The England team went into this game with the nations hopes growing. After a good performance against Sweden all the panelists on ITV were confident of an England win. However by half time their confidence was replaced by frustration, and I think this went for everyone who were supporting England and had to watch that first half.
To be fair to England this was never going to be a easy game. There are no easy games in international football. But a host nation playing for their survival in their own tournament with 90% of the crowd backing them was always going to be a challenge.
Below are my England player ratings:
Joe Hart (7) Stopped everything that needed saving. Still has an air of confidence about him despite looking weak at set pieces.
Glen Johnson (7) Like all four at the back for England defended like a gladiator. Threw his body around to make blocks and tackled well without jumping in. Just doesn’t seem to have the ability going forward to beat a man.
John Terry (8) His normal solid best at the centre of defence. Did well to track back to hook the ball away from over the goal line for the goal that never was.
Joleon Lescott (7) Composed. Stayed on his feet and shepherded danger away. Played well and seems to be growing into international football.
Ashley Cole (8) Did everythhing well in this game. Always in the right place at the back and fluid going forward. Even had a good shot on target that made their keeper work!
James Milner (6) Solid in the defensive part of his job. However still looks like a fish out of water when venturing forward.
Scott Parker (7) Never happier than when stopping shots with his face and getting dumped on his backside. Due to this he must have really enjoyed this game. Didn’t offer much going forward though.
Steven Gerrard (8) Captain fantastic again. Great drilled cross to set up a simple finish for Rooney’s winning goal. Protected the back four well and always looked like being the one to play a special ball to open up their defence.
Ashley Young (6) Good cross in the first half for Rooney who should have done better. Looked slightly better than the Sweden game but still think he hasn’t shown anything like his best form.
Wayne Rooney (7) Put in the easy chance with his head to give England the three points to qualify in first place in their group. Seemed to struggle with his first touch, especially in the first half and wasn’t at his best despite the goal.
Danny Welbeck (6) Some nice touches but didn’t really make any kind of impact on the game.
Andy Carroll (6) Played well holding the ball up and laying off headers after coming on.
Alex Oxlaide- Chamberlain (6) Came on very late and didn’t have the time to make an impact.
Overall England got the job done. However I have to say I have to disagree with Wayne Rooney who claimed England have been hard to break down. Three goals against in three games and a hat fullof chances that maybe would have been taken with better opposition says otherwise.
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