in the box.
England finally managed to win away to Montenegro, after two previous draws in qualifiers, in a game that actually saw Raheem Sterling pass the ball to Harry Kane in a scoring position, for an actual real life assist.
Much like the Czechs England faced on Friday weren’t the Czechs of old, this didn’t feel like the Montenegro of past visits. The ground wasn’t anywhere near full and rocking like it was before and the home team didn’t really put in any old fashioned challenges.
Things were also different from England. The wide men were staying wide. You know just like I posted they should do after the last match. Unfortunately the pair of them, Sterling and Hudson-Odoi, showed early on that maybe neither of them had a clue what they were doing, so it didn’t work.
Over the last two games, and well pretty much every game he’s played for England, Sterling has had numerous chances to get behind the defence by just playing the ball behind a defender, into space and running on to it. Loads of chances and he’s hardly ever done it, so when he does it early in this game what does he do? He pushes the ball past the defender when there’s a covering defender to get to the ball. Clueless. No footballing brain.
On the other side Hudson-Odoi – it’s gonna be HO from now on – had acres of space behind him – of course he was facing his own goal – when receiving the ball, just had to turn outside and run into it, free and easy. But no, he turned inside and coughed up possession.
Luckily the changed wings, Sterling wasn’t much involved and HO performed much better.
Of course this came after Montenegro scored the opener, keeping up their record of scoring in home fixtures against England. Their manager apparently said he didn’t know any weaknesses in Southgate’s team. Yeah. He may have said it but nearly all the attacking they did, especially the attacking that created chances, came down England’s right side.
While others were getting the blame for what in the end was an excellently taken goal by Vesovic, Walker was mincing about doing absolutely nothing.
The equaliser came from a free-kick and a central defender, much like the World Cup. Barkley finally managing to find an England player with a set piece. My old man wasn’t happy, he had Maguire as first scorer and 4-1 as the result.
For the lead, Walker dithered and dithered – hell he didn’t really want to pass to Sterling, did he? – He found Kane, who turned and played it out to HO, who again came inside but actually did something. A curling attempt, might have been going wide, might have curled in but Barkley made sure.
Barkley’s first goal for his country since 2015, having his best game for England but that wasn’t exactly hard considering what rubbish he’s put in previously.
Second half started again like England second halves start, with the opposition on the up. Chances created down that right side, so bad that even Rose was over there covering and gifting chances.
Barkley doubled his tally, on the night and in total for England, just on the hour, he won the ball, quickly on to Kane who fed it on to Sterling, in the box. Sterling could quite easily have played it back to Kane who was now open in the box, he had numerous opportunities to do so but instead he had to beat a defender and turn the other way. He then played an aimless ball that was luckily deflected off a Montenegro heel into the path of Barkley to hammer home.
Then it happened, just over ten minutes later, it actually happened, I saw it with my own eyes. Raheem Sterling passed a ball to Harry Kane in the box and in a scoring position. I almost fell off my seat. You could see the shock in Harry’s face. He didn’t know how to celebrate when he scored, he was lost.
Sterling got the fifth and made his point to the crowd. It had got a bit tetchy by then. Rose was carded for going through one of their players and looked narked. Don’t know if the abuse from the stands was coming before this or after.
Another victory. Another five goals. Another poor team. Cue the hype…