solid in defence; it is just his partner that will worry me now to be honest! Aaron Lennon got into some good positions; it was just that final ball that was lacking. And, to be fair, I thought that Emile Heskey - who I myself have knocked several times - had a very good game and justified his inclusion really and showed what he does bring to the team, which would have been justified even more if only he could finish!
Arguable the biggest call of the day that Fabio Capello made was starting with Rob Green in goal...
Whilst, again I am not going to entirely jump on another bandwagon and slaughter the guy, I will - as much as I take no pleasure in it - come up with a 'told you so'.
As we all know David James is far from perfect, and has made costly errors in the past, for club and country. Although his experience was always the factor that I felt would, and probably should, have given him the nod to start.
In the build-up to the world cup I have banged on several times about Green's 'lack of big match experience,' so I would not be sure just how he would cope with this - in a hostile, and pressure cooker environment in the Ukraine during qualifying he was visibly intimidated by this, which ultimately saw him sent off, although to be fair this was mainly down to Rio Ferdinand's error. When James came on he made it clear to the Ukrainian fans behind him that he was not 'afraid' as he stood right on his goal line, bold as brass, whereas James had been on his 6-yard line, at best, for most of his time on the pitch amidst the flares being thrown.
My worries were that on the big stage of the world cup perhaps this inexperience would cost him, and perhaps the nerves would get to him and an error could occur - as it did!
A routine save should have been pulled off; instead the ball squirmed its way through him and into the net...
To be fair he made a good save in the 2nd half, although I would not have called it the wonder save it was described as or 'redemption', but I am not looking for his head on a stick yet Capello is left with a big call to make now on his participation against Algeria on Friday.
Does he continue with Green and hope that this has gone out of his mind completely, and then hope that he comes back stronger? Or does he drop him in favour of James, or Joe Hart, and risk totally destroying him? This decision would be made worse if James was injured again or Hart also failed to cope with the pressure!
No doubt Green feels bad enough as it is though.
With all my Pompey biased views aside James is, for me, the no.1. I think this latest injury problem, since they arrived in South Africa, had 'probably' played on Capello's mind so this, for me, can be the only reason why that call was made? But will Capello make the call in bringing him back in though...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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Date:Sunday June 13 2010
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