Writer: Mike Field
Date:Wednesday November 19 2008
Well who'd have thought England would beat Germany on their own patch tonight? I certainly didn't.
I must admit my only interest was due to Barry, Gabby, Ashley and Curtis being in the squad. I've long since stopped caring about an overpaid England team, who rarely perform, play crap but continue to get picked by over rated, over paid, successive idiots of managers.
I'm not even that keen on Capello, it may sound rich when we debate and ponder some of Martin O'Neill's team selections at points, but I really don't think Capello is much better than the former two incumbants. Svennis the Phone, and Ginger Dutch. The teams have played the same, the formation has been the same, the form has been the same and oh golly the selections have been the same aswell.
Tonight was actually the first time in many, many years I was sat here watching the TV and I actually started becoming annoyed and upset at our mistakes.
Don't get me wrong, this is what fans should do. But over the last few years I've tended to giggle.
It's common knowledge now that since Randy took over my match day fuelled hatred has subsided. The message board is nolonger treated to what the oldies call nostalgically 'my after match rants', and I always had them even when we won.
Because I always expected more, thought the team could give more and I was generally disappointed with the club under Ellis. I heard you, those who know me are now screaming 'no sh** Sherlock'. Those who don't know me are probably thinking the Ellis comment is the understatement of the century, but I digress.
I nolonger feel that way when it comes to Villa because I see the change, the effort, the chance for the first time in 20 years to actually go for it.
With England I just gave up caring. An England match if I didn't have any paint to watch dry became 'entertainment' for 90 minutes. It was 11 players plus substitutes doing stand up routines for me.
I lost the ability to care, if they couldn't have pride in this Country and us, the fans, why the flying fig should I do anything other than wet myself like a school girl at their every amatuerish mistake.
Something was a little different tonight. This wasn't the England I expected. As admitted I was watching simply because of the Villans in the squad so I only expected to look up upon hearing their names.
Ok we had a few old heads who rarely perform, yet they did. It goes without saying Terry was again very disappointing.
Carson will take the blame for his indecision, and some of his passing was truly dire but even in defence of him - he's not my favourite player - he didn't give up running.
None of the old guard didn't try tonight.
We then had those who have been perennial fringe players simply because of the club they play for. The likes of Carrick, who rarely impressed for Spurs, has turned almost invisible to the common fan at Man U and has been a complete waste of space at International level.
Most of his passing was wayward, some of his tackles were ridiculous, but with the passes that came off I actually think it was his best performance to date - even though it wasn't that good.
Then my pet hate, Downing. Boro's Barry. Ha.
Well actually I always used to say more than Ha when chatting to Boro fans, but tonight he was phenomenal. Yeah there were plenty of times when you were crying out for a quick ball into the box and he doubled back. Times when he failed to beat the first man and times when you thought he kicked the ball in any direction because he thought it might be a bomb and he wanted it nowhere near even the German players.
But tonight I couldn't help wonder about the options he'd give us.
Ginger Dutch's love child can actually play football. Who'd have thought?
Even Matty 'The Idiot' Upson was outstanding tonight. Far outplaying John 'the parking bay' Terry. You could even say I hope he never shows that kind of form again - unless we sign him.
Barry was his typical England self, involved in most things, still has moments where he thinks he's turned into a dribbler and tries to go round 7 players but rarely puts a foot wrong.
Gabby ran all day long, and forced one fantastic save from Rachel Wiese the substitute goalie. I almost spilt my can thinking he'd scored when it rolled along the back of the net. Only error that stands out, the pass to Defoe or Wright-Phillips, I can't remember - I've started drinking now - that he under played.
Not bad going really, and proof again Gabby is improving and although he has a long way to go, he is more than a handful for any defence. And let's face it, Germany are nowhere near as good as they used to be, but they still have quality players - even if only in name.
Ashley battled well in the ridiculous amount of time he had, but I think he was scuppered by the performances from Downing and Wright-Phillips to be honest. Never quite had the chance to truly attack as we all hoped, and the one chance he did he apparently 'pushed over the defender'.
This is Ashley Young. He may fall over, but he doesn't often push people over.
It's a shame we didn't see Curtis for 10 minutes to be honest. Would've topped the night off nicely for me.
But this is the biggest surprise to me tonight, from a team who would be in the main considered the England B side - they played better, tried harder, and cared more than the England team that appears with World Class names such as Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney, Owen, Ferdinand etc.
You know the ones, the normal idiots we have to put up with.
Tell you what - Capello plays this team again and other players who care and I might just watch the next one and change my opinion of him.
And that for me, after the last few years of England is quite a commitment.
Date:Wednesday November 19 2008
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