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England v USA player ratings

By Dan Smith.

Hangover and headache cleared, all that’s left of last night’s opener is to evaluate how the players rated. England kicked off their World Cup campaign last night with a 1-1 draw against the USA. The match will be remembered for one mistake by keeper Rob Green which led to the equaliser for the Americans.

Follow me along England’s campaign for a look at their ratings after every match.

Rob Green – 5

After starting brightly he made a catastrophic mistake to let the Americans back in the game. Made a quality save from Altidore in the second half which would have spared Carragher’s blushes.

Glen Johnson – 6

Glen did little wrong last night, supported attacks when Lennon was in a tight spot and has the pace to recover on a counter. Showed great urgency after the equaliser and burst into the American box but his shot was tame from the left foot.

Ledley King – 6

King played well in the first half, was beaten a couple of times in the air but made some important clearances when we were under pressure. Unfortunate to come off injured, he will want to play in the next game against Algeria to stamp his place.

John Terry – 7

Terry had a solid performance at the back, seemed unfazed by the change of partner in the second half. His experience showed last night and rarely put a foot wrong.

Ashley Cole – 6

Ashley Cole made a good start last night, was made to look slow at times when Cherundolo bombed forward. Got forward whenever he had the opportunity and supported Milner and Wright-Phillips both defensively and attacking.

Aaron Lennon – 7

Aaron Lennon was brilliant last night, when he had the ball. For me, we did not use Lennon to his potential last night, he showed that when he had the ball he had the pace to really threaten the American defence. His attacking runs were quick enough to frighten any defence this World Cup has to offer, we need to utilise that more.

Frank Lampard – 6

Lampard put in his usual good performance last night, I still felt that with England, there’s always more in the tank that he needs to give. Needs to work on his free kicks if we are going to make use of the Jubulani’s flight and Franks style of set pieces.

Steven Gerrard – 8

The new captain made a brilliant start to his tenure. Rounded off a great move with a quality finish to settle the English nerves. Showed the English grit and determination we would expect from a captain. If there were one negative, he needed to do more to stop Dempsey getting his shot off, he twisted and turned Gerrard inside out and finally got his shot away and the rest as they say, is history.

James Milner – 4

Milner didn’t have a great start to his first major tournament. Gave away some silly fouls and looked unusually out of his depth. Maybe his illness in the week had something to do with it but not the start he’d have wanted. Picked up a silly Yellow card and may have lost his place.

Emile Heskey – 9* Football Talk Star Man

Heskey showed his worth last night, he proved to every Englishman, including me I might add, that he has the quality to play up front with Rooney. He doesn’t have pace, we all know that, his one on one with Howard was our best chance to go ahead, had it been Rooney we may have 3 points today but his hold up play is just what Capello picked him for. Brilliant display.

Wayne Rooney – 7

Rooney had a frustrating night last night, although we’re happy to say he didn’t lose his cool. Would have liked the hold up play Heskey provided him with but would feel he needed better service from the wings. Had a thunderous shot from nothing, saved by Howard.


Shaun Wright-Phillips – 6

Didn’t have a great night, was introduced after 30 minutes. Lost possession a lot and found it difficult skipping past defenders. Proved it was difficult to play a right footer on the left after cutting in time after time and losing out.

Jamie Carragher – 6

Did OK, showed he was vulnerable to the counter as his pace was flawed. Was saved his blushes by a great save from Green after Altidore turned him and beat him for pace. Substitute only we would hope.

Peter Crouch – 6

Not given much time to impress, gave the performance we would expect from him, winning headers and holding up well. ‘Good touch for a big man’ rang true last night!

Fabio Capello

Fabio showed last night he is never happy, which I have to think is a good thing. We made a great start with the goal but he wasn’t happy with something in the build up and he made his presence felt, keeping their feet on the ground. Showed great support for Green after by not placing the blame which I felt was a great move.

Overall I don’t think we should be disappointed with our performance, the result we will be but we showed a lot of positives last night. We see year after year in these tournaments that teams grow the further they go. France did it in 2006 so no need to throw the towel in just yet, after all we drew our first games in 1966 and 1990….




  1. Stempy

    June 13, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Heskey a 9?! Then you go on to say he has no pace and his chance to close the game for us he hit straight at the keeper-He proved to me exactly what he is….. rubbish!With Heskey upfront we are not winning this world cup.Stick Rooney up front alone like he is for united and then see what a real forward is like.

  2. Jay

    June 13, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    how was Lennon brilliant??? And the striker gets a NINE for winning some headers but posing no threat to the goal himself??? That is the same tactic that Allardyce gets laughed at for employing when he chucks Samba upfront!

