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England 0-0 Algeria – A night of frustration in Cape Town.

Posted on June 19th, 2010 | 45 Comments |

Simply not good enough.
Simply not good enough.
The picture has now become crystal clear with regards to what we must do to ensure we scrape through the group stage and into the knockout rounds of the World Cup.

To put it blunty, England must win their remaining game against current group leaders Slovenia to progrees to the next stage of the tournament, and judging by the insipid performance on offer against Algeria last night, that looks like it could be far far away from being a formality.

I apologise in advance if this turns into a bit of a rant, but aside from a few shots at goal and a couple of brief glimpses of quality from England, there really wasn’t too much to talk about. In fact the only highlight we have really is that there weren’t any, not ones to savour anyway. In fact arguably two of the biggest talking points happened after the game had finished, but I will go into that a bit later on in the article.

This was supposed to be a game, THE game, where England bounced from an initially disappointing draw against the USA and show just why we are ranked as third favourites to win the tournament. The operative word there being ‘supposed’ as the England players appeared to have completely misread the script.

This is not to discredit Algeria, who looked sharp on the ball, closed us down and made us have to work for anything that we were to get out of the game. We didn’t work hard enough though, and in all honesty we very rarely troubled the Algerian goalkeeper.

The majority of the nation looked on in horror as a bunch of players who play week in week out in the best league in the world struggled to string two passes together, and in fact at times they struggled to string just one pass together. I have seen England sides that have been technically inferior to this current crap crop, yet I am struggling to remember an England side that played with as little heart and determination as what was on offer last night.

That, for me, is one of the most disappointing things about the 0-0 draw last night. The fact that we never really looked bothered, never really put them under any sustained pressure, never really asked any questions of them. A 0-0 draw is not a bad result if you can walk away feeling unlucky not to have won the game, although unfortunately England fans won’t be able to do that.

Calamity ‘keeper Robert Green was replaced by calamity ‘keeper David James, whilst Jamie Carragher stood in for the injured Ledley King in defence. Gareth Barry played in the holding midfield role, which forced captain Steven Gerrard out of position as he was sentenced to toil away on the left wing. A mish-mash of players and star names, shoe-horned into a starting eleven with no sign of Capello’s team ethic being evident in the selection.

As we all know, it was a dour game that ended without many positives to talk about, but after the game had finished there was plenty of controversy to be had. After such an awful performance, the England team found themselves boo’d off by the English support in the stand, a move which Wayne Rooney criticised. Apparently it is fine for him to criticise people, but the England team should be above it. Wrong.

Rooney will do well to remember that he is not in the playground anymore, and he can’t just spit the dummy out if things don’t go his way. He, and the rest of the team, should not be above criticism just because they have found themselves in such a priveleged position in life.

The majority of travelling fans who will have made the 6,000 mile journey to South Africa, will have done so at their own expense. Many will have had to save up for months to afford it, some will have got into debt to go and cheer on the lads, and for Rooney not to expect any condemnation of that “performance” is naive at best. They have paid their money, a lot of money, and they have a right to their opinion. If you don’t like it, Mr Rooney, then you and your buddies should pull your collective fingers out of your arses and earn some support, it works both ways. Give the fans something to cheer about!

Rant over, but perhaps the most worrying event after the game wasn’t ‘Wazzock’ spouting his gob off, it was the fact that an England fan managed to break through security at the ground and end up in the changing room where he apparently confronted David Beckham. Perhaps that fan was confused, as I can think of a few people I would have liked to get my hands on ahead of Beckham after last nights “performance”.

The inquest regarding both incidents will roll on, and the inquest into such a lack-lustre display will roll on until Wednesday when we face Slovenia. England’s impotency as a team now means that we enter the knockout stages of the tournament a game before we should have done, and we now face the very real possibility of going out of the World Cup.

It’s not all over though, and there is still hope. Qualification is still in our own hands, although admittedly our own hands appear to be somewhat ham-fisted as we fight our way through a group that should have held no fear for us. Things could be worse though…

We could be France!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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45 Responses

  1. them bloody vuvuzela’s & that daft ball are going to cost us the world cup if we’re not careful..

  2. It was a poor performance, you cannot get way from that. Butcwhats changed? Same player, same formation that got us here so easily, so what?

    Personally, I am more convinced than ever that we will qualify and have a good tournament. Reasons being the following;

    We now have our backs to the wall and must take risks against Slovenia – So we will express ourselves more.

    There will be a seige mentality within the squad and this will bring them together.

    Were in knock out football, just earlier than most so we will be tuned up for that.

    Both France and Italy have got to the final and in Italy’s case actually won it after really, really poor performances and results in their group games.

    Finally, it’s how the Italians do it – And we do have one of the best as manager.

    Come on England!

  3. paying cappello £6 million nicker a year to pick hesky !!!….wtf.

    …our world cup is over.

