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England Might Look Average

England once again coughed and spluttered - and in David Beckham's case, puked - their way to another important win.

Despite rarely playing the free flowing and attacking football England are capable of during this World Cup, they have ground out results and have set themselves up for a quarter final place against either Holland or Portugal. Our opponents for next Saturday's quarter final will be decided tonight as the two nations clash at 8pm.

England enjoyed the lions share of possession today but Rooney was left isolated as both Lampard and Gerrard failed to get forward as much as hoped. If not for Joe Cole, who otherwise had a very average game, England could have been one down in the first half, but luckily - following a poor header from John Terry - Joe Cole managed to get back and put in a crucial touch to a goal bound shot with Paul Robinson left in no mans land.

Beckham settled the nerves on the hour with an inch perfect free kick. Hopefully that will give him a surge of confidence as his contributions in the tournament thus have at best been mixed. However, if England can keep playing like this all the way to the final, I don't think any of us will be complaining. That said, they will HAVE to raise their game as the next opponents (Holland or Portugal) will take some beating and the most obvious reward if we beat them will be to meet Brazil in the semis.

Funny thing is, England have just as much chance as anyone left in the competition, all they need now is the belief. Certainly Wayne Rooney grew as the game went on and even though he was only on for a few minutes, Spurs wonder kid Aaron Lennon also looked sharp.

Man of the match for me would be Michael Carrick, makes you wonder why he hasn't been played before. Oh, and the much maligned Owen Hargreaves also gave his all.

Now, we need a top contribution from Frank Lampard, one of the best midfielders in the world, as he has to date been quiet. IF they can find their touch and against the 'bigger' opponents our midfield should be able to raise their game, we could - just could, give our opponents something to worry about.

If not we will all get drunk, blame Sven and go back to talking about the weather. Ahhh, the life of an Englishman!




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday June 26 2006

Time: 8:22AM

Your Comments

Reminds me very much of our performance in Italia 90. Absolutely woeful in the group stages. A last minute winner, in extra time, by one David Platt against Belgium in the second round. Then two suspect Lineker penalties against the Cameroon in the quarters to set up that unforgettable semi against West Germany. So all in all I'm not worried yet. However we need to play better against Portugual. Hopefully Sven will start with two up front, Rooney doesn't perform as he can when he's up front on his own.
still skeggy
Would like to see Rooney up front with maybe Walcott or Lennon in a free role just behind. Their pace will cause Portugal all kinds of problems
DougInABox
I'd like to see Walcott...just nowhere near the England team
NeilBaker
surely he's worth a try?? he should have used him in the group games though rather than the knockout stages. his pace could be a real asset though
DougInABox
I think they should give Lennon a chance, his and rooney speed would be a test for anyone. We should come out on fire to revenge our loss against Portugal. Is it just me or is Robinson not coming of his line for anything?
NY Villa
Agree with NY Villa, Lennon has looked fairly impressive in his brief appearances, and would certainly add pace, flair and width out wide. I dont think a World Cup quarter final is the time or place to experiment with Walcott, then again I dont believe he had any right, nor was there any justification, for him being on the plane over. Still, thats another story.
glensider
We're yet to take a penalty, and due one! I hope we batter those fouling portugese and send them back with Porky Phil back to where they belong. I ahve tickets for the semi and final if England get there so fingers crossed!!
leelindsay
I don't care if we play rubbish and win the world cup!! Who would sooner see us play well and get knocked out??
dazza71
Thanks dazz71, totally agree. I'd like to see us play well but you don't hear the Greeks bemoaning the lack of attractive football, they are still european champions, no matter what you say.
Villain Of The North
It's the sven way folks. Look back and you'll see that's the way all his teams have played. Anyway, we're saving our best for the final. C'mon ENGLAND !!
FEn_100
theyre not lookin the best...but they r managing somehow...im sure they'll be back at their best against portugal...
ryder87
 

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