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Saturday, November 12, 2005

"England have had no chances and scored twice."

...at least that's how you could have called the last ten minutes of play in Geneva! Toon supporters around the world must be elated, having witnessed Owen's brace to grab a last-gasp victory for England. There was plenty of encouraging stuff from England, even when they were on the losing side of the ledger.

TDH was glad to see King holding it down (ahem) in midfield. But TDH must question the use of Bridge roving forward on the left to allow Gerrard to tuck inside. Perhaps The Other Wayne wasn't fit enough to track back all the time, but the left flank seemed dangerously free on too many occasions. Terry was forced to come over from the center, often too late.

The same was true with Konchesky in the leftback spot, though after a few minutes of nerves he performed as solidly as could be expected. And as TDH could have predicted, Rio's insertion paid immediate negative dividends, as his miscue led to the first goal.

The big worry for England has to be Argentina's sheer cleverness. With what looked like much less effort, the Argies managed to pop up in all sorts of uncomfortable places with alarming frequency. They played with guile rather than pace, and England had a difficult time adjusting. With Brazil - guile and pace - the results could be catastrophic. Then again, they're Brazil.

Also in the minus column, England missed their last opportunity to hand Sorin a career-ending injury in a (relatively) meaningless game. After drawing a yellow card on Luke Young with the usual turfbound hysterics, the little hippie let everyone know his true intentions with a mischievous smile. And then - the gall of it! - he actually tried to punch the ball past Robinson, almost making yet another TDH forecast come true. ("Juan Pablo, I knew Diego Maradona. I played with Diego Maradona. Diego Maradona was a friend of mine. Juan Pablo, you're no Diego Maradona....") He deserves a right bollocking. Perhaps Woody can give him one next time the whites play the yellows over in Espain. It'd be making himself useful, anyway.

Still, England clearly have the weapons to beat anyone... on their day. The only question is whether that day will come more than once in 2006.

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Our Yanks managed a 1-1 draw with Scotland, not bad considering the probationary team and the hostile environment. Beasley was a live wire as usual, and Spector almost snatched the honors as time ran out. Full steam ahead for the good ship Arena....

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Astute readers will have noticed that TDH was under the impression England were going into enemy territory for tonight's match! Thanks a lot, Soccernet, you geniuses! They've fixed their site, and so has TDH.

2 Comments:

Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

Didn't see the games, as I was unfortunately celebrating my birthday. I considered leaving the party to watch it, but decided that would be too rude...

Still, I'm not surprised that England managed to win, but might I point out that it was in fact Young Joe, and not the Man who would be King who set up the winning goal. With King on the pitch, England were losing 2-1. When Young Joe emerged, they won 3-2. I need say no more...

The other big result for me was Italy 3, Netherlands 1. Apparently Del Piero rolled the years back, playing like he was 23 and good enough to replace Baggio again. Gila and Toni both scored, and by accounts it was a blistering match with chances coming thick and fast. Italy may have a chance at winning the thing if they keep fit and Pirlo stays in form.

8:43 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

See, this is what happens when you talk about a match without seeing it. In fact England created far more chances with King in the side, but Lampard, Rooney and Owen muffed and missed them.

I was in the mood to be charitable to Young Joe, but, after your tirade, I must add that his lone shot was so weak that the whole pub groaned in unison.

Happy birthday....

9:59 AM  

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