A Mixed Bag

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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4 Responses

  1. Moore says:

    The worst news tonight might be the possible loss of Ferdinand against Ecuador, but I haven’t checked on that yet. Campbell looked a bit lumpy. I guess that’s to be expected but if Neville doesn’t recover by the weekend we’re suddenly looking thin all over the pitch. Still, we’ve seen Beckham can do a good job at right back behind Lennon if the worst comes to the worst.

    I would have liked to see Walcott too, and I think we would have if not for Ferdinand getting a knock and Rooney puffing like Thomas the Tank Engine.

    We’ll beat Ecuador for the simple reason that I’ve never met an Ecuadorian, and am not likely to in the near future, and we always get beaten by someone with a fan around to take the piss out of me at work. Fear Portugal in this regard.

  2. discostu says:

    I take issue with your “outstanding” first half. By ten minutes gone i had counted several forward moves where sweden had two men unmarked in attack (which was to be a feature of the game) – a slightly more proficient/confident side would have walloped us for that.
    A MUCH better performance overall however, apart from the defending, which remained unorganised, confused and at times woeful. I despaired that it was ITV, when i wanted to hear Hansons views.
    A beautiful goal from Cole though, THATS when you hoof it, not every time you come within 30 yds of goal. Thoroughly deserved i thought, hed been excellent.
    Hargreaves played well. There. I said it.

    Second half – jesus. Whatever svennis is or isnt, hes no team talker at half time. Unless someones putting mogadon in their tea.
    Still no Theo. Someone remind me why we brought him again?

    On that performance, i’ll be overjoyed if we make the quarter finals. If Argentina are the new Brazil, England are the new Spain. I’m not sure whether owen is a blow or a blessing.

  3. colin says:

    I think you’re being tremendously kind to the coach, really.

    If England were lacking in attacking options, I’d say the impact of losing Owen is somewhat overshadowed by just not packing any for the trip in the first place.

    The improvement in the first half was obvious, if very short-lived … and I probably shouldn’t say any more about Joe Cole in case people get the idea I fancy him.

    However, the most worrying thing from an England perspective, if you ask me, was the defence – probably because it had been the saving grace up until now.

    With the exception of Terry, I thought it was pretty dire, particularly at set pieces.

    I don’t think there was anything particularly outstanding about Allback’s goal. All right, he met the ball very well, but against any defence even doing a vague impression of its job, he would never have got his head on the ball at all – he would have stood around like a fart in a trance like he has for the other two games.

    Every single time the ball came to the front post, England let the attacker get between them and the ball. It was horrible.

    Not content with getting the wrong side of his man, Beckham was kind enough to give Allback a yard of space too.

    For the second, everybody just stood and watched as the long throw came in. Campbell had a sort of fresh-air swipe at it and Ashley Cole stood by the post and threw rose petals in the path of the ball as it found its way into the corner. Just awful.

    It was one of those games, I suppose. They did, for want of a better word, okay … and they won the group.

    However, I get an overwhelming smell of a team that has found itself halfway through a world cup without any idea of how it wants to play, or intends to deal with opposition that aspires to anything greater than competence at this level.

    As I’ve said before, I don’t bear England any ill will in the tournament at all, but I just can’t enjoy watching any side labouring to results the way they have done – particularly considering the talents at their disposal.

  4. twohundredpercent says:

    I agree with what you say about the lack of attacking options, Colin, but I’ve chosen not to discuss this, because it’s too late to do anything about this. Most of the other blogs that I have been reading are still slating Eriksson over this decision, but there’s no point in raking over it again. The decision was made some weeks ago, and it’s a bit late to do anything about it now. Both goals were defended poorly, but Allback’s header was a tremendous one. I agree that the biggest concern was the defending – England had depended on it in their first two matches, and were found out on set pieces last night.

    The morning after, and it doesn’t look too bad. I still don’t think that Ecuador are anything like as good as they’re being cracked up to be and, presuming that Argentina win their group, a place in the semi-finals is still up for grabs.

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