…boots, after that.
So we were told last night by Clive Tyldesley, the nations of Europe will see this result i their papers today and start crapping themselves because England actually managed to beat a fourth rate side at home.
These same European nations will then watch the recording of the match and think to themselves, christ those fullbacks are there for the taking. And hell it’s just qualifying, England do OK in that, the superstars shine, nothing to worry about when it really matters.
Meet the new qualification campaign, same as the old qualification campaign.
And the same reaction to beating a nothing side – “best in Europe” – my arse. Come quality opposition, which will no doubt be in the tournament because the rest of the group is pretty much on this level then the flaws that are still there will be exposed.
As many wished for through missing personnel and through no real doing of his own by Fabio, rather it being the hand dealt him, the Italian might actual come by his best XI on the park. Were Ferdinand, Terry and Lampard missed last night? No, no and thrice no. Jagielka, Dawson and later Cahill all looked reasonably comfortable at the back – yes again it was Bulgaria – but they just looked better than the standard big name option. In goal is another beacon showing the glaring mistakes by Fabio, Hart looking every bit the seasoned international professional, as he saved shots, came for crosses and generally commanded his area with a confidence that resonated through the pair in front of him and the crowd beyond. Finally we have a ‘keeper we can have confidence in, first one since Robinson lost his. How many weeks too late Fabio?
Added to that there wasn’t the Ferdinand humps up the park, giving away possession, from any of the centre-backs or from the ‘keeper who kept it simple and threw/rolled the ball out to people in space, not playing them into trouble.
No it was the fullbacks who were playing others into trouble. Johnson was hopeless all night defensively, right from the off when he played a ball short to Dawson it just got worse. The slackness in his game just highlighted by the near own-goal that Hart was quick to save. The number of times he was caught out and his mistakes had to be cleared up by others was shocking. But what really was worse was the way he lollgagged back while a Bulgarian break was on up his wing. Not even bothering to bust a gut to make up for his errors. Currently living life in the easy lane with no suitable backup in Fabio’s squad. Ah but he’s more a go forward fullback, well much like the World Cup he stunk dong that as well. Much like in South Africa where he couldn’t link up with Lennon, he couldn’t gel with Walnutt. That of course does excuse the latter, more on him later
On the other side the best left back in the world showed that defending still isn’t his strong suit, it was a good job Milner was there to cover for him. Number of times it appeared Milner was the left-back as Cole was no where in picture was as bad as Johnson’s slackness. Oh again he’s class going forward, well he was involved in the opening goal. Yes it started with his dithering, not having a clue what to do and then the standard QEII turning circle before Rooney thankfully put him out of his misery and took the ball, yes Cole then made a decent run but it was shear luck he found Defoe.
It wasn’t luck that Defoe finished the way he did – now if he could only do that for Spurs week in week out. It wasn’t luck the way he scored any of his hat-trick, especially the second as e moved inside dragging the defenders with him then spun back out leaving them ball watching and giving himself all the space and time required to place the ball between the ‘keeper’s legs.
Of course that second came from a quick breakout after a good save by Hart, a Bulgarian chance created by Gerrard’s inability to finesse a pass, he can only hammer it no matter how close the intended recipient, that was followed by a Johnson disappearing oh there he is sauntering back act. Gerrard we were also repeatedly told has all the pace, if that is the case how come we repeatedly saw him hanging on the back of a Bulgarian that was was running past him?
Defoe’s hat-trick again came with another excellent bit of defender dragging as he had three round him and ended putting the ball brilliantly into the net with just the one that kicked his ankle close by.
Now Rooney played a big part in all the goals, playing some nice balls for assists and doing a lot of work around the park but there was still something missing, as with the chip shot he had in the second half. Nice attempt, good save bu when he picked up the ball he dithered, he was slow of though and deed, pre-World Cup Rooney would have charged into the box with the ball and just two backtracking defenders in his way. Still not the full article.
The other goal on the night showed the way Fabio should go, but probably won’t. Yet again Walnutt didn’t impress, yes he had nothing from Johnson but he showed that scoring against Blackpool and Blackburn means nowt even against Bulgaria. How many times does he actually have the ball under control, so many times his first touch is Heskeyesk. And the final ball wasn’t there, whether it was an attempted cross or him being greedy – as we wanted a bit back – and taking a weak attempt at goal. The Adam Johnson came on for him and it was all change, the Citeh winger was immediately part of the game, where Walnutt had disappeared, his first goal attempt may have been greedy but it was a damn site closer than anything Walnutt has produced for games. His second was even closer. Walnutt may have confidence at his club, Johnson has it on the big stage and should start against Switzerland.
The Swiss who will be crapping themselves a the thought of facing an England side who stuffed Bulgaria not some bum side like say Spain.
By some method Fabio may actually stumbled across a decent side to put out. I won’t be holding my breath because what will happen when Ferdinand, Terry & Lampard are available?
England 4 – 0 Bulgaria
At the start I did want Lennon to play instead of Walnutt but after Dawson went down and was carried off and then Defoe hobbled off I’m glad only two of Spurs’ lads were involved. Luckily Defoe’s looks like nothing much but Daws looked in a bad way as he lay there screaming – note to scummy Woolwich Wanderers players, when that happens to you hen you can scream, not when someone just puts an arm on your back. He doesn’t have much luck Daws and neither do Spurs, realistically we have the best three centre-backs in the land, with him Ledley and Woodgate and all three are buggered to some extent. When is Gallas fit, or will we be starting the Champions League with Bassong and Kaboul?