Still third favourites are we

does anyone actually believe it?

Yes it was just a meaningless pre-tournament friendly but they were meant to be fighting for their place.

Oh I forgot Fabio has already picked his favs and he doesn’t really want to give any others a chance, that and of course the only job the England manager really has is to crowbar Gerrard into the starting XI at the expense of the team.

Ah but we won and it didn’t mean anything. Well we only won because Mexico didn’t have a striker on the field, they had the chances just no one to put them away – bar of course the one they did. Would it have been 3-1 if there had been a striker who could have just read the balls that crossed the England box and been able to just stick his foot out? No. Would it have been 3-1 if England hadn’t taken the opening two goals that were gifted to them, by the defence for both and the officials for the second?

But the way people talk about the performance they talk as if it was a one off.

It wasn’t, far from it, it was the same as we’ve seen for enough of the games under the current boss and matched up with a large number of the games we saw – with many of the same faces – under his two predecessors. That’s the worrying thing. For all the talk about how things have progressed, well apart from actually qualifying unlike McClown what really has changed? Nowt.

Seventeen players used, how many ended up as winners on the night compared to those that are now fretting, or should be fretting, over their place in the final 23 man squad.

One winner was certainly Green in goal, two good saves and a more assured performance than we’ve probably seen from him for club and country. Hart did nothing wrong and both should have seriously jumped ahead of James and his experience of fucking up.

Winners: well any winger not named Theo Walcott, a seventy seven minute resignation performance? Adam Johnson and Aaron Lennon did more to show why they should be ahead of him in the whole 20 minutes they were allowed. Johnson doesn’t have the pace but he has the delivery, Lennon has both the pace and can deliver a final ball. So Walcott has pace and defenders are scared of it but he hasn’t progressed, like Chris Waddle said he hasn’t got a football brain. He doesn’t know what to do with his pace and struggles to come up with an end product.

The latter criticism was labelled at Lennon with great regularity before but this season as seen the little fella turn it around, even though he missed a large part of the season he was up there on the assists list. Walcott would be where Lennon was a few years back except his running with the ball isn’t even as good. And he doesn’t learn through the game. It was all on show last night. Unfortunately Walcott as a serious case of Wright-Phillipsitis, where he feels he has to run right up to a defender so he can beat him. 9 times out of 10 he trips over defender or ball and loses possession.

All he has to do is knock the ball past the fullback and skin him, he has the pace and when he did it last night it worked. Well it worked to a point, he flew past the defender and then gave the ball away with an awful attempt at a delivery. Not the best use of the ball was the commentators call, not the best it was about the worst as before you knew it the ball was down the other end of the park and England’s defence was in trouble. But he had the beating of the defender, so what did he do after that? Yup ran into the bloke time and time again and lost the ball. No footballing brain.

Why he stayed on for all but 13 minutes is baffling. It feels like previous regimes who wouldn’t give others a fair crack so as not to make life difficult for themselves. Giving Johnson only 7 minutes was a down right disgrace.

Losers: Milner came in for quite a bit of stick and yes he had a bad game, especially in the middle but he wasn’t helped by the presence of Carrick, a player shot of any confidence and a shadow of what he can be after a poor season. Milner won’t have worked his was out of the 23, but Carrick may well have.

Leighton Baines had a bit of a shocker, not helped by having no help on the left in the first half. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Warnock play in the next game. Ledley didn’t have the best of first halves, was caught a bit to tight on his man a couple of times, the thing is many a player haven’t looked good next to Ferdinand, he doesn’t instil confidence in a partner. Did he look better with Carragher, a stopper rather than a flake? Took his goal well, could have given away a penalty, surprisingly didn’t with Chris “pelanty” Waddle commentating on radio.

Loser and winner: Gerrard. England are the loser for Gerrard whose fanboys were claiming him as the winner. Oh it shows he has to be central. No it showed he shouldn’t be in the side. How many more games do we have to put up with the team being disturbed by having Gerrard crowbarred in there. He’ll be on 80 caps with the next game. Does that mean he can be classed the worst England player, I mean Carlton Palmer was only shite for 18 games, Gerrard will have been shite for over 70. He doesn’t work for England, never really has and never will when the team plays second fiddle to his ego.

It was all pretty much summed up by the Wembley pitch on the night. Green coloured sand used to cover up the faults.

The next game is against Japan this time at Graz nearer the training camp in Austria, my starting XI is pictured on the right. Of course Ledley would probably miss out to rest his knee, just in case.

Are you backing England as 3rd favourites?

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