The build up to England’s first pre-Euro warm up was basically “we’re not going overboard this time round with our optimism but we’re going to win it aren’t we?”, Turkey might have helped with that.
All we’ve heard since the end of qualification through the announcement of Roy’s provisional 26 man squad was about how low key the build up has been before this tournament.
It carried on all through the interminable lead into the weekend friendly fixture against Turkey in Manchester. God only knows why I watched it, I wouldn’t have if I’d not got the times wrong. Though kick-off was half four, no it was quarter past five and the program was at four thirty.
Ian Wright, I mean Ian Wright, the English Robbie Savage.
Anyway that whole 45 minutes minus advert breaks was basically “We’re playing England’s chances down, but we’re going to win it, aren’t we”… “Yes we’re not getting too over excited, like we have in the past, but we won all those qualifiers and everyone should be scared of us, it’s in the bag.”
Yes there is a bit of hope there, the players that Roy has ended up with in attacking positions for the most part do make for a bit of excitement. But Roy still has plenty of time to spoil that, after all as someone, think it was Dixon, echo what I’ve been saying here the players that have come in weren’t really Roy’s picks but players he had to go with when others weren’t available.
And well Roy couldn’t help himself in picking his favourites in the squad, you don’t hold out much hope that he won’t go and pick ’em in the starting line up.
Ah yes the old “fit and in form” line. every England manager has spouted at the beginning of their regime but when it comes to the crunch there’s a squad full of unfit out of form favourites.
Yup they were all there when the squad was announced, Wilshere, Henderson, Delph, Sterling, Rooney, and you know no matter how well others have played for their club or indeed in these warm up games Roy is desperate to start with those four.
Wilshere not fit and wow done sod all against opposition that isn’t the likes of San Marino, oh look his mouth is open and his tongue is sticking out. Henderson again not fit and Roy obviously didn’t notice Liverpool looked better once he wasn’t available to them. Delph, not fit in any sense of the word, especially for purpose. Citeh really missed him this season didn’t they, well I bet Roy imagines they did. Speaking of which, Sterling, couldn’t get past his own team mate Navas, a player who did nothing except keep Raheem on the bench.
Pundits were happy with Sterling it seemed but he was awful. Doing the same old rubbish, plenty of space to run into he runs into the defender instead – oh, he’s got to beat someone – then producing no service for the front men. If he got to the byline and then crossed blindly, you wouldn’t complain about him if it didn’t come off, after all it’s the striker who should get on the end of it, But when he dithers about, looks up and then finds no one with a cross then the fault is all his.
Rooney, ah yes the captain, no matter what Roy says he’ll be the first name on the team sheet. Oh he can play deeper now like he did in the cup final. Yes that’s just what they need another Beckham, stroke, Gerrard. A me, me, me merchant who thinks the game should go through them and that’s what he was like. All Hollywood balls that didn’t come off, in the quarterback role.
What has been handed to Roy he could so easily take away.
The hype certainly didn’t let up after Kane opened the scoring. Lovely ball from Alli, enough to keep Delph out? And well Harry was doing his Defoe bit again, being offside but finished well. He did the rest of the Defoe act later by being greedy and not finishing well at all.
Is this one of Roy’s brainwaves to give Kane the set piece duty? Yes I get it when there’s a chance of a direct attempt on goal but otherwise, especially from corners, what is the point of having your number one striker, a pretty good header and scorer behind the ball?
Was talk of how well Kane and Vardy linked up when they went 4-4-2 from the initial 4-3-3. Hmm, don’t know about that. Kane isn’t used to playing with another striker and as said can be a bit greedy while Vardy is used to just chasing balls over the top which only happened once in the game.
The hype then had a bit of a stutter when the visitors equalised and everyone remembered that while all those attacking players at Roy’s disposal are nice the lack of any defenders available isn’t so much. Pretty much an omnishambles from everyone in a defensive role was a good reminder.
Walker a dolt, both going forward and very much so going back. Cahill, only played for his club as others were injured. Stones completely shot after a comedown of a season and Rose, well how Glenn picked him for man of the match is beyond the ken. There as some one eyed Spurs fans that think he’s the greatest left-back they’ve ever seen. They obviously watch his defending with the other eye. While his delivery going forward was inept at best.
And what is there for Roy in reserve. Smalling. Yup, deer in the headlights Smalling, who showed exactly what he brings to the table in the cup final as he was sent off for two panicked rugby tackles. Beyond awful, he really is a like for like replacement for the two in England duty. An accident waiting to happen.
And behind that we have Hart, who while making a great save near the end also rashly rushed out in the build up for the Turkey goal. He’s not under any pressure from the number two or three. He knows, as we all do, Roy won’t drop him and when Hart is in the comfort zone Hart can be a liability.
Teams better than Turkey will relish that defence.
And there’s nothing else to come, that’s all Roy has picked and that, bar Jones and Jagielka is all Roy has looked at. And neither of them fill you with any confidence. Some are suggesting looking at Shawcross and others like that. Well yes they can “defend” in the premier League but in the real world they’re just clogging lumpers who will give away fouls until they’re sent off.
Ah but England have the players to score. Which they did a whole twice. That first good one and then the Vardy scramble when the Turkey ‘keeper was nicely obstructed by his own team mate. Kane could have double his tally with a penalty. Hit well but off the bar it was won by Vardy, in the manner which say him dismissed late in the season. He was clipped and then threw his leg into the defender while throwing himself to the ground.
A win flattered England, Turkey looked far more composed on the ball, it was alos not help stop the hype… we’re going to win it aren’t we?