All entries for Friday 16 June 2006

June 16, 2006

England fans – who do you fear?

So, we are into the second round of group stage games. Having seen all the teams in the competition who do England fans fear – who looks like a contender?

On current performance I think England have a lot to be worried about. There are quite a few teams with more pace and purpose than us at the moment. If we can't find a way to let our midfield boss the game then I fear for the worst.

I worry about Ecuador who look pretty tough – more resiliant than Germany, though would you want to play the Germans on their home turf?

Spain look pretty hot as do the Czechs. As for France and Brazil – BRING 'EM ON!

Seriously though – this is looking like the most open and competative world cup in years. It is also the most attacking, though it saddens me that England seem to be playing the defensive minded game more commonly associated with the Italians of the 80s and 90s rather than the expansive fast game we know and love.

A note on Rooney and why he is so important (and Lennon too) – the T&T coach said at half time that the England movement was very predictable. This is the problem with Crouch and Owen at the moment – they run in straight predictable lines, staying in the channels. This is easy for defenders to deal with.

Rooney runs across defenses and moves in a way that pulls people out of position – he is a lot less predictable and creates spaces for the likes of Beckham, Lampard and Gerrard to do their thang. Lennon did the same thing, pulling the T&T defense towards the corner and giving both Beckham and Gerrard the space and time to make an impact.

You have to be disruptive at this level – disruption and confusion is what creates opportunity. Predictable lines and pedestrian pace is all too easy to defend against.

And just to pimp my podcast sideline a little – link

I think I might go back to Henry after the group stage and see how his predictions stack up – France and Brazil not looking so hot now huh!


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