It’s like deja-vu

Peter Crouch & John Terry
Peter Crouch celebrates with John Terry as England beat Greece 4 nil

all over again.

Nope nothing to do with Yogi or the Yankees but Steve McClaren’s first game as England boss, the 4-0 victory over Greece at Old Trafford last night – it was more Sven like than people seemed to want to admit.

So the Ginger One decides to drop Beckham so he can accommodate Gerrard in that right midfield spot, where the Liverpool player decides to do his best Beck’s impersonation, could almost seem him wearing a sarong and getting some stupid tattoos as he persistently came inside crowding the middle of the park and dropping deep to pick up the ball. And there was those over hit Hollywood balls, well he was doing them when Mr Meterosexual was there.

Gerrard provided good width throughout for England in his role on the right So says the BBC report

No he didn’t, inevitably when anyone was looking to play it wide right there was Gary Neville all on his tod.

The Greeks were worse than useless in the first half, christ they had to bring on a Rangers dud to be better, as England got their four goals, first from a flapping goalkeeper the second from a nice bit of build up from Lampard and Defoe – though lucky deflection – as many will point out (through their red tinted specs) the third and fourth came from Steven Gerrard’s build up play.

Firstly an aimless Hollywood ball going nowhere but out of play until a Greek defender nodded it down to Defoe lead to number 3 and then Gerrard was running down the left when his glory ball was going to be behind Gary Neville on the right until Defoe deflected into the fullbacks path.

Everyone was singing and dancing and glossing over some of the crap play, oh how great was Rio when he made one of his runs out of defence – yeah except he never had the ball under any sort of control what so ever. Yeah the ball skipped about a bit quicker but this was due more to the cold wet August night and it not being hot with a dry pitch as in Germany.

And then came the second half and it was like nothing had changed at all as England struggled to get out of the own half, was McClaren the Mr Mogadon sending the players to sleep during half time in Sven’s reign and not the Swede ?

And then to emphasise it all the substitutions started, well Kirkland was a good one and did quite well – his folks also did quite well picking up £10,000. Ah Lennon’s coming on, finally, get him on the right running at these lot and he’ll scare them to death with Defoe matching his pace should lead to some good breaks…but no Lennon comes on for Defoe instead of Gerrard…oh that makes great sense 🙄

Defoe is going to be England’s starting striker with Owen out for a long time and Bent not up to the job so he needs to play the full 90 minutes with all the possible options behind him.

Plus points, Ashley Cole kept out on the left for the most part, instead of his usual coming inside and leaving the opposition wide player with all the space he wants.

Kirkland, if he stays fit, is a better player to have on the bench than “Calamity” James if anything happens to Robinson.

Lampard looks better without Gerrard in the middle, as he did in the qualifying for the last WC, and Hargreaves behind him mopping up.

Hargreaves – man of the match to follow up his player of the World Cup for England – looks to have now cemented a starting spot – just hope he doesn’t get his move to ManUre, a downward step especially with Fergie’s record for stopping players turning out for their country.

But and it’s a big but it’s deja vu all over again there were games like this under Sven, McClaren has yet to convince…

3 Replies to “It’s like deja-vu”

  1. Toxic – on this we agree. The continuity here was startling and all the more so for the failure of anyone in the media to mention it!


    However, I thought Gerrard had a pretty good game, especially since McClaren, tactical genius that he is, put one of the most influential, driving central midfielders in Europe out on the right… I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree on the Gerrard-Lumpalard question. I say that anything Lampard can do (running from deep, shooting, spreading play, supporting strikers, etc.), Gerrard can do better, and that with Lampard out of HIS way, Gerrard would perform much better for England with Hargreaves behind him to mop up.

    Too right on the substitutions as well – why did no one mention this either? This England did the same “one-half-wonder” performance we got from Mr Eriksson. “Evolution not revolution” is fine as a theory (how else would it have become such a nauseating cliche?), but I am still waiting to see the missing link here…

  2. Can’t hear (or, indeed, read) that cliche without recalling…

    Alan Partridge: I loved that phrase you used, it was very clever - ‘Revolution not evolution’.
    Tony Hayers: No, it was the opposite. ‘Evolution not revolution’.
    Alan: Well whatever. Because that is me. I ‘evolve’, but I don’t… ‘revolve’…. Or vice-versa. I suppose what you’re trying to say is, you don’t want another Chris Evans on your hands.
    Tony: No, that is what we want.
    Alan: I’m your man.

  3. Yup, we’ll have to disagree, I’d say anything Lumpalard can do he has done in an England shirt unlike Gerrard.

    Wonder who told him to spout that cliche, his little mantra guru from ‘Boro ?

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