England v Slovenia player ratings
By Dan Smith.
So England have finally got their World Cup going with a 1-0 win over Slovenia, much to the relief of the players and the nation.
Here’s how I rated our winning performance;
David James – 7
Had a solid game between the sticks, never looked like he was uncomfortable, took some stinging shots and managed to hold on.
Glen Johnson – 7
Johnson started nervously giving away some silly fouls but his confidence grew as the game went on. Supported Milner down the right with the attacks and looked dangerous coming forward.
John Terry – 8
Terry had a solid game at the back with another new partner. Looked comfortable under pressure and proved what the tournament meant to him with a leap across the path of the Slovenian shot not to dis-similar to that of a salmon out of water. Had a great header saved by the keeper.
Matthew Upson – 7
Comfortable performance on his South Africa debut, the partnership with Terry never looked uncomfortable, made some solid tackles when we were under pressure.
Ashley Cole – 8
Another good performance by the England left back, so far our most consistent performer. Always looks good on the ball and does well supporting the attacks. Link up play with Gerrard showed some good promise.
James Milner – 9* Star Man
The Aston Villa man had a brilliant game down the England right, delivered crosses we have missed since Beckham’s absence. Supplied the cross for Defoe’s goal and continued to work hard for the team.
Frank Lampard – 6
I felt Frank struggled to get into the game at times, showed some good link up play with Barry and kept the pace of the game at our tempo.
Gareth Barry – 7
Barry looks to be back to the player we know he is. Passed the ball well and bossed the area in front of the back four. Doesn’t feel the need to bomb forward and help attacks, showed great discipline. Looked tired late on.
Steven Gerrard – 8
The captain gave a captains performance today, showed incredible discipline for a player who likes to play in the middle, rarely strayed from the left and linked up well when he came inside. The link up with Rooney looked dangerous again and almost scored.
Wayne Rooney – 6
Rooney showed a better performance today, looked to have his hunger back, still needs a goal to gain full confidence. Hit the post in the second half but I thought he felt he was offside.
Jermain Defoe – 8
Defoe showed class today to put his first chance away. Got in front of the defender to get his chance and showed great forward play. Had a stinging shot saved in the second half and showed promise.
Joe Cole – 7
Joe Cole finally got some minutes under his belt, came on to protect our lead and did well to run the clock down with Milner in the corner.
Emile Heskey – 7
Didn’t really have too much time to get into the game. Run the clock down substitution.
Fabio Capello – 7
Made a bold decision to start with Defoe and Milner which paid off with two great performances. Has got the discipline into Gerrard to stick to his role which he did well. Showed great passion from the sidelines, constantly animated.
Overall I thought we finally showed some great promise going into the last 16. We looked comfortable pushing the ball around the field, rarely gave the ball away, not half as much as previous games.
Milner proved to be a great gamble by Capello, looks to have secured the position and made it his own.
So…….Germany in the next round, a game with a lot of history. The Germans looked really good on the ball tonight and if we are to progress we need to stop Ozil in my opinion. He looks to be a lively player and won’t need asking twice to shoot from distance.
They don’t look unbeatable though, they’re a young side, I feel if we play to our strengths and get the ball down and stroke it around we should do well.
COME ON ENGLAND!!!!