  4. I took 7/1 England not to qualify after the US game. Just a liitle insurance. Don’t mind losing the money if they get through, but it’s a bit of summit to help the dissapointment if we don’t.

    We’ll defo win.

  5. If we draw 2-2 on Wednesday and US and Algeria draw 0-0 who goes through between us and US?

  6. if you CHOOSE to pay for travel to Ascot, and then CHOOSE to put a bet on the horse winning, and then the horse comes in 8th, is it ok to go to the stables and boo in the horses face just because you THINK it should have done better?

    (ohh and the image of someone storming to the stables and booing in a horses face just cracked me up lol)

  7. We all knew that King, Heskey, Ferdinand, Rooney, Barry were not fully fit or in form, but what do we know, we are not on 5m a year which gives him special powers beyond the comprehension of us mere mortals, the press sucked up to him and went along with it whilst most of us could see a disaster looming.
    So now, he is a rabbit caught in the headlights with his trousers down.
    A good club manager does not make a good international coach, there is no transfer market to deal with, he can pick who he wants and he left fitter and more in form players at home and he is now paying the price.
    He also didnt have the balls to substitute Rooney who was minging, my son ranted at me that it is the players to blame but im not having that, Capello is responsible, it is his show and he has bombed big style.

  8. salt of the earth @ 3 , i couldn’t agree more – bring the useless b@stards home today.

  9. Stu @ 2 hope ya right………They shouldn’t draw lots,it should be alphabetical ;-)

  10. Bet Capello wishes he’d brought Theo Walcott with him now!
    I just couldn’t understand that decision to leave out Walcott. I know Capello said that Walcott had been out injured and wasn’t fit enough. But Walcott was the best player on the pitch in the friendlies we had. Great pace and definitely showing no sign of injury or lack of match fitness to me.

  11. If we beat Slovenia we top the group – Cannot do anymore than that.

    That said, we need to change the formation. Cole needs to come in on the left and Gerrard needs to play behind Rooney.

  12. Johnson Dawson Terry Cole

    SWP Gerrard Barry Cole

    Crouch Defoe

    dropping Rooney I know,thats my team cos I’m hungover and p*%sed off……..it’ll probably change later

  13. We’ll beat Slovenia 3-0 on Wednesday.

    Were at a cross roads now, the players know it and they will rise to the occasion.

  14. hope so Stu……..this is why you don’t extend a managers contract before the bloody tournament!!

  15. I stayed up all night. It started at 2.30 am here in Shanghai and I went to the British Bulldog, a local expat bar to watch the match. It was packed out with a great atmosphere, that was until the first ball was kicked. What a pile of utter complete shite!!! That was the worst performance I’ve ever seen and made me cringe to be seen in an England flag when I finally left the bar at 4.30am.

    I was in a state of Shock. Not one good pass, 11 dodgy people from a selection of the worst pubs back in UK could’ve done better. Why was Heskey even in the squad, let alone on the pitch?

    Disgusted, humiliated and to be quite frank, downright distraught at the horrible display.

    We even had a Frenchman wearing a 3 lions shirt urging us on… (Incredible!) but after 10 mins the shirt came off and he too sat in total disbelief. I couldn’t take off the shirt, but my God, I wished last night that I was not an England supporter!

    What can we expect against Slovenia who put in a great display against the Yanks in a really entertaining game – until the ref started halucinating, that is…!

    Well, its over, done, and we didn’t lose… the one saving grace, if you can call it that. Bobby would’ve turned in his grave, lets just hope that we can get something … anything from Wed night.

    Shameful shameful display…! :-((

  16. Capello always said he wouldn’t select unfit players in his squad.Ferdinand, King, Barry.He would pick people in form.Dawson who was probably the in form English centre back wasn’t even selected for the squad originally.Hart without doubt the best English keeper in the Premiership last term is now 3rd choice.Carragher had the worst season of his career last season even blinkered Phil Thompson said he should have been dropped,Cappello begs him to join the squad.Rooneys best position for his club is playing on his own up front F C plays him in a 442, and everybody in the country knows Gerrards best position,but apparantly Cappello thinks it’s left mid.It all points to a very bad manager.Bring back Graham Taylor(joke)

  17. It’s not a couple of strange line-ups or missing players that’s the problem & cappello hasn’t suddenly become a bad manager. Right from the world cup draw you would think all england had to do was turn-up & the other teams would just role over & raise the white flag, they wouldn’t be able to compete with englands “world class” players who play in the “best league in the world”. Even after the usa game it was still all talk of the semi’s & easily beating algeria. What arrogance!

  18. It’s not arrogant to think that England should beat all 3 of the teams in the group,we should that’s a fact.Player for player England are much better…fact.The problem has been as a team we have not been better and havn’t played anywhere near their potential/ability.If we had we would have won,not arrogance but fact!

