FIFA World Cup 2010: England WC Player Ratings

Matt SAnalyst IJune 30, 2010

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 27:  Steven Gerrard and Jermain Defoe of England argue during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.  (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Joern Pollex/Getty Images

England ’s footballers have returned from South Africa with a thud after their heavy 4-1 loss to old rivals Germany in Bloemfontein on Sunday. The defeat brought the Three Lions’ 2010 World Cup to an early, albeit unsurprising, end.   Remember, they struggled to qualify from their initial group with only one victory in their three first round games.

Here the high and low points of each of the 19 players to feature for England during the tournament are reviewed and rated:





David James: 6         


The veteran goalkeeper was rumoured to be very upset when overlooked for Robert Green for the USA match. He finally got his World Cup chance after the West Ham man blundered. James looked solid and assured whilst having little to do in his two group games.


He was overworked and over-exposed against Germany, although he arguably could have done better on the second and third German goals. He turns 40 in August and is due to start next season in the Championship.


He is extremely unlikely to add to his 53 caps, although the total does leave him as England’s fifth most capped goalkeeper of all time.


Rob Green: 4


What more can be said of his error against the USA?


Made a good stop from Altidore in the second half but the damage was already done and his opportunity lost. Unlike James, Green should still feature in the England set-up going forward given his age and the dearth of English ‘keepers in the Premier League. However the No. 1 shirt will be Joe Hart’s to lose from now on.




Glen Johnson: 5


Looked bright going forward against the USA in the first game but his attacking prowess diminished as the tournament progressed. Made little impact from much possession in the last two group games. He was ruthlessly exposed for both second half German goals when he was caught ahead of play. Struggled to form a decent relationship with any of the wingers playing in front of him. This was not surprising given that four players were tried in that role at various times in England’s four games.


Ashley Cole: 7


England’s most consistent performer.


During the group stage he single handedly ran the full width of England’s left side with Gerrard given license to roam infield. However, Cole looked tired against Germany and let his runner go a couple of times. He lunged uncharacteristically into challenges rather than stay on his feet and use his pace as he was dragged down to the rest of the defence’s level.


John Terry: 5


Dodgy backpasses aside, Terry was fairly solid in the first two games and then produced a couple of wonderful blocks in the crucial match with Slovenia. The Germany game will be one to forget for the former captain as he was caught well out of position for all four goals. Undoubtedly missed playing alongside Rio Ferdinand.  Short-lived partnerships with King, Carragher and Upson never truly inspired confidence.


Matt Upson: 5


Rio Ferdinand’s understudy during qualifying was perhaps unlucky to find himself pushed down the list by Ledley King and Jamie Carragher. However, he stepped in well enough against Slovenia to keep his place when those two were injured and suspended. Unfortunately, his partnership with Terry was ripped to pieces by Miroslav Klose and the marauding German midfield.


His headed goal, albeit well taken, provided no consolation in the end.


Jamie Carragher: 5


Subject of much debate after Fabio Capello convinced the Liverpool man out of international retirement for one last shot at the World Cup. However, after two indifferent performances it is increasingly harder to see why.


A half-time replacement for the injured King against the USA, Carragher was booked and a further yellow when starting against Algeria saw him ruled out of the Slovenia game. He can perhaps count himself lucky he was not back on the team for the Germany match.


He is now expected to return once more to international exile and concentrate on returning Liverpool to the Champions League.


Ledley King: 5


Hindsight will show that it was an error to afford the Spurs centre-back a spot on the 23-man squad after he lasted just 45 minutes of England’s first match against the USA.  Although, it was not his knees that were the problem this time. King had returned to fitness by the time the Germany game came around, but was not recalled to the first XI as Upson kept his place.


It is now difficult to see King returning to the international game again with new Champions League commitments putting extra strain on his body in the coming season.




Steven Gerrard: 6


It was downhill almost all of the way for England’s captain after his goal just three and a half minutes into England’s first match. Toiled in central midfield thereafter with Frank Lampard against the USA before a laborious display against Algeria. Perked up against Slovenia when he was able to link encouragingly with Rooney.  


However, he struggled to impose himself against Germany; unable to get on the ball in dangerous areas of the pitch until it was too late.


Aaron Lennon: 4


Capello’s speed merchant of choice ahead of Theo Walcott was given the right-wing berth for the first two games.  He failed to grasp the opportunity however, and was substituted on both occasions after struggling to impose himself. His pace was supposed to be a real weapon on the counter attack but was negated by defensively-minded opposition in the group stages.


It’s an effort to remember him either having a good run at a fullback or putting in a decent cross.


Frank Lampard: 6


Utilised in a deeper role for country rather than club.  He did not manage to make England’s midfield tick even after Gareth Barry’s return from injury to partner him once more. Spurned England’s best chance in the bore draw with Algeria. He didn’t look like scoring until the Germany game when he was the only England player to emerge with any credit.


