Against a cacophonic backdrop of "vuvuzelas", that sounded like a herd of elephants, England played their final warm up match before the World Cup. The match ended 3—0 for England, but the match and their opponent the Platinum Stars was poor.
It is clear that their opponent was the worst team England have faced, since thrashing Aylesbury United 7—1 in a warm up match for the 1988 European Championships. But still they seemed to struggle to hold their lead.
England took the early lead with Steven Gerrard sending a perfect ball from the bye—line for Jermain Defoe, who slotted past the stranded goalkeeper.
Not long after that, Glen Johnson bundled over a Platinum Stars striker, with no apparent danger around him, and the referee awarded a penalty.
Much to the relief of the England side, the bench and the watching fans, the penalty taker, Bradley Grobler blazed the penalty high over Joe Hart's crossbar.
The difference in class between the two sides was clear too see, but much to the dismay of Capello and the rest of the England bench, it was also clear that England were struggling.
England struggle to convert that difference in class, into any real threat, and as the half moved on Capello became more clearly agitated, straying out of his technical area to berate goalkeeper Joe Hart for wasting possession.
At half time a disappointed Capello rang the changes. He made no fewer than ten substitutions (with only Joe Cole playing both halves).
The second half played out same as the first, with England dominating possession, and clearly the superior side. But again struggling to convert their possession into chances, whilst allowed the Platinum Stars a few sights of their own goal.
Rooney also became frustrated, he got booked and needed calmed down by Stuart Pearce.
However the intervention appeared to work and England showed a marginal improvement, when slotted in a second, after 66 minutes. However, they were still falling well short of expectations and only managed one more goal in the match.
The third and final goal came from Wayne Rooney, who thumped the ball into the back of the net, after 85 minutes.
As the final whistle sounded, 5 minutes later, I was left with the feeling that Capello will have learned nothing from this match, except that the task ahead of him is even greater than he thought.
England need to step up their performances, if they want to progress deep into the tournament.
Of the expected starting eleven, none of them did anything disastrous. Rooney needs to control his anger as it will be a major lose for England if he is sent—off.
Also, none of the substitutes made an impact that can change Capello's mind for their first match against USA.
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