…the mark then.
Highlight of England’s tournament. Figured they’d lose by one goal to Italy, one or two to Uruguay and draw with Costa Rica before flying home before the postcards and Roy’s boys didn’t disappoint.
I did change my prediction after Costa Rica’s two opening games thinking they might actually make that draw a wildly over optimistic pipe dream but the fact the had nothing to play for and so for much of the game played for nothing meant that England managed to scrape the draw.
The true glorious highlight of England’s World Cup campaign though came in the 73rd minute of the final group game when Roy Hodgson decided to see if Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard could play in the midfield together.
Now why has no England manager ever thought of doing that before? It’s the future.
If Roy got his wish and the pair stayed on offering their services, instead of disappearing off into retirement, it could very well be. Frightening.
Roy made this change just as the mouth breathing, tongue out, educationally subnormal Wilshere had stopped running into players, losing the ball and falling over. But then as he’s never fit it was no surprise that he was removed.
The rest of the game told us that yet again Milner for all his hard work and running isn’t a winger – why not try him as the midfield water carrier? Shaw and Barkley have promise and should be mainstays now. Jones and Smalling have both stalled.
Both the Man utd. defenders looked to have bright futures but then they moved to Man Utd. where neither have been able to displace old past it players to become first team regulars. As they’ve generally been used out of position. Jones you think will never be truly fit to get a good run of games and Smalling looks totally lost, especially with ball at feet. Van Gaal might work a miracle and make these two indispensable for England, or he might just cut his losses and buy a new defence.
Sturridge is shot shy, got goal scorers yips, or something. How many shots how many goals? A few to one.
But then it’s England at World Cup finals. As they go home from this one with two goals from three games, the same number the Greeks scored in their last group game, less than the Aussies managed and less than Algeria who still have a game to play. Scoring at finals seems to be beyond them, five goals over 7 games at the last two tournaments.
Now I have to admit shortly after Gerrard was introduced my mind started to wander as I started flicking over to the other game in England’s group, Italy versus Uruguay, it was far more interesting. Chomp, chomp. And then I wandered off to Headingley for the final few overs of what should have been a brilliant rearguard action until the Burnley Bumpkin blew it.
I saw Rooney hit the bar and that was about it, until the site of them taking applause from the crowd. What exactly they were applauding god only knows. Maybe the thought of never seeing Gerrard and Lampard in an England shirt again?
Roy flies back with one point wanting the old failures to keep on failing as he talks up yet another nothing performance – against a team who cruised through barely out of second gear – and people think the future is bright. Another four year cycle of ineptitude is about to start…