ramp up the hype again.
England got another dull victory over another pub team, in the World Cup qualifiers, with a five nil win in Andorra and apparently it makes some of the players great.
It took England a little over a quarter of an hour to finally get on the scoresheet against the might of Andorra, when they did so it was from a fullback that was actually getting a game. Chilwell playing his first game for England in over six months, as Southgate decided to play an actual left-back at left-back instead of a right-back.
Saying that Chilwell, didn’t really play as a left-back, no, as he seemed to spend more time in the Andorran box than the England half, he was more of a striker. just as well, as the striker was having a bit of one. Foden put in a diagonal that Sancho was on the end of, he miscontrolled but cut it back for Chilwell to finish and VAR to say it was legit.
Two players there that were being lauded by the media for this performance. Foden was playing more in the midfield than he has previously for England, normally he’s wide forward. Well, for once Southgate decided he didn’t need two holding players against the might of Andorra. The media now telling us that this is his position now, where he can ping balls about like he did here and this would have helped in the Euro final against Italy.
Except of course Italy in a final ain’t quite the same as Andorra in a qualifier. And aren’t they the same media that kept telling us that diagonals from deep are meat and drink to good defences and won’t get England anywhere? Make you mind up lads. While Sancho was getting plaudits for his wing play.
He was playing wide left, which Southgate is now telling us is his favoured position. It of course meant that you had a right footer playing left and a left footer playing right and everything came into the middle, which with a flat back ten defence means there’s very little space.
With the only real space being wide and behind the fullbacks it was calling out for some real wing play, which of course with England never comes, because they can’t read a situation. The wings never swapped and it stayed the same throughout. On the other side Saka doubled the lead just before the break.
Again Foden with one of those balls, to Saka who for once had got behind the defence and hadn’t come too far inside. His first touch took the ball down, his second was past the keeper before he knew what was happening. Unfortunately for Saka he’s spent far too much time with and worshipping Sterling. Where once he did things with pace and speed, running past defenders, he now stops, waits and runs into defenders.
The striker mentioned before was Tammy Abraham playing his first England game for some time, a few years since he started one. His touch was off. He wasn’t really controlling the few things that found him in the box. Not helped by the winger situation or the crowded area. Sancho stayed wide, though it was a right footed cross that Abraham nipped in to beat the keeper, in a fairly empty area, and knock in the third, 15 minutes into the second half.
The fourth followed shortly after Grealish’s introduction, when he was taken down in the area. Ward-Prowse having his spot kick saved but getting the rebound. The fifth came from Grealish but started with the keeper, the England keeper that is. A great throw out by Johnstone, that landed nearly 10 yards into the Andorran half. It looked like Grealish might have blown it as he ran into the pair of defenders but he got lucky then got the ball on his right and put inside the near post, for his first England goal.
It was Andorra, it should be at least five, it’s nothing to get excited about and certainly no indicator of who should play where when it comes to real opponents…