    Also, Green’s “quality save” was a straightforward save that he almost let past him, but was fortunate to only spill onto the post rather than into the net.

    Finally, Glen Johnson offered far more quality than any of the wingers, or even Rooney, going forwards and deserves to be better recognised for his efforts than an average mark of ‘6’

  3. timbo

    June 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Yet another piece overlooking Rooney’s many deficiencies and lack of contribution against defenses that are prepared to harry and harass him out of games. He would have put away the opportunity that Heskey missed – are you joking? Heskey at least sent it goalwards – Rooney’s shot would have gone sailing over the net.

    Rooney has neither the physical presence or stature to make his presence known against good central defenders, nor the skill set to make something out of nothing for himself. By his very presence on the field he makes it particularly difficult for his manager to play him effectively, as he’s a second striker by nature and physique who can’t form effective partnerships with other decent strikers, hence his partnership with a lame duck like Heskey, yet neither can he play effectively as a single striker up front due to his obvious lack of size and strength.

    This highly over-rated player (and I say this as a United fan of 40 years standing) is almost entirely reliant on the talent and contribution of those around him, wingers who deliver crosses on a plate for him or midfielders who scythe through defenders and set up tap ins for his boot. Game after game the guy becomes an anonymous and frustrated figure on the field, eventually running all over the pitch trying to get into the game somehow, yet up he pops for five minutes and all is forgiven, especially if he happens to put one is as the focal point for the efforts of ten other players.

    Cast your mind back on his much lauded season for United and you’d be hard pressed thinking of many goals Rooney made for himself, or any that were scored from and great distance from the goal – any further than ten yards away and his scattergun approach generally sees the ball go sailing happily over the net. He’s one of the great wastrels of modern football, and is often the reason promising forays forward by United break down as he invariably loses possession to a determined defender or puts on an asinine pass that goes nowhere. And let’s not even mention how often his much lauded determination to help out in defense leads to the opposition regaining possession close to United’s goal and mounting dangerous and sometimes costly attacks.

    In sum total Rooney is all huff and puff football, all attitude and belligerent running, with neither the touch, the vision, or the presence to really take a game by the cruff of the neck and make it his own. The Messi’s and Kaka’s and Torres’ of this world have the ability to do that for their sides – not Rooney. He has to be brought into a game by the efforts of others.

    One of these days people will wake up the emperor’s clothes situation with the United striker, and see him for what he is – a decent striker who’s main attributes are his energy and determination, – not much else.

    Lastly, your rating of Heskey as MOM is laughable, especially given the golden opportunities to score that he fluffed.

  4. Dan

    June 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Johnson was easily the best player on the pitch for me and Green was the hands down the worst. Hardly a “Quality” save, he was almost beaten at his near post from a very tight angle. I thought Carra did well after being beaten not to earn a 2nd yellow but still push Altidore so wide.

    Lennon was relatively unsighted for mine as was SWP. Milner kept getting beaten down the left but fortunately English defenders mopped up.

    Lampard was good as was Gerrard and Heskey. I thought the team in not playing J.Cole or A.Johnson lacked ambition.

  5. Dan Smith

    June 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Heskey showed great hold up play for England when there was little else on for us. Spreading the ball wide or putting the ball neatly into the path of Gerrard for our first goal.

    This was clearly the job Capello set out to for him to do and he did it brilliantly. I am not Heskey’s biggest fan myself but last night he showed that should we have someone play up front to hold the ball, knock it off to Gerrard/Lampard or Rooney it’s him, he has the strength and the awareness to do this. Countless amounts of time his headers went to our own players which is what we need, not giving the ball away.

    As for Aaron Lennon, he showed the urgency we need down that right flank, busting a gut to get to the byline and delivering, time after time.

    Your evaluation of Rooney is laughable. Might I say that it is a TEAM game? With 11 players? For United he scored the bulk of his goals with the help of his TEAM MATES. I’m not really sure what you want from the guy who, at most times last year, scored the bulk of Uniteds goals and kept us in the running and you’re prepared to criticise him.

    Goals against Spurs, Burnley, Wolves, Wigan, Blackburn, Arsenal to name but a few, made by himself, taking the game, as you say, by the scruff of the neck.

    I think you need to cast your mind back to the last season for United and the counter goals he and other members of the United team scored.

    Rooney has now showed that he can play up front on his own, being the focal point in the box for wingers to aim for and provide service for. Goals are goals, tap in’s, 30 yarders, half way liners. All the same. You would not be moaning if Rooney scored a tap in last night to win us the game.

  6. Phil

    June 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    OH MY GOD! Heskey man of the match and Lennon was brilliant? Thanks, I’ll make a note of this site and never return.

