the lower down them you go.
No matter what Clive Tyldesley wittered during last night’s Euro 2012 qualifier against England at Wembley, Wales are where they deserve to be in the FIFA rankings.
They should be around the likes of Grenada and Liechtenstein, below the Faroe Island and Haiti – while they beat Montenegro would Wales have only lost 1-0 to Italy as the Faroes did on the same night – It’s the higher you get the more ridiculous the state of affairs. When the Taffs in the crowd were singing
fourth in the world? You’re having a laugh they were spot on.
And that’s the thing it wasn’t Wales being good and proving they are better than 117th but England just being crap as per usual, while getting the win to do a masking job. It’s England who are in a false position in the rankings.
One thing up on the away trip to Bulgaria was the possession stats. England really upped their game here, mainly by doing bugger all but pass the ball from Cole to Terry to Cahill to Smalling then back to Cahill onto Terry onto Cole then back to Terry… Cahill… Smalling and back again. You get the picture.
While Wales sat back and watched, knowing at some point the back four would get a bit bored of pass-the-parcel and aimlessly just hump the ball in the region of a white shirt and give those in red at minimum 50% chances of taking over possession.
They did mix it up occasionally when one of the midfield three would jog back, receive the ball but then immediately pass it back from whence it came. Football to set the world alight.
The main problem being that midfield three. Lampard, Barry and Milner. No pace, no guile, no idea. No football.
So why was Lampard picked, he gave absolutely nothing to the game, set up or team? Was it a case of Fabio trying to prove that the old bloke’s England career wasn’t over yet, though this was surely one of the last nails into that particular coffin. Or was it to protect Parker from picking up another card which would rule him out of the final match against Montenegro? Would make sense, if you rated Parker that highly, which Fabio does, right up until the 73rd minute when he brought Parker on for Lampard. Strange. But then maybe Fabio like the rest of us had just become so sick and tired of watching Frank do bugger all.
But in that respect he wasn’t alone.
A situation that led to what we all want to see, Rooney dropping back from his striker role to pick the ball off the toes of his two centrebacks right on the edge of his own box. Taking that
false 9 to the extreme. You could see his frustration and it did come as a major surprise that after a number of times Rooney chased back a Welsh player there wasn’t an incident, yellow or indeed red card wise.
The goal was pretty much the only decent piece of play by the home side all night. And after getting to the byline and putting a cross in for Young to finish it was about the last time we saw anyone employ that tactic again, you know the one that worked.
It was Wales at home so Fabio went defensive. Why not stick a striker up front, drop Rooney back, Johnson and Young on the wings, players that run at the opposition, go for it. Don’t pick your team to counteract their main outlet, pick one that just negates his presence by being in possession, not letting him have the ball and being proactive not reactive.
Someone wondered about Bale being on the Welsh right, why not where he’s usually found wide left, especially with the relative newcomer to the rightback role Smalling playing for England. Well I could see why they tried it, Cole is a chancer, he gambles that his pace will make up for his lack of positional sense and defensive abilities, only thing is Bale is quicker and stronger. That along with Terry being a slow lumper, who Bale can run past for fun knowing that Terry will either be left in his wake or the defender will take him out giving away free kicks and being carded.
In the end it just got a bit repetitive and Bale ended up producing as he has for Spurs since he came back from his injury lay-off at the beginning of the year. That is not enough. Was unlucky to be flagged offside once.
And in the end it could have been points shared but for the fact that Robert Earnshaw is a bum. And here again Tyldesley disgraced himself by mentioning the great John Charles in the same sentence as well as I put it after the miss
(you’re just) a Welsh Darren Bent – I’m sure Sandra Redknapp would have scored it.