Sunday, 22 June 2014

Gerrard's Sad Face (first 12)

Fine Margins, that's all; England genuflects & Roy gets Woyed by the papers but... Be at least close to the facts...

1) a couple of individual errors really cost us and seems to demean England's defence but there's been a million defensive errors throughout the tournament; it's what's made it so exciting.

2) this is nowhere near as dispiriting an exit as that debacle in the group stages last year... We were abject until the German game (and by then we were merely mediocre to bad).

3) the formation tweak to accommodate sad Rooney didn't work and Roy knew it wouldn't; Scholes was right, Roy's chief error was in not feeling he could drop Rooney. No balls. He might still be our most talented player but it was obvious that he didn't fit with this group of players (a bit like Nasri and France, I suspect); he should have been left out, come on as impact sub. Roy knew it but couldn't know it.

4) a similar scenario with Gerrard; he should have been subbed in both games. He wasn't playing well and should be allowed to. It happens; it doesn't mean the end of the world to substitute the captain. It's not as symbolic as it seems.

5) the real tragedy is that there are no spectacular teams in is World Cup. This is like the Championship; every team more or less less can beat every team. And teams win, not collections of players.

6) Substitutions win too; we have been terrible at substitutions since 1986. We should practice substitutions for Euro 2016.

7) This is an exemplar of globalisation; no country has enough players of the right age and the right ability. They all look shocked to find that out.

8) Italy and Uruguay are both very ordinary. Uruguay has Suarez (and possibly Cavani) who is extraordinary. We don't have anyone extraordinary but we still had more better than average players than most of the teams. This doesn't seem to do us any good. Can't see many Uruguayans or Italians being first choice for England and yet...

9) Where did Baines go?

10) Germany looked good for a while but Portugal look terrible. Ronaldo seems to finally bow to Messi, who shows that a very average team can be elevated. To be fair, he's been fairly terrible too... Dribbling into dead ends timelessly... But... Yes

11) Oh and there's no one quite like Riquelme.

12) You must feel for Barkley and Lallana; getting a game when England are already full of madness, when the blood is already boiling, when their unusual bursts of energy are a sufferance rather than a way of crushing an opponent. That isn't the way to play them; they should have been given a formation around them. As should Stirling. As should Matthew Le Tissier.

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