One kick in the dying seconds couldn’t hide the fact that the same team that struggled at the Euros, struggled exactly the same way in Sam Allardyce’s first game as England manager.
I had originally thought that Adam Lallana’s last ditch goal had moved Allardyce from being the new Hodgson to him being the new McClown. From insipid to lucky.
But then Hodgson had his fair share of luck.
Of course this lot struggled for that nil, nil draw with Slovakia in France under Roy, though that was against 11 men, but in each game the opposition pretty much sat back and let England have all the ball.
Teams can easily do so knowing that England are so ponderous in possession that anything can be covered. Especially the England players who barely move. They know that what space there is will not be exploited as everyone in an England shirt heads into the middle. And if in the unlikely event that someone is out wide the crossing will be hopeless.
And they know one player will be out of position, floating around in the middle trying to be the “quarterback”. Floating aimless balls to players that have a man on and that will be fumbled by an inept first touch.
Rooney. Well Fat Sam did what they all do, went and named a captain and so tie himself to having to play him.
It’s time this antiquated old way is jettisoned, Sven did enough to discredit the armband in one game for it to mean nothing now to be England captain so lets do what the successful nations do. Pick a team then pick a captain from that starting XI.
But no we’ve got Rooney and he can do as he damn well pleases, as Sam told us afterwards.
“Who am I to question Wayne, he’s got all those caps and I’ve done nowt”, was pretty much the way Allardyce put it. Funnily the berks on ITV were talking about “show us your medals” with the new manager and how that didn’t factor anymore. No it doesn’t even need medals with Allardyce just caps.
What’s the point of employing him if Rooney is doing the job. On the basis that he basically picked the same players as the last prat, Allardyce didn’t do much to pick up his cheque this week.
Hell for picking Henderson he shouldn’t get paid, full stop.
Henderson and Sterling mincing about doing nothing, happy days are here again. Ah but Sterling has a smile on his face and he did, after every time he screwed something up he had that stupid smile on his face. Well as long as he’s happy, that’s all that counts.
Kane never had a touch, well not of the ball anyway, he had plenty from Skrtel, first the elbow for his initial yellow, which could have been red, then a studs up challenge that should have been his second yellow before the stamp that should have been a straight red not just his marching orders for a second yellow.
While the two fullbacks will have had Spurs fans of a certain ilk purring. Oh look they can run. Wow. Defensively inept, offensively inept but they can run. Never trust a defender who relies purely on pace.
Hart joined Allardyce in the lucky stakes. Butland and Forster fit and he’d be third choice, as it was here he was again and very early on proving Pep right. Not so pumped up in the tunnel, maybe the kicking he took at the hands of the new Citeh boss has had the desired effect. Along with maybe knowing he wasn’t Allardyce’s first choice. Because that was Hart’s problem, too cocky in the knowledge Roy wouldn’t drop him.
Alli gave the whole thing some impetus, playing in the number 10 role that Rooney vacated so easily. Finally some link up play and someone getting into the box. He hasn’t had the best start to the season but if Allardyce picks Henderson ahead of him again it should end Sam’s tenure.
The other two subs did exactly what you expected of them, Sturridge greedy stupid shot from miles out, no team player, Walnutt missing. Missing shots and missing out wide. Oh and the former touched the ball to mean the latter’s goal was correctly chalked for offside.
Dier can do the central midfield playmaker role as well as destroyer against teams like this, which is most in this group, while Alli up front provides the link play. Add in some actual width, that stays wide. Two fullbacks that can defend and you’re almost there.
You can’t count on luck all the time, I men what chances the goalkeeper in the next game is going to roll about to waste time, in the process giving England more time to get a goal?
Papering over all the cracks by just counting the goal, three points, victory, and it’ll be Roy all over again just accompanied by more chewing, cheesier suits and media playing up to Big Sam… how long before he’s sat there saying
I don’t now what I’m doing here…?
Meet the new boss…