to score for them.
Another dismal display of back passing saw England amble past a Jock side that were full of themselves but found their ceiling in a dull friendly.
Friendlies, I thought we’d done with them, the games nobody wants. Well this was a special one, to commemorate 150 years of the oldest fixture in international football, which first took place… 151 years ago in 1872.
The only thing we can be happy about this game, apart from the final scoreline, was the fact that making sure Maddison didn’t have the best game against Ukraine by playing him out of position – it’s Southgate’s plan, he doesn’t want to play the player, he’s forced to, so just knobble him then blame him and then don’t play him – the Spurs’ playmaker didn’t make it onto the pitch here.
What we had were many changes from the important game with a return of many of Southgate’s favourites. What we also had was pretty much the same with the same hyperbole to follow. The much talked about Walker being the prime example.
God, how many times did the likes of McCoist bang on about how great Walker was. While totally glossing over Walker being useless time and time again. How many times did we see Walker, with acres of space in front of him, run forward then stop and pass the ball backwards?
Lost count. It was the first thing he did in the match and as soon as he picked up the ball I said what would happen. He is so damn predictable. As he is when England have a throw on the right. Again, how many times when England have a throw in and around the opposition area does the ball get anywhere near that area? Never, Walker’s foul throw – every one is a foul, hand behind the ball – goes backwards every damn time, back to the halfway line every damn time.
On the edge of the opposition box, one throw, one pass and it’s in England’s half yet again.
Any team with a bit of nous and not much going for them elsewhere, playing wise, much like the Jocks, would be better to just stick their forward between England’s keeper and the defence. Yes, he’d be “offside” but it would bugger England up because they wouldn’t be able to pass the ball back to the keeper. They’d be stuffed without that option and if they did then that player wouldn’t be offside.
Walker was not the only predictable one. Rashford was in doing his one trick, run, stop, cut inside, get blocked off because even a Jock defender knows what you’re gonna do. It’s all very Raheem Sterling.
The opener came after half an hour of neither keeper having to do anything with their hands, when Walker was in position to cross the ball but after his goal at the weekend chose to have a shot. One that was miles off target before Foden stuck his foot out. The second came shortly after, very shortly. This time when Robertson tried to fanny about in his own box, after Foden put in about the only decent cross of the night, and allowed Bellingham to double the lead.
You’d have thought he run the length of the park and beat every player twice, not just knocked in a tap-in by the way he celebrated and the commentators creamed themselves.
Much the same happened when he finally played a ball to Kane, it was about Kane’s first decent touch in the box, yet again he had to go wandering to see any of the ball. I mean Bellingham’s ball was a couple of yards, just off the straight, to a guy that was wide open in the box.
That was of course to get the lead back to two goals because England had done their own gifting to the hosts a little earlier. Southgate doesn’t understand the vitriol towards Maguire. Southgate doesn’t understand why fans don’t want to see a player who does very little getting a game just because he’s one of Southgate’s pets. Southgate doesn’t understand that while watching Dunk getting anything in front of the ball to block it for 90 minutes, fans are a bit disgruntled when Maguire sticks out a lazy leg to deflect in an own goal.
But then there’s so very much that Southgate doesn’t understand – like why you don’t play a right-back at left-back. That’s why we’re here watching pitiful displays like this, while his media chums keep talking it up.