You didn’t really think you’d go on and beat the Germans now did you?
Come on Psycho, you’ve already sort of had your penalty redemption back in ’96 against Spain, when you scored and we went through. Yes of course that was followed up by a semi-final penalty loss to match 1990 and then there was the last U21 finals – just over two years ago – against the Dutch, when even after scoring 12 spot kicks England still managed to suffer.
It all honesty England were lucky to get that far and on the day they were hugely outclassed by a far superior German side with the final score being a decent indication of the teams on the night.
Who actually thought when the hosts Sweden got two goals back, after going into half time three nil down, in the semi-final that England would be in the final. When they leveled it with 9 minutes to go there was only going to be one winner. England one dimensional, down to ten men, after Campbell’s idiotic sending off, even with some of the Swede’s out on their feet, it would take a great pile of luck to get through.
But then of course there was the wild card. Sat there in the stadium, headphones on, microphone in hand, providing commentary for all those listening on 5Live in those dulcet Geordie tones.
There was no way this wasn’t going to “pelanties” – thank you Chris Waddle.
Pearce had the redemption for 1990 mentioned earlier, poor old Chris never really did and it still seems create a verbal stumbling block with him.
But even with him again on the commentary team last nights final never really looked like it would decided by a pelanty shoot out. Lacking in so many areas of the park compared to their opponents, though England had chances hit the woodwork and had attempts cleared off the line the Germans really weren’t that troubled. Missing a real striker, Walcott up front on his own, didn’t really provide a good alternative and yet again flattered to deceive in an England shirt. What has he done since the hattrick against Croatia?
The midfield was seriously lacking in any guile, Noble, Cattermole and Muamba are all decent grafters – captain Noble didn’t have a great time, always seemed to be giving the ball away resulting in goals and it was a surprise to read that Cattermole who many see as a hot head only had four fouls against his name, that with European refs when you consider his red and yellows in the Premier League – but there’s no killer balls between the three of them, seriously missing a passer like the injured Huddlestone. So all too similar, one dimension and easy to combat by a well organised side like Germany. Also missed Lennon to compliment Milner, who had a good tournament, but then what’s the use of real wingers when there’s no one in the box.
Pearce has signed a new deal to stay on as U21 coach but I think he’s going to have to look at himself a bit, he seemed to let the final just go by him, didn’t try and change the game with substitutions or formation before it was far too late. Maybe he didn’t have the players available in the squad to do so but there just appeared to be no activity from him other than indicating he’d like to thump Boenisch when he committed a bad foul.
Most of these lot will be too old for the next tournament, so that was their final chance. Tough but in reality they did well to reach the final considering their main way of scoring was set pieces, a bit Greece 2004 really, not very inspiring.