Some halfwit in a studio, who obviously has taken more hits to the head than his mashed up nose would testify to, gave David Beckham the man-of-the-match award. Even Fabio thought it was a Barack Obama/Nobel Prize style joke. Thirty minutes on a football pitch is probably the equal to a fortnight in political office.
Did he get the award for being the first England outfield player to wear a full beard since Peter Withe. The well traveled, European Cup and double league winning Scouser was more deserving of the award last night.
Another atrocious game from England against very limited opponents where those that are guaranteed their place in South Africa did their best not to help those struggling for a spot on the plane, who it has to be said, Crouch apart, didn’t really help themselves either. But the 3-0 scoreline glossed over the ineptness shown throughout – media headlines of England’s class, did they actually watch the game? – and the sheep went home happy because the show pony came on this time round.
Nah the media must have spent as much time watching the game as Steve Bruce did before he announced he would be giving the MotM award to his good mate. As one paper – who shall remain nameless as well as clueless – showed when awarding Barry 7/10 and saying “provided his usual disciplined presence as England dominated possession.” directly above the match stats which showed…
Possession %: England 48.2 – Belarus 51.8
Yes that’s real domination that, having less of the ball than a team ranked 77th in the world, right there between the giants of the football world Cyprus (76) and Benin (78). It needs repeating they had less possession than Belarus at home.
It was the team in red that kept the ball and used it to play football while the group of disparate individuals in white – certainly couldn’t call them a team – repeatedly gave the ball away with ease, from short passes to the opposition to the standard fair of aimless humps up the park. England saved by the fact that Belarus didn’t have a finisher while the home side did.
Yes Crouch the only one of those trying to break into the squad that really proved his case, as he took is scoring tally to 18 from 35 games (17 starts). It’s better than one in two, ah but they come against the little sides is the reply. They do, it’s one of the three things you can say is a given for Crouch. One: his goals come against the smaller nations, the thing being no one else in an England shirt does, you need someone to do it at some point and Crouch is that man. Two: he won’t get a fair crack of the whip with regards officials, they targeted him in the last World Cup and while he wasn’t singled out as in previous games last night there was incidents where he could have had a decision. Most noticeably when he headed wide while two Belarus defenders were barging him in the back. Three: when he’s on the pitch the service will be crap because all they see is the 6’7″ so humped up long balls ensue. The fourth thing you can say about Crouch is he’ll work with others, now it didn’t really click with Agbonlahor but he can work with Rooney and has/will be/can work very well with Defoe.
Agbonlahor didn’t really work last night again because as per usual and per his club mate Ashely Young he didn’t do what got him into the reckoning in the first place, i.e. play like he does for Villa. When clear in the opponents half, one defender to beat for Villa he bombs towards goal and usually bangs it in, last night he kept slowing down waiting for others to catch up, too deferential by half. Get him to do the former and he’s worth sticking with.
Another main problem was he didn’t receive much decent service from the midfield pairing or the left hand sided winger. Barry and Lampard did so very little, constantly giving the ball away and then never doing much ball winning either. The one great ball by Barry that set up the opener and a nice cross field ball to Beckham apart there was nothing from them. If it wasn’t for his inept corners you wouldn’t know Lampard was playing, until he had to chase yards for a “pin point” ball from Beckham to set a up Milner chance.
Yet again the best stuff came down the right with Lennon and yet again he say less of the ball than he should and yet again he was withdrawn when there was far better candidates for the bench all over the field. One nice piece of play where he linked with Johnson, spun round his defender and took off to the byline, should have been repeated over and over again.
But no he was taken off – hopefully with his place to the World Cup cemented, Wright-Phillips given more chance to impress but even with his goal that didn’t happen – to the cheers of the sheep in the crowd, those that had been indulging in a wave earlier on who got to see their hero, the saviour of English football. And we the viewing public had to listen to 32 minutes of Clive Tyldesley wanking himself live on air over Beckham’s presence on the pitch, when his arm was obviously tired Andy Townsend helped him out. Steve Bruce then provided the final impetus for money shot.
While we were told what Beckham brought to the game he repeatedly gave the ball away, all those trademark Beckham balls, flew high, wide and handsome of their target as he came inside to clutter up the middle and do his quarterback routine. Barry’s great ball to him, no mention from Clive, Beckham’s cross found nobody what a great delivery that was. Beckham finds Lampard we were told, err no Beckham’s ball was yards over Lampard’s head and heading out if the Chelsea man hadn’t bust a gut to save it crossing the line. A free kick for England near the Belarus box, Milner spots a great opportunity belts down the left for a quick kick, he’s in acres of space but no Beckham is demanding the ball in a crowded middle of the pitch.
And all the uselessness gets him the man of the match. Ah he enlivened the game when he came on, no he didn’t. Milner enlivened the game when he came on as a left back, did more in the 12 minutes he was on the field than most of the rest, would have been far more deserving of the MotM, if Crouch’s two goals weren’t going to get it.
Well it sent the sheep off with a glow in the hearts and thoughts of Beckham lifting that gold trophy next July, can’t you just see the rest of those qualified teams shaking in their boots 🙄