  7. Robert Thomas

    June 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    i think greens mis hap is completly un excusable that is something an amature des not englands number 1 he cost england three points last night chuck him on the bench

  8. Matt

    June 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    To the above, Rooney has no physical presence? No touch or vision? Are you ok mate? I think all your hate towards Rooney is borderline pathetic! He was absolutely amazing last season and regularly crafted goals by himself! Of course any striker is often going to rely on good service, hence why they are a striker! Why would any striker create his own goal 100% of the time? Do you expect every striker to drop back and defend, win the ball, run past every opponent and then put it past the keeper? Not even Messi does that, his ability to support midfield and defence is non existent and he is far from the finished article! Rooney as we have seen plays better with someone playing just off him, in England’s case most likely Gerrard or J Cole. Further to that, your arguement seems to be mostly about Rooney and I get the feeling that you feel he is Mr England and that it’s he whom is responsible for Englands failures. Don’t forget you have Lampard, whom is the worst player i’ve seen when he makes the transition from club football to international football. He is but a shadow of the player he is at Chelsea! He can’t score, pass, tackle or even make the runs he does for Chelsea week in week out. The game plan last night was simple, wack it up to Heskey, let him hold it up or get a knock on to create a goal. Everyone is fully aware of Heskey’s strengths, which are very limited and although he was probably, despite my reluctance to say our best player last night, alongside Gerrard. The game for me tried to involve Heskey far too much and this froze Rooney out of the game. Only when Heskey came off did Rooney start to show glimpses of his capabilities. It also proved that Gerrard and Lampard CANT play together unless one of them is played alongside or behind Rooney and not alongside eachother in the centre of midfield! To add, Lennon has no final product and should not start the next game! Furthermore, Milner is not a winger and should not start the next game if he can’t even handle an average player like Cherundulo and Heskey is not the man to win us the WC because to use his strengths the team must adopt a completely different style of play (long ball) and much of the top teams in the world use a short pass and move approach i.e. Spain, Brazil, Argentina. If we adopt the same style of play against these teams we will be outclassed and be on the cusp of some embarrassing defeats! Next match should be Hart, Johnson, Terry, King, A.Cole, J.Cole, Barry, Lampard, S.W.Phillips, Gerrard and Rooney. For me Walcott and Johnson should have been in the squad instead of Carrick and Lennon.

  9. Matt

    June 13, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Dan, unfortunately A.Johnson is not in the squad, but I agree J Cole should have started or at least featured. In the build up games, he’s argueably been one of the better players. If you look back at the games he’s played for England he’s almost always impressed, perhaps Capello has learnt a few lessons overnight and will not adopt the same tactics and team as last night!

  10. Matt

    June 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I think Timbo is the only United fan who hates Rooney…Where do you personally think we would have finished last year without his contributions? Here’s a clue… R _ L E _ _ T _ _ N 🙂

  11. tom hallahan

    June 13, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I think last night proved the difference between Gerrard and Heskey. Heskey plays in Gerrard and he finishes with aplomb. Gerrard feed in Heskey and he hits it straight at the keeper. Gerrard needs to play higher, just off Rooney. That will win the world cup for England.Forget Heskey – Steven Gerrard’s the man for up fromt with Rooney.

    • Big J

      June 13, 2010 at 8:06 pm

      tom hallahan You’ll find it was Lennon who played Heskey in. At this level strikers need to be able to score.
      Hopefully this will be a wake up call & Capello will bomb Heskey & get Joe Cole in from the start.

  12. sprite

    June 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    wow timbo, so many words, yet so little clue

  13. Lee

    June 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Sorry but your ratings are wrong. They should have
    read like this.

    Green – 2 – should be dropped for that howler
    Cole – 6
    Terry – 6
    King – 5
    Johnson – 8
    Lampard – 4 – should be dropped
    Gerrard – 9
    Lennon – 5
    Milner – 4
    Heskey – 8 – good game, get of the bandwagon
    Rooney – 5

    SWP – 5
    Carragher – 4
    Crouch – 5

    Bring in James for Green and Barry for Lampturd.

  14. tommo

    June 13, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    My team to play Algeria

    King / Dawson

  15. hodisgod

    June 13, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    I’ve just watched the game again and Heskey was not as good as you say. He had a lot of ball and lost it a lot. Having said that he did work hard but if he’s there to create for Rooney you have to say he wasn’t successful.

    I’d have to say Lennon was the outstanding player … people have criticized his delivery but only a couple of his crosses were bad balls. His long crosses were well dealt with by the US defense (who dominated Heskey in the air) and most of his cut backs were right on the spot.

