Monday, June 26, 2006

Another Exciting Game From The English!

Beckham Rescues England

Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion

England 1 - 0 Ecuador

ENG - D. Beckham (60 min);

I know, you sense the sarcasm in the title. It's not an exciting game by any account from the English again, and again, and again. But they have now ensured a place in the quater finals facing either Netherlands or Portugal. So Sven lived to fight another day but they looked unconvincing and dispirited. There was no real passion from the players and it looked as though they're passing through motion. No conviction to be concise.

Yet again, what an inept performance by some of the English players, especially FRANK LAAAAAAMPAAAAARRDD!! Erm you wondered why I type like that, well it's because that's how the commentator would react when Lampard is in range and launch one of those long-shots of his. For the fourth time in a row, he didn't wear his shooting boots and his shooting accuracy is laughable. What more does he offers other than shooting from long range, honestly speaking? Does he play a killer pass when he's outside the box? No, all he just do is...smash the ball and hoping it'll take a deflection and go into the net. Sadly for him, this time round he isn't as lucky as he was when he's wearing that blue Samsung jersey of his.

Oh, and John Terry. The usually reliable centre-back had a bad game against Sweden and now he nearly gifted the Ecuadorians the opening. Rio Ferdinand challenged the ball with Augustin Delgado and the ball fell awkwardly to Terry, who wasn't positioned well enough and all he could do is hook it backwards and it fell nicely for Carlos Tenario. He was in the perfect positioned, one on one with Paul Robinson, but his first touch wasn't the best. He still managed to let fly a volley right infront of Paul Robinson, but Ashley Cole appeared from nowhere to make a crucial block and thwarted the ball's direction, as it went off the bar and out. A close shave for England, as they commited more players forward and the lapse of concentration from the backline nearly costed them.

It was a fairly dull match after that, as England couldn't find an opening in the Ecuadorian defence and for most of the match, Rooney looked isolated by the midfielders and was doing work all by his own up front. Lampard was shooting from range and wasting possesion, Gerrard was a little off-form and Beckham...his delivery and crosses were extremely poor for his standard. But when it's time for the England captain to step up and silence the critics, he did it in style.

Lampard finally did something of note and that's to earn a free-kick just outside the Ecuador penalty area and that position suits Beckham's free-kick perfectly. With the weight of the nation's expectation on his shoulder, he dispatched a wonderful free-kick into the bottom right corner of Cristian Mora's net. It was inch perfect and just between Mora's fingertips and the post. Once again, Beckham rescued the English side and the fans breathed a collective sigh of relief.

If the game was to play beyond extra-time, the pressure on the English will be greater and how many times have we seen England lose in a penalty shoot-out? It was a crucial goal for the English as they just struggled to find any chance to break down the stubborn Ecuadorian defence.

England could've and should've gotten a second if not for Frank Lampard's terible miss. Rooney finally found a way past Ivan Hurtado as he jinked past the defender and set up a wonderful chance for Lampard to finish it, but once again, he blasted it high over the bar and it looked like a rugby conversion.

Anyway congratulations to the 3 Lions. They played like Bolton, but win like Chelsea. Boring, uninspired, yet effective...well maybe not REALLY. But it was a win and a very important one, as England is now one step closer to reclaiming the prestigious World Cup that have been eluding them since 1966. This might be the year, but based on their performance, they'll be lucky to get through the next round. Yet, who am I to comment on their chances. Football is unpredictable and sometimes you'll never know. Just keep hoping. And stop Lampard from blasting balls that is :D


rafalution said...

lumpy lampard is a good player but he is not a great player, it has been so annoying all this talk about him been best player in the world when i know and every liverpool fan knows that stevie is miles ahead of lumpy, and these last few games prove stevie is the king of english football

Anonymous said...

well said rafa,Sven is the worst manager in the world cup hands down!On paper England look sooo strong,but on the pitch theres no chemistry very few scoring opportunities.Too many long balls and I'm supprised Crouch did'nt start the 2nd half 4-5-1 formation sucked.All Rooney did was chase down long passes all day and Stevie had very few SOG.That being said they should get past Portugal no Deco and a possible suspension for Figo's headbutt plus Ronaldo's injury?


Drogballs said...

And without Costinha too right? I think England will win it, but again barely scrape through yet again. And yes the formation is a little puzzling at times the players seemed lost and don't know what their roles in the team are and utterly disorganised. Not surprised when Fowler said Sven said nothing to them during half time break, he's just there to pick players but doesnt know how to motivate.