England v Algeria player ratings
By Guest Writer Dan Smith.
On a night that was supposed to be England’s first real showing of the World Cup, the players left with field with a whimper, and a whine from England’s supposed ‘star man’. I don’t feel that giving the players a rating would do justice. None of the eleven for me played well, you could argue David James’ first ever World Cup game went well, he kept a clean sheet, despite having nothing to do for the majority of the 90 minutes.
It would be too difficult to pick a star man for the game, there was no stand out display, I have never in my life seen a team give the ball away so easily, without an intent to win it back, and this is a team full of ‘stars’. After my last ratings I was somewhat banking on Heskey proving the doubters wrong, he started brightly, throwing his big frame around and wining the ball in the final third, but after doing this time after time with nothing coming of it started becoming tedious.
Much has been said about Wayne Rooney, underrated, overrated, too stocky, too good. Last night he proved to be, too uninterested. Once again he cut a frustrating figure up front, not really contributing.
Where has the England from qualification gone? This was the question I asked last night, but was asked to remember who we had to qualify against. Were we right to play up our chances in this tournament? Were we justified in thinking that being the highest scoring qualified side we would do well? I’m now not so sure.
There is one person I feel sorry for this morning, Joe Cole. When Shaun Wright-Phillips stepped onto the touchline last night, my head dropped again, it was obvious to everyone we needed a spark, something different, a change, something that Joe Cole could give us, but we chose to replace Lennon in a like for like swap. Why?
It doesn’t take a genius to see that the traditional 4-4-2 is not working in our favour. Rooney himself has publicly stated he’d prefer to play up front on his own, so why haven’t we changed? Why are we stuck in the times? Capello seems reluctant to change his system, stubborn comes to mind.
Rooney isn’t fit, Barry isn’t fit, Carragher is past his best, Lampard looks tired, Heskey hasn’t scored a goal since February, we have an abundance of right footers continually playing on the left wing and we have a near 4o year old playing in goal.
While writing this I watch the Dutch pass their way around Japan. Not one miss placed pass as of yet and they look comfortable. So what is wrong with England? If you had asked me before the tournament if I thought we could beat Holland I would have said certainly, now I’m not even sure we can beat Slovenia.
I finish with a word about Rooney’s rant at the crowd. It was spineless, arrogant, frustrating and plain rude. Thousands of our fans paid good money to leave for South Africa to support our team, to support our country and our lads beating teams like the USA, Algeria and Slovenia. I don’t blame the crowd for booing, everyone has a right to free speech and Rooney has a right to voice his opinion, but don’t criticise the fans, the only fan’s I have heard sing our national anthem over the annoyance of the vuvuzelas, the only fans I have heard sing it over and over during the match, trying to pluck up some national pride in the team on the field.
I have to say my first reaction was to suggest Rooney might be done playing international football, he’s at a club where many players have now stopped playing, for the good of their career and now I think Rooney may be another one. Despite my feelings towards what he said, he must be thinking he doesn’t need the boo boys, he doesn’t need the criticism, he doesn’t need the bad press when he can keep playing at the highest level and chase trophies year in year out.
I hope I am wrong and I also hope that we change our system on Wednesday afternoon. We have to, Gerrard behind Rooney, Joe Cole on, I would go as far to say give Carrick a go, someone that, on his day can pass the ball with great style, can boss the game in the midfield. Give Dawson a match, someone who has had a brilliant season at Spurs. We need players that WANT to win, WANT to do well and WANT to be remembered for doing well.
COME ON ENGLAND!
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