But it was a friendly

Beckham was playing and Sven is still the manager.

But this was a cracking game. What happened ?

I suppose Ratin in ’66, Maradona in ’86, Simeone in ’98 along with a certain little incident in the South Atlantic in 1982. When playing against a South American nation that are Italians who speak Spanish and wish they were English it is never a friendly.

And that’s what England need, a purpose something to rouse the passion, a top ranked team that we have a history with. Smaller countries that we’ve never played before never inspire the the players to put in the performance so games we should win comfortably we struggle. It’s no coincidence that the best games under Sven have been against the likes of Argentina and Germany.

And that’s what was there last night in the Swiss city of Geneva during England’s 3-2 victory over Argentina, a bit of the old up & at ’em spirit that has been so lacking in many a game under Sven.

Yes there were deficiencies last night that shouldn’t be overlooked while focusing on the good result and overall performance. But it shows what England can do when they want to.

The other factor would be going behind, always do better when they don’t score an early goal.

OK then the bad points –

Wayne Bridge will get some stick for being skinned by Rodrigruez for the opening goal but it was his first international for a year and he’s only had a handful of reserve games and the odd first team outing for Chelsea since coming back from a long lay off. No he wasn’t a worry it was the fact there was 3 Argentinian players between Terry & Ferdinand in the goal mouth waiting to put the ball in the net. Ferdinand again slack to cut the cross off, this should be the concern.

All the fullbacks used, Bridge & Konchesky on the left and Young on the right were scored 6 in the BBC player rankings with some critical remarks, especially with Young being described as out of his depth. This was pretty harsh because time after time they were left isolated. Yes Beckham was better than he had been for some time and Gerrard probably had his best game since the 5-1 win over Germany but they both left their fullbacks exposed by coming off the wing to crowd the centre of the park.

Konchesky was lucky that Joe Cole was brought on because on the whole he stayed wide only coming inside when he had the ball at his feet, giving the West Ham fullback more get out options.

And then there’s set plays, corners and free kicks round the penalty area, why have England with such good centerbacks so bad these days dealing with such dead ball situations ?

All those bad points and they still beat the 2nd ranked team in the world, what would happen if they got it all right through the side ?

Rooney is outstanding, oh if we had more player that ran at defences like him Cole & Wright-Phillips, Owen may not do much during a game but he does the important part of putting the ball in the net, Robinson is a great goal stopper and Ledley King is showing his class more and more never really looked flustered once.

Still think only one of Lampard & Gerrard should be used at a time, then during a tournament the player starting can give everything knowing that he can be substituted for the other who can also go full throttle which could stop the lethargy shown by England teams late in games.

What a great weekend to be English beating Argentina 3-2 at football after the rugby union team had consigned Australia to their 7th consecutive defeat with the 26-16 win at Twickenham. Has there ever been a worse scrummaging team than the current Aussie one ? So bad that they are putting their players at risk of serious injury.

And then in Multan Trescothick is 135 not out as England close the 2nd day of the test match against Pakistan 253 for 3 only 21 runs behind the hosts 1st innings total.

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