Who’d have thunk it?! By far the most pleasing aspect of last night’s result is topping the group and going on to play Italy in the quarter finals (Balotelli is one of their star players, how good can they really be … seriously).
On the ghost goal … IT WAS OFFSIDE!!!
Rooney’s BIG comeback was more just a comeback. Scoring the winner with that bit of raw opportunism that we’ve been perhaps lacking, is not a bad night’s work (other vacuous cliches are available). We saw glimpses of the possibilities, but I can’t help thinking that in the games ahead when we need a lot more from him, on current form, he may not be capable of it.
Man of the match, and widely considered of the tournament so far for England, was Steven Gerrard. As I wrote in the England players haiku guide he needed to play a more disciplined role to really shine at this tournament, and how. Welbeck was tidy again and Scott Parker was doing an admirable John Terry impression, throwing himself in front of stuff. Terry himself seems to be growing into his ex-captain role. Glen Johnson continues to play baffling-ly well. Carroll looked sharp when he replaced Welbeck too.
I think there’s a strong case now for Ashley Young making way for The Ox or even Downing. He’s becoming a liability defensively and offering very little in attack. James Milner is only marginally better on account of putting in more leg work. We can’t keep carrying them. We probably will. Fingers crossed the week long break shakes them awake.
I’m not entirely sure how much of what is happening is planned and how much is seat of the pants stuff, but it’s ‘citin intit!
The next game can’t come around quick enough for me. FFFOOOTTTBBBALLL!