  19. just thought,
    the match last night pretty much sums up what Chris Houghton has been getting at when talking about signing new players, last season we have found a work ethic, team spirit/camaraderie, desire and togetherness which ultimately, grinds you out results and gets you points. Of course, he is not stupid, he and everyone knows we need a few new players, but the right sort of players which will add to this team spirit, not big time charlies who will hinder it.

    We have seen teams like the Ivory Coast and lesser ‘skilled’ teams look like world beaters compared to us, its the team spirit that is lacking.

  20. spot on ILM its the lack of cohesion as a team thats making us suffer.The US played as a team and they have alot of spirit.We need to get that and get it now.

  21. Is it just me lads, or should the Toon go for the american defender Jay Demerit, who won almost 90% of the headers he went up for, and really has impressed me, especially in the confederations cup. he seems much better than his partner Onyewu.

    I think he is also available for free as I think his contract ran out at Watford.

  22. Landan Donovan impressed everyone I think when he was on loan at Everton and the world cup has only gone to re-enforce this. I think he is a fantastic little player, full of energy and clever passes, great work ethic too, fancy a few ‘bigger’ teams making an inquiry about him after the world cup like.

  23. Stuart79 and Batty. Why, it’s real intellectual ping pong between you two young sages, once you get going eh.

    I don’t think you can blame the manager for those performances. I agree with whoever said he has taken risks with his injured players. Neither of the Coles have been back that long even. Beckenbauer is right about a lack of talent at the top clubs – he’s also right about the kick and rush style, although in fairness to Don, we were a smart passing unit throughout the qualifiers. All a bit weird. Obviously psychology is the thing, Rooney’s UNFORGIVABLE outburst suggests pressure in the camp has reached breaking point. It only takes a lucky goal or good 15 min spell to get things rolling again.

    Nufc is 1000 times more important in my view – the world cup is best when you enjoy the spectacle and treat england success as a bonus.

  24. boater says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:36 am
    Stuart79 and Batty. Why, it’s real intellectual ping pong between you two young sages, once you get going eh.

    What’s ya point?

  25. i dont see how this is a surprise – we were sh!te at the euros and this is effectively the same team but a bit older, we can’t forever go round sacking the manager whilst letting these jokers continue to carry on playing for england
    Lampard and Gerrard cannot play in the same team- Terry is long past it and should be dropped, joe cole needs to go out left, milner on right (if he’s fit) – we have a massive probem up front as defoe, heskey and crouch are just not good enough
    I still think we’ll get past group stage but will be knocked out as soon as we meet a decent team – i.e germany, ghana or even serbia
    agree with the rooney comment, kin disgraceful – he’s allowed to slag off fans on his 125k a week for fvck all but fas spending thier life savings in some cases aren’t allowed to vent frustration watching the terrible football on show by allegely world class players = joke

  26. I think most of it has been said, but the sorry fact is that our players just do not have decent control skills. Can’t beat a player on a one to one situation with any consistency and don’t have the confidence or ability to shoot. Its easy to blame the ball but ffks sake they have been training with it for several weeks now and other teams seem to manage to get it on target with some conviction. Playing Heskey is a mistake if only for the fact that lumping the ball upfield is the easy option.
    Rooney should be dropped (might wake him up for when he gets on as a sub) Cole should start with Crouch and Defoe amd I would be tempted to drop either Gerrard or Lampard (this has worked before) play Dawson, Carrick and Barry. Also start with Lennon and SWP. Nowt to lose now is there, might as well go for it. :(

  27. I think for Slovenia we have to drop Heskey, stick Gerrard just behind Rooney up top by himself and put Joe Cole out wide on the left, with Barry and Lampard in the middle.

    It’s quite scary to think that Fabio might not know his best starting 11, or his best formation to play them in. These shouldn’t be questions that need answered during a World Cup we were tipped to do well in. There should be a plan A, plan B and plan C that we can go to immediatly, should situations like last night arise.
    I was shocked when there was no change made at half time, even more discouraged when I saw his first change was a like for like Lennon/SWP. The players looked nervous too. Are they scared of Capello or is it just the pressure of the tournament getting to them? Rooney’s outburst as I said last night was pathetic, bordering embarrassing. The fact a fan managed to get into the changing rooms, also pathetic.

  28. Toonsy-Slightly mate, haha. In saying that, I have no tabs to hand and a 10 week old puppy to contend with. I think revisiting last nights events could turn out to be a bad move!

    I dunno…I’m still really disappointed but i’m just confused more than anything. You look at team performances during qualifying, you look at the individuals on the field and there’s just no logical explanation for putting out a performance like that. People are talking about the lack of heart and togetherness, that may be the case-But even a team of 11 individuals would have a decent chance of putting on a better performance than what we saw last night, on talent alone. No disrespect to Algeria who had a far better game than I expected but we were abysmal man. Wednesday is going to be a tough one like.

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