Fair play to Algeria, some great plays, lots of pace to their game and delightfully, no divers. But they didn't have much of the ball as England wasted their time on it for most of the match.
This has to be one of the WORST games I have ever seen! Not only were the teams not at their best, but it wasn't at all helped by Capello's tactics and blatent favouritism in terms of squad selection. Yes, my Spurs bias complex has shone through, but surely for good reason. Heskey had glimmers of hunger for the ball but some of his movements weren't good at all and he's not a born finisher. He's a slower version of Carlton Cole. Defoe has had less caps, but more goals, as has Crouch, who would've been an even better option (or at least brought on earlier than 80 minutes!).
How does Capello think he'll win a game when you have two like-for-like forwards who can't even score a goal between them and who Algeria became accustomed to quite quickly? Capello needed to mix it up by STARTING Crouch with Rooney to broaden attacking options.
Rooney was playing much too deep and it was made worse when Heskey followed him backwards. That leaves NOBODY 'upfront' to receive passes and push the play forward.
If Rooney is going to play as a holding winger, at least give him someone decent to play the ball to, who can stay near the shoulder of the last defender (e.g. Defoe).
Terry had me on the edge of my seat when he almost made a duff pass back to David James allowing an Algerian to try and poach a goal. Dawson would've known better than that. Capello might as well send Dawson back home again. If King is still injured, Upson might be put in the centre instead. This isn't fair on Dawson if he's just going to be a benchwarmer for the entire month.
Replacing Lennon with Shaun Wright-Phillips? Shouldn't have happened unless he was tiring (which I doubt). If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Capello should have alternatively pulled Gareth Barry off, shifted Gerrard to centre midfield and replaced Barry with Wright-Phillips for the left wing position.
The most notable thought in Capello's brainfart has to be placing Gerrard OUT OF POSITION on the right wing and then placing Barry in the middle!!! What manager sees Gerrard at his best in centre midfield playmaking to both forwards and then shifts him to the right wing for a must-win game?! It should've been Gerrard and Lampard in the middle—a proven winning combination with Barry on the left.
But the players themselves could have and should have done better. The forwards in particular have let the side down. Defoe and Crouch are proven impact strikers. Capello—next time, get them on to get the team ahead. Then think about slowing things down if you want to put Heskey on.
Not to mention Rooney failing to score yet again. He is fast becoming the most overrated England player in the tournament. He's just not cutting it like he used to. In England's friendlies, it took Crouch to score two goals against Mexico and Defoe to score two against Holland. Rooney hasn't even done half of what Crouch has done in 90 minutes of football.
United fans, I await your tirades at me willingly, but Rooney's goal drought is there for ALL to see and is lingering at such an inconvenient time. Rooney had some nerve complaining at us after being booed. He ranted to the camera and said that French fans were more loyal than England fans!? For your information, Wayne, French fans are currently grilling Domenech for endangering their [*coughs*undeserved*coughs*] World Cup campaign with their 2-0 loss to Mexico. You haven't got a leg to stand on after going about 11 hours without a goal yourself.
YOU and your teammates are the ones being paid for all travel expenses and for partaking of what can only be a hobby for the England fans who also paid thousands to follow you all out to South Africa. We-the fans-the unheard voices at least deserve to express our opinion after the game because we're not in power over team selection or tactics before the game. However, the team might have been more effective if we had been. Some problems were just too obvious to ignore, but were not picked up on by Capello [quickly enough]. Soon it'll be the trophy not picked up by Capello if he carries on playing Gerrard out of position and favouriting Heskey and Rooney. You have 23 of England's best players. Use them!
REALITY CHECK— England have pressured themselves even more ahead of Wednesday's vital match against Group C leaders Slovenia (speaks volumes I think). They need to win to stand ANY chance of advancing to the next round. The referee of the USA v Slovenia match did us a huge favour by [wrongly] disallowing the tie-breaking goal scored by USA, but England didn't take advantage. Therefore, USA would need to lose. Right now, it feels like England are already out of the tournament.
CAPELLO - Make England feel different, please...
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!