Well as of writing this that is, so far I haven’t heard that Michael Dawson is suffering any career threatening injury due to his 67 minute outing against Denmark, last night.
It did come as quite a shock that he left the pitch on his own, no stretcher involved at all, not even a limp. It was one of the highlights of the latest meaningful friendly. Two others occurred in the ITV presentation box.
Firstly a half-time when Allardyce and Southgate were pontificating about Wilshere’s first start, stating he and Lampard linked up well and played in such a way that when one went forward the other hung back. In other words exactly how Gerrard and Lampard have been asked to play on far too many occasions, so Lampard can do it without Gerrard, which can mean only one thing. Gerrard is the problem.
Second was when talking about the overall performance Southgate stated it’s better when the ball is on the floor being passed around and then turned to Allardyce and said “isn’t that so Sam”.
So when they were talking about that performance they did go over the top a bit. Yes there was good bits to pick out, more team cohesion and interplay without the dominating forces demanding the ball, as players allowed to play their game without “me me me me” Gerrard.
Ashley Young springs to mind, finally played for England as he has at club level, yes a different role being free behind the striker instead of wide left but without having Gerrard there demanding the ball he could play his way.
They overstated the play of a lot of the England set up, most notably Rooney who yes did a bit of running around but his one clear cut scoring opportunity was wasted as he dithered. And those long diagonal balls were crap, each one was hit so high and slow as to make it far to simple for a Danish defender to get them, first only only lead to England’s equaliser because Poulsen (S) dithered and Walnutt actually fought for the ball.
Decent cross by Walnutt but a bit of luck that the ball actually reached Bent, who was doing his usual and hiding behind a defender. Think of all the great England poachers and would they be behind the last defender, hoping the ball would get past a couple red shirts and the ‘keeper, or would they have dropped off him to make a dash in front. But Bent has to hang around offside, as he was just for the goal and so stupidly for a great chance later on.
Glen Johnson was lauded in the second half because he was gifted the ball for Young’s winner when against a better side his mistakes would have meant it would have been not much more than a consolation. Ashley Cole was at his usual tricks, sad sad day for England when he’s voted player of the year. There’ll come a time where Cole is faced with two options, first is to make a clearance with his right foot the second is to bang into England’s net with his left. Only going to be one outcome. His inability to kick with the right hinders so many forward moves and plays the centre-backs and ‘keepers into trouble so man times.
Wilshere first start was OK, nothing spectacular but then that wasn’t what was asked for or required. Pick the ball up, keep it or pass it on and don’t lose possession and he did that well enough, after all he can hit a short pass without battering it, giving the recipient the chance to keep it, unlike a certain Steven Gerrard.
He was overshadowed in the battle of the teenagers by Denmark’s 18 year old Christian Eriksen. Absolutely cracking cross for the opener. Of course Rooney should have done better and not ponced out of blocking it, and Dawson gets all the blame for letting Agger past but then you see he was left marking three red shirts in the box.
England again were lucky that the opposition, Eriksen apart, were pretty limited, after all we’ve seen recently in the FA Cup Bendtner’s level, OK against lower table Championship sides, nowt against promotion chasers. Rommedahl not much beyond being quick and second half the dropped off even more.
Of course Fabio won’t take the hint and get rid of the old guard that failed s badly last year and start afresh.