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Thursday, October 12, 2006
Croatia 2 - 0 England
i doubt there will ever come a worst time then before playing the hardest game in your group to experiment with a new formation. Somehow, our best friend Steve McClaren decided that this was it. he will change the time around, and have it play a system that nobody else plays regularly for their club.

england deserved to lose. definately, no two ways about it. 2 - 0 would even seem a tad too lenient on them. towards the end i was hoping for a couple more croatia goals so as to make them wake up their ideas. everybody was out of sorts. most of the time, the ball was played inside england's own area, with all the diagonal passing between the 3 centerbacks. why is that so? there's no free players available up front. no way forward. so we'll just have to play the ball among ourselves and the keeper.

talking about playing the ball with the keeper, the 2nd goal sure was caused by playing with the keeper. the goal reminded me of stan collymore's goal for liverpool against blackburn. worth a laugh. not if you're paul robinson.

let's dissect england's starting lineup.

Paul Robinson had a good game, making a number of crucial saves, but it was his 2 mistakes that caused the 2 goals. he was caught off his line for the 1st goal, and probably lost abit of concentration for the 2nd goal.

If anybody, Ashley Cole would probably come out from this game unscathe.. he run his hearts out and provided both in attack and defense. Gary Neville looked lost in his role as a wingback. more often then not getting caught out of position.

The 3 centerbacks were all taking strolls in the park. all made very very basic mistakes, wreaking havoc for england themselves. it might be the effect of one each from liverpool, man utd and chelsea. nobody covered for the other, none knew wat the other was doing. atrocious.

The 3 midfielders were all fighting losing battles. Lampard totally squashed the myth of him not being able to play well with Gerrard. he just can't play well at all... All of them were not able to adapt to the new system and were all over the place. Not one of them took control of the midfield but were all just letting Croatia steamroll pass them. They seem to be missing a certain Steven Gerrard. Carrick, like in his previous england match, was just like a passing passenger.. although he showed glimpse of his passing talent, 2 nice passes in 90mins just doesn't quite cut it for me.

Rooney and Crouch. Can't really blame them that much. there were totally no support whatsoever for them at all. Rooney had to drop deep many many times to collect the ball to start a move for himself.

Knowing this new system by england, croatia just packed the midfield. whenever england wants to attack, they had no wingers. Neville showed that he has to work with a winger, and Cole was totally blocked off. The midfield was just too compact for england. no width to speak off. Hence giving the croatian defense a simple job of just concentrate on the middle.

Moving onto the substituitions made by McClaren, it leaves me to wonder what he was thinking at that moment. He brought on Richardsen and Wright Phillps. 2 wingers thus converting to the old system. but he took Crouch off. So now, you're gonna attack from the wings and start putting in crosses. But u're taking off you sole target man and leaving 2 players no taller then 1.80m up front for people to aim at. very logical Steve.

The players playing for England are not getting all the games they should be getting. Crouch, Richardsen, Wright Phillips and Defoe are all not playing regularly for their respective clubs. So who's fault issit that england lost? We just have to wait and see where the blame gets shifted to.
posted by bobby @ 2:58 AM  
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Name: bobby
Home: Dorset, Island, Singapore
About Me: Man in Pain
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