  16. matthew

    June 14, 2010 at 1:06 am

    im a huge england fan and im seeing a serious problem with this rating and coments. People are pointing there fingers to R Green, ok he did a mistake we’re talking about 1 bad sec, what if we seewhat rooney lampard or carragher did. If i was capello i would send back to england. We had barry missing, his replacement is carrick, capello twisted the formation and choose not to play him, so why did he take him to begin with???? Chelsea’s Lampard is not England’s Lampard and we all know that so we’re puttng Gerrard out of position so Lampard can play cm, i think capello have to put him on the bench, am i wrong???? Rooney is another one, people compare him with messi ronaldo torres etc. i think he’s miles behind them (somebody saw argentina game????) i think i saw different game he started to go down in midfield to touch the ball, i ask where is he in the box? running to the open space? losing his marker in the box? 1 shoot on target? 1 assist or a goal??? did i see the same game?? this is what the guys do who the media compare him ( again messi ronaldo you name it etc) over rated period….. carragher i don’t kow what to say, bad passing, slowwww and this shows why Liverpool are where they are, i hope that he don’t play again, imagine playing against torres villa, messi tevez, and i didn’t mention brazil etc. i’m scared by naming these teams and players. i hope that i’m wrong but i think i’m right. my team is james johnson dawson terry a cole lennon barry gerrard j cole crouch defoe i thinkthis is the only hope to go futher in this competion come on england

  17. Matt

    June 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Matthew, Rooney was not played into the game enough, hence why he was missing. Your decision to drop him would be the worst decision anyone could make! Give him some decent service and he will thrive. Capellos tactic was to use Heskey by hoofing the ball upto him, hoping he will get a knock on for Rooney, which he failed to do on a number of occasions. Rooney plays best on his own with someone playing just behind him. If england are to win the WC or even progress as far as the quarter finals they must have Rooney up top on his own with either Gerrard or J.Cole just behind him! Further to this they can give Rooney some width by having Lennon and SWP/J.Cole out wide. This is how he played last season for Man United, with Berbatov playing just off him and the support of Nani and Valencia on the wings. If Gerrard plays behind Rooney, this in affect frees up Lampard and allows him a little more freedom in the middle of the park than he’s previously been allowed. Through Gerrard and Lampard playing alongside eachother they are crowding themselves out, because their qualities are so similar. If he sticks with a 4-4-2 next game, with Heskey up top we could be looking at an early exit or a slim win, but a poor performance once again.

  18. Fab4

    June 14, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Heskey did well but not a 9. 8 at most.
    Gerrard was probably Englands best player. Lennon was average, 6.
    Starting line-up for next game should be:

    Johnson, Dawson,Terry, Cole
    Lennon, Lampard, Barry, Cole

  19. Darren

    June 14, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    When will we ever wake up and realise that Wayne Rooney is the most overrated england striker I’ve seen in 30 years watching england.

    Heskey has never been great but Michael Owen, Shearer and others were intelligent enough to benefit. Its not Heskeys fault that Rooney drops deep and thinks that he’s Dennis Bergkamp or something, when really he is just an average striker at international level whose strike rate is only better than Heskeys in the past 10-15 years.

  20. Matt

    June 15, 2010 at 11:24 am

    LOL @ Darren. When will you wake up and realise that Wayne Rooney is one of the best players in the world and thus proved this last season! The problem lies with the manager and his persistance to play Rooney out of position and play the wrong type of striker up top with him! As much as I rate Rooney England will struggle to win anything, ever. We adopt the wrong style of play all the time and have players whom lack passion and commitment when they put on the England shirt. Capello is frustrating, as he continues to play his best players in friendles where he should be playing potentials or fringe players to give them a chance to showcase their talents. Players like Dawson, Parker, D.Bent, A.Johnson, A.Young, Huddlestone, Hart, C.Cole, Cahill, Shawcross and Robinson have been given no chance whatsoever. Personally I would not have took Green and instead took Paul Robinson. Parker should have gone instead of Carrick and Johnson instead of SWP. Also Bent should have gone instead of Heskey. Capello needs to be looking to the future i.e. Euro 2012 and WC 2014. We have an ageing squad and I don’t see the likes of Lampard, Beckham, Gerrard, Terry, James, A.Cole, Carrick, SWP, J.Cole being around for the next WC or being first team players. The likes of Cahill/Hart/Huddlestone/Shawcross/Young/Johnson/Milner/Smalling/Richards/Rodwell/Sturridge/Wilshere/Cattermole and Muamba are all players whom we are looking at for our future hopes and I think it’s about time some of these players are drafted in at every opportunity to ease them in/

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