Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Weekend round-up

So the 1st weekend of fixtures has come and gone, with several talking points, especially amongst the English (oh Greeno!) With only 3 days gone and 8 games played we've already been treated to:

  • 13 Goals
  • 33 Yellow cards
  • 4 Red cards
Clearly the referees are keen to stamp their authority on the game; an average of just over 4 bookings per match and a sending off every other game. The goal tally is hardly anything to get excited about, with an average of 1.6 goals per game, and that's mainly down to Germany's dominant 4-0 victory over the Socceroos!

The Germans finally livened up the tournament in the last game of the weekend and look set to top Group D with (arguably) their toughest opponents already swept aside. A prospect that I'm sure many England fans will have already picked up on as this could mean a Second Round meeting with the old enemy, especially if Saturday night's performance is anything to go by.

Of course I could sit here and blame the result on Robert Green, but just as '1 player doesn't make a team' I also believe that it takes the whole team to make a mistake. Of course it was Green who ultimately dropped what should have been a routine save, but let's think about the build up to it.
Let's start with the shot from Dempsey; just before he shoots he seems to get the ball caught between his feet, and despite this he still manages to turn Gerrard twice, making him look like a complete amateur.
Just prior to this an England goal kick is met by a completely unmarked USA midfielder, the next ball was Ashley Cole's to win, but somehow he let it evade him, the ball was won by another American who passed to Dempsey, and we all know what happened next.
These are all mistakes that I'm sure would have been picked up on had Dempsey's goal been a stunner and there had been no reason to blame Greeno.

Getting back to the rest of the game; despite an average performance I still felt England were the better side and with a little more accuracy in front of goal we could have, and probably should have, scored at least 3 anyway (which would have made Greeno's gaffe irrelevant).

Although it wasn't the most convincing display from England, we can at least be thankful that the 2 remaining sides (Algeria and Slovenia) hardly pose a threat (famous last words!) I made the mistake the of watching these 2 play yesterday afternoon; and maybe it was the slight hangover from the night before, but I found myself falling asleep as the 2 teams played hoof-ball for 90 minutes. Neither team had any attacking quality and nearly every pass was misplaced. Unsurprisingly, the goal eventually came courtesy of a goalkeeping error that would have undoubtedly made Robert Green feel a little better.

In summary, the performances against Slovenia and Algeria need to be better, and ideally we need to start putting away our chances; 1st and 2nd place may be decided by goal difference and I for one don't fancy our chances against Germany at the moment.

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