On another day he could have scored a hat-trick.   Not only did he see that effort not given after crossing the line, but also forced a superb point blank stop from Neuer and hit the bar with a second half freekick.


Gareth Barry: 5


Missed the USA game due to injury but returned to the starting XI thereafter. Barry made some key interceptions and clearances in front of the back four to avoid further embarrassment against Algeria.


However, he was really found wanting in the second round match against Germany. The formation left him outnumbered in midfield and questions were asked of his full recovery to fitness after he was severely outpaced by Mesut Ozil for Germany’s final goal on the break.


Joe Cole: 5


Benefited hugely from not being involved in either of the first two poor performances as calls for his inclusion grew and grew. Eventually, he replaced Rooney for the final 15 minutes against Slovenia but struggled to make an impact as England sat back.


Brought on for the final half hour against Germany on the right-hand side but the score leaped almost instantly from 2-1 to 4-1 and the match was over. Must now focus on finding the right club and working his way back into the England first XI.


James Milner: 5


Endured a roller coaster tournament in only three appearances. Well below par and possibly not fully recovered from illness against the USA. After starting on the left of midfield, Milner was substituted after just a half hour after picking up a yellow card. Came back into the first XI against Slovenia and laid on the only goal for Jermain Defoe with one of several dangerous crosses. Kept his place on the back of that performance but England struggled to work the ball to him on the right.


Consequently, he was given little opportunity to reproduce his display before he was replaced just after the hour mark.


Shaun Wright-Phillips: 5


Three substitute appearances in three different positions, but the Manchester City winger failed to make any significant impact in any of his time on the pitch. Wayne Rooney laid on a presentable chance for him in the second half of the USA match but his tentative shot was straight at Tim Howard.


29 in October it is hard to see much future for the ex-Chelsea man with England.  He must concentrate on winning back his place at club level.





Peter Crouch: 6


Crouch was given only 11 minutes against the USA and then only six against Algeria.  The front man can feel hard done by given his impressive international goalscoring record, which he had no real chance of adding to.


Now 29, Crouch may feel that his chance at the very highest level has gone and must wonder if he will ever get a regular run in the first XI.


Wayne Rooney: 4


Whether he was 100% fit or not Rooney, is capable of a lot better than he showed in South Africa. He was England’s biggest disappointment, even if expectation was too high.


Rooney never really got going or particularly involved in play in either of the first two group games. The Slovenia match saw him at least offer some promising link-up with Gerrard. The same game saw his only real chance of the tournament hit the post with a scuffed effort.


Made no impact against Germany. His World Cup will be remembered for his post-match outburst against the England fans after the Algeria draw. Talk of him being a candidate for the Ballon d’Or or FIFA World Player of the Year now looks way wide of the mark.


Jermain Defoe: 6


A late substitute appearance against Algeria saw him, like every other England player, make little impact. Yet, he still started the next crucial match with Slovenia and his inclusion was justified when he finished well from Milner’s expert cross. He missed another chance in the first minute of the second half, but his goal had already won the game.


He kept his place against Germany, in which he had only had one half chance—which he headed against the crossbar only to be harshly ruled offside in any case.


Still shows few signs of forming any kind of partnership with Rooney, but with the Manchester United star in this kind of form it was no negative reflection on Defoe this summer.  


Emile Heskey: 4


Always likely to end up a scapegoat for England’s failures.


However, many justify Heskey’s continued use by his ability to allow the likes of Gerrard, and especially Rooney, to flourish. Unfortunately, this summer they most certainly did not, rendering that argument defunct. Laid on Gerrard’s goal nicely against the USA, but also missed a big chance in the second half when firing straight at Tim Howard. Featured in all four games, the latter two as a substitute but his impact diminished as the tournament went on.




Michael Dawson, Stephen Warnock, Michael Carrick and Joe Hart: No rating


None of the above saw any action in South Africa. Hart and Dawson can expect more opportunities to come as older players in their positions now move along. Warnock may find his position as understudy to Ashley Cole under threat from younger players. Carrick’s England future is also up in the air after he was not even used in Gareth Barry’s absence against the USA when Fabio Capello instead chose to move Gerrard back into central midfield alongside Lampard.



    The Worst Shot of Ronaldo's Career? 😂

    World Football logo
    World Football

    The Worst Shot of Ronaldo's Career? 😂

    via Streamable

    Ronaldo Converts from the Spot 🎥

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Ronaldo Converts from the Spot 🎥

    via Streamja

    Hot Take: Despite Win, CR7 Starting to Slow Down

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Hot Take: Despite Win, CR7 Starting to Slow Down

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report

    Clinical Benzema Gave Madrid 1-0 Win 🎥

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Clinical Benzema Gave Madrid 1-0 Win 🎥

    via Streamja