A thoroughly unHodgson-like win
What an unbelievable game. England showed their vulnerabilities but also showed that manager might not be quite as one-track and predictable as many had thought.
England Sweden resembled nothing more than a Premier League game, which given the level of Premier League experience on show was perhaps not surprising. But it was very unHodgson-like.
Exciting yes. Tournament winning no. England have already shown that they are able to frustrate teams technically more skilful than them and take home a result. Today they showed that they are less effective trying to take the game to the opposition.
It will be tremendously heartening for England fans to see their team not only score three goals but also come back after throwing away a lead that seemed so comfortable in the first half. I don’t remember ever seeing them bounce back from a similar situation. But the truth is that the explanation for the see-saw game lies in a worrying trait that Steven Gerrard and his team-mates seem to have picked up in recent matches.
When they go a goal up, rather than push for a second, they tend to drift further and further back. Combined with their habit of conceding possession, this leaves them facing waves of attacks and allowing opposition full-backs to forget about defensive duties and charge forward. We saw it against France and again today, albeit not until the second half. In many ways, going 2-1 down was a blessing because it galvanised the players to push forward, and led to the introduction of the hugely impressive Theo Walcott.
Walcott has the ability to change games with his pace, especially against tired defences - which is why I don’t think Hodgson will start with him next week. There will be other changes though, with Rooney almost certain to come into the team. Ashley Young, who I felt coming into the tournament could be one of the stars, looks vulnerable because he’s been disappointing in both games. Danny Welbeck, despite scoring, didn’t look half the player he was against France. But I think it will be Andy Carroll who finds himself back on the bench leaving the club strike partnership of Welbeck and Rooney together.
And don’t forget, while a draw will take England through, they’re likely to need a win by two clear goals to beat France to the top of the group and avoid a likely quarter-final match-up with Spain. So despite its limitations we could well see all-out-attack England again on Tuesday. That’ll be one to watch.
All the Naysayers were saying England would be going home after the group stages. Now it's SOON after the group stages.
After the group stages any team can go out at any time! It's knockout you idiots.
Are England likely to win? No. There are far better teams out there.
Do they have a chance to go to the Quarters, Semi's, Finals? Increasingly less likely of course as the tournamanet goes on, but Yes!
This year has been a strange one. No one would have given City a chance with 6 games to go, or Chelsea a prayer when they lost in Napoli. Perhaps the 'unlikely winner' trend will continue???
Probably not, but I wish you would all just bin the negativity and support your Country.
Defos change young and milner for walcott and the ox next game with rooney just off welbeck. Take the game to Ukraine and hopefully finish top of group.
Everybody's waiting for Rooney, including the opposition. How long, during his comeback before he collects a red card?
The problem with England remains their dire levels of technical skill. When I see an England player who can collect a ball while surrounded by opposing players and use it rather than lose it, that will be a big day.
Ah get over yourselves people, England are doing us proud which is all we asked for pre tournament. England dont have a god given right to win the competition so stop deluding yourself in such ways. England arent the best team around that is obvious but who cares? They trying their best and deserve our pride - Take note of the Irish who are now out of the competition but still had 30,000 fans singing at 90mins against the Spanish. Win, Draw, Loose they were just HAPPY to be there. We should be HAPPY we have won 1 and drawn 1 so far, giving us a very good chance of progressing to knockout stages.
So come on people stop thinking England are this great footballing nation and get behind what we have, because what we have is a good team capable of doing ok!
Your doing us proud England, keep up the efforts and retun with your heads held high, no doubt if we progress we will play the Spanish and get beaten so everyone will moan - no idea of football.
Nobody expects us to win this tournament and so the pressure is more or less off for the moment. The players can enjoy themselves for once knowing that virtually everyone has written them off. England can now play more or less as they like. and Roy virtually has a free hand. Of course the further we go the pressure will undoubtedly mount. But I think the team should change nothing. Just stay focussed on matters, have some fun, and basically ignore eveyone back here. They should certainly resist any temptation to take our venal banana skin chucking media into their confidences and keep them very much at arms length - pay no attention to any rachetting up of the hype, which will inevitably come if we get to the QF.
For once in a long while I'm actually enjoying these Finals. It's not been vintage, But it has been far better than that nonsense we witnesssed down in SA a couple of years back. The fans are for real and there isn't much audiblr or visible sign of the attendant stupidity from the Governing Body , issuing silly pre-tournament guidelines and using a ball designed to be played with on a beach.
Lastly. I think all we can do is wish the team good fortune and for them to do their best. They haven't let themselves down yet.
My one big worry though is Rooney. For me he is that banana skin waiting to happen.
Matt Holland what are you talking about!! Hodgson wont start Walcott in the Next game are you for real? Hodgson now knows who he needs to play from the start. Milner has been playing out of position for the last two games which is why England havnt had the pace to take opposition defences on, Walcott should have been playing from day one but Hodgson was never sure about him. The only reason he put Walcott on was because we were 2-1 down and at the point (sitting in the dugout biting his nails clueless) the idea pops into his head "oooh i had better make a change somewhere" Millner was the choice (becuase as just like in the first game he was playing out of position and totally inaffective but it could have been Ashley young who was disposessed or gave the ball away more times than i could count,
Steven Gerrard who's sole contribution was a free kick to score the first goal after that he fell apart giving the ball away with some of the worst passes ive seen from an England with Welbeck and young on the same list. so Walcott comes on I would say more the assisstants choice than Hodgsons, as imsure he was looking at the Ox to go on, but hey low and behold after 5/10 mins of Walcott coming on (it took that long for the England players to realise that passing it to young was proving to be a mute point (pointless) someone had the brainwave??? Lets pass it to Walcott instead DERRRR!!! Then the game changed. and Matt Holland reckons he wont play from the start of the next game?
Well i could name a few England players who shouldnt start infact quite a few, but Walcott and the Ox ( who should have scored from a beautiful cross from walcott but gerrard messed it up for him) wouldnt be on the list..
Oh and PS what is Gerrard doing as Captain??? No direction, No inspiration, No control, and absolutely No idea, looks tired already infact he looked tired before he went. I did see one thing last night that is a huge positive, and i think maybe a lot of other England fans saw it as well. I saw the future captain of England come on and turn a game around.
Name 1 player in the England squad that has skill and is of international quality? besides welbeck and hart. England find it very hard to compete at international level.
A lot of people will disagree with what i say. What is needed is more time for the players to gel together before an international competition. Perhaps the premiership needs fewer games.
It was a shock for walcott when he scored.
The England players are paid enough and should be proud to play for England but sometimes
you think that they just run through the motion of playing. It seems that they have no heart in the game.
Portuguese side Benfica are prepared for a challenge against German team Bayer Leverkusen but will still push for a win.
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