And now we’re going to win it

..aren’t we.

I mean after stuffing the might of Slovenia a whole one nothing, who is there now good enough to stop England from going all the way and lifting the trophy? 🙄

Some people went slightly over the top after England just managed to scrape out of one of the easiest World Cup first round groups you’ll ever see. All the talk of a great performance, well in relation to the the two previous games, then just about but taken out of that context then just a very average bog standard Fabio team display.

Slovenia were very limited yesterday, as it looked like their World Cup started to fizzle out just 3 minutes after half time in their second game, against the US and died after the Yanks equalised. even though they only needed a draw against England to progress and were actually through until Donovan’s late winner for the States – as was shown when the Slovenia coach heard the news just after the final whistle – they were pretty useless. Valter Birsa in particular being awful throughout the 90 minutes.

The opposition were very poor and yet had about 40 to just over 40% of possession – depending on whose stats you read – while England had about the same amount of shots as the previous two games, with worse passing and crossing completion percentage. And were one goal away from going out and that goal nearly came.

While Fabio did get some things right. Picking Defoe meant that less aimless long ball humps up the park were in evidence than when Heskey was present. Though it didn’t stop James in goal just lamping it up the park and giving the ball away at every opportunity.

Fabio and Pearce beside him then did their best bit of management for some time as they screamed and shouted at Gerrard to stick to the left. As usual he was drifting inside leaving the left side open and the Slovenians knew it as it was no coincidence that they targeted that space and the space left behind Cole at left-back after he finally got forward in this tournament.

But as Gerrard actually stuck to what he was instructed to do it again brought into question some of Fabio’s decisions, squad and starting XI. If you are playing a strict 4-4-2 and want your wide men to stay wide then wouldn’t it be better to pick an actual left-sided player? Adam Johnson for example. The uselessness of playing Gerrard was repeatedly put on show as he either cut inside on his right and straight into traffic, or when he finally tried to get a cross in, where a left footed whipper was called for we got the useless outside of the right foot, leading to nothing, attempt. It just smacks of crowbarring Gerrard into the side at the expense of the team.

The idiots were at it again after the game, using Milner’s cross for the goal – and what a cracking cross it was – to slag off Lennon. They no doubt were slagging of Milner when his first three touches were useless. They are too dim to also realise that Lennon was on the bench probably wondering why he didn’t get the service Milner did, why he had to put up with Johnson being useless at right-back, why he had to repeatedly come back into his own half for the ball, why he had to put up with Gerrard stationed right next to him shouting for the ball. All things that Milner didn’t have to put up with, which helped the Villa man perform in a way Lennon wasn’t allowed. Funny how a cross, was it in the German game I can’t remember, was described as great, yet it was the same as Lennon’s cross from the left against Algeria which was not described in such glowing terms as an Algerian head just nicked it off Rooney’s head.

Lampard wasn’t as great as everyone was saying after he just appeared in this game unlike the previous two where he disappeared. Rooney is still off it and didn’t link up with Defoe at all really. Upson, well he had a very dodgy start but came through the game well after that, including that block near the end, can’t bring Carragher back in after that. Shame for Dawson, who is still the far better player. There was no reason to bring Heskey on at all if you want the ball kept, why not Crouch?

Joe Cole showed in the 18 minutes he was given that Fabio was right not to pick him, well he slowed things down and that was required in this situation but not in the rest of the actual game but he repeatedly lost possession which will kill England against better opposition.

And so the opposition. It had to be the Germans didn’t it?

They seemed to peak in that first game when up against a limited Australian side, who were shell-shocked after the early goal. They haven’t looked world beaters since really. Losing to Serbia and then just getting past Ghana, who had their chances. But then past German sides haven’t looked world beaters only to turn out to be so, or just fail to be so. 2002, was that the worst German side we’d seen and yet it reached the final. Well it couldn’t really be worse than the side that lost to Keggy Keegle’s England at the 2000 Euros.

Well I said yesterday England would scrape through. So now I reckon they’ll do it again against Germany though they won’t have any of the ball, just scrape through, and onto the quarters – where I and pretty much everyone else figured would be the round they’d exit – to meet the Argies. They’ll then go out due to some bad luck and will return home to a heroes welcome with the crap we’ve seen being glossed over.

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