nothing new there then.
Before their Euro 2012 qualifier against England the main question you asked yourself was how the country of John Charles, Cliff Jones, Mike England, John Toshack and Ian Rush are ranked below the footballing giant that is Luxembourg.
Not long after 3pm on Saturday it became very evident. So much so that you feel that yes they missed Bale but would it have made much of a difference. If a team can make England look like they know what they’re doing with the ball at their feet, as they keep possession and play round the opposition, then that team is bad, very bad.
Talk of this Wales side being a Championship side to England’s Premier League status but on that showing they’d struggle in the Championship, even though some of their player ply their trade in the top flight.
So that generally puts England’s display and the result into some sort of context. The result well it’s another 3 points, putting them back on top of the group. But it was just a two nil scoreline when those to goals came inside the first 15 minutes, a quality side would have ended up on the right end of a five or six goal thrashing. England can’t finish teams off, even those that are done 6 minutes in.
For the most part Wales only sorties into England’s half were punts up the park by their ‘keeper, which either went harmlessly through to England’s ‘keeper, or were mopped by the defence or were stopped in their tracks by an off-side flag.
They allowed Terry to mince up the park and play a one-two with Cole, they allowed Young the freedom of the penalty area before crudely bundling him over for the penalty. They allowed a Johnson ball to travel over half the length of the pitch and left Bent open for the tap in, even if he was trying to hide and did his best to sky it over the bar.
Ashley Young did well for the second goal, nice run and cross, he is one positive finally looking like he’s not scared to play his own game in an England shirt.
Bent was talked up again but was pretty useless, two decent chances set up by mongboy Wilshere which found the Villa man flat footed and looking very slow – physically not mentally, latter is just a given. Saying that he wasn’t as bad as Rooney, who did bugger all for 70 minutes, bar picking up a booking which could have been a double for two reckless pieces of stupidity.
This card rules him out for the next qualifier – no great loss you say on this “form” – and so should have seen him withdrawn at least at half-time. If he’s unavailable for the next game you have to try out a new combination, give them some time in match that has a bearing and it’s not like Rooney was having a major impact on the game. Bring someone on, given ’em 45 minutes to build up a partnership but no, typical Fabio, hasn’t got a scoobie.
Mongboy, Parker and Lampard in a middle three. Well Wilshere does a good Joe Cole impersonation – mouth always open, usually tongue sticking out and double teapot hands on hips – but talk of greatness after that is somewhat wide of the mark. He didn’t have to do much, then neither did Parker. Again you might say typical Fabio picks an actual holding midfield type when in reality none was required, how many months late? Lampard as well didn’t have much to do, which was lucky for him because doing bugger all has become his stock in trade.
And so to Tuesday and a tougher task in a friendly against Ghana – how friendly they take it is probably not hard to gauge as they’re desperate to become the first African side to beat England – and after all the talk op the captaincy Fabio is going to have to hand the armband to someone new as Terry is released. Talk of Barry getting the job, most senior you know, and yet he was deemed not even worthy of a place on the bench on Saturday. What chance if Barry does get it he is subbed during the game and we have the pass-the-armband game Fabio so disliked?