…friendly in Switzerland?
A half full Wankdorf Stadium in Berne suggested no. Even if the Olympics hadn’t just finished there still wouldn’t be much interest in this game, many probably didn’t bother because the
big names were missing.
The irony being that even though it wasn’t as good a performance as many in the media are trying to make out it was far better than we saw from those
names at the Euros earlier in the summer highlighting exactly where Roy Hodgson went wrong with the tournament.
More should be interested in an England side shorn of scumbags like John Terry, Ashley Cole, minus the perennial underachievers of Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney and the out and out bums, Stuart Downing, Scott Parker, Glen Johnson. Playing in a more fluid formation that wasn’t just there to stifle and bore.
Seeing the kind of side Hodgson should have used in Poland and Ukraine playing so much better, though of course in a pre-season friendly rather than a competitive knock out game of a tournament, being the really frustrating part of watching. Yes some may have not been available in June but this far reflected what Roy should have done.
Bar Lampard of course, wasn’t a great corner for Jagielka’s equaliser, was just another aimless floater that he put in for set pieces throughout his time on e pitch. And maybe Ashley Young. Thought Young might have been better last night as Gerrard wasn’t in the team and the United winger plays better without Stevie Me in there. But no it was the Young we saw earlier in the summer, pretty damn useless with things perking up with Milner coming on, providing more than Young and putting in better set pieces than Lampard.
At times it seemed Young’s only contribution was being kicked by he Italian number 13, Astori, who did enough to be sent off at least twice with some shocking challenges but somehow played the full 90 minutes without even a yellow card.
Certainly wasn’t perfect, no Barca or Spain, but ball retention was better, was also no surprise without Gerrard and Parker in there. The problem is even how well Carrick and Cleverly played you know if and when the
names are available they’ll be back, after all Gerrard is Roy’s captain no matter how detrimental he is to the side. You can see why many don’t want to be bench sitter, such as Carrick, when the first choice XI are so hopeless.
Defoe. The conundrum that is Defoe. Scores goals like that, looks the part. Then there’s the rest of the game when he’s either offside, unable to hold onto the ball, incapable or just uninterested in playing in other team mates. Looking ever part the impact sub, not a starter.
It offered promise, maybe that’s why Roy didn’t go with it at the Euros, stick with the bums and the fans won’t get too optimistic but you feel he only picked this lot because the ones he wanted weren’t available.