You can rely on the England fans to raise a smile despite the national team’s dismal performances. This banner summed it up nicely and brings home just how much England’s loyal followers spent to follow their team. The players gathered to applaud the fans at the final whistle and I’d like to think they appreciate the sacrifices some fans make to follow and support them. Continue reading
At last, England beat Sweden for the first time in a competitive match. But, only just. Typically, England made us suffer, having to come from behind to eventually win 3-2. Having gone in at half-time with a 1-0 lead, things seemed to be broadly going to Roy Hodgson’s plan. Andy Carroll’s recall to the team had borne fruit with a superb headed goal from an equally superb Steven Gerrard cross. Although England weren’t setting the world on fire, Sweden didn’t pose much of a threat.
Within four minutes of the re-start it all started to go wrong when Sweden grabbed a scrappy equaliser thanks to some sloppy defending by England. Ten minutes later Sweden took the lead when Mellberg headed his second, completely unmarked in England’s box. So much for England’s supposedly dependable defence. The game was turned on it’s head.
To Roy Hodgson’s credit, he changed things around and introduced Theo Walcott in place of James Milner. Walcott’s swerving shot from the edge of the area brought England level before he made a darting run into the area and his cross enabled Danny Welbeck to score with an instinctive back flick. Continue reading
A satisfying start from England against in form France. England displayed all the hallmarks of a Roy Hodgson team. Steady, disciplined and a little dull. But, a 1-1 draw against France is a result I would have settled for before kick-off. We must keep in mind that the manager hasn’t been in charge for long and has had to build a team with several players in key positions missing through injury or suspension.
I thought Danny Welbeck put in a promising performance and although he isn’t my favourite player at the moment, John Terry also did well, considering he was playing on the right of central defence and not in his familiar position on the left side. Glen Johnson and Gerrard also warrant a mention.
So are we any clearer on England’s likely progression in the tournament? Well, not really. It will be interesting to watch Sweden and Ukraine this evening. But I still think it’s going to be a tough ask to win both of our remaining Group matches, which we may need to do. Continue reading
So it’s here. 16 national teams, 31 matches; football is going to dominate my late afternoons and evenings over the next few weeks. There is certainly a lot less hype surrounding England this time. The main news about the tournament has centred around concerns about racism in the host countries and the controversy surrounding Rio Ferdinand’s omission from the squad.
I always look forward to both the Euro’s and World Cup Finals and watch virtually every game. It’s obviously much better when England have qualified. They didn’t qualify for the Euro’s in 2008 and Spain were crowned the kings of Europe and I suppose Spain must be favourites to lift the trophy again this year.
Not much is expected of England, with a newly installed manager, injury hit squad and Wayne Rooney suspended for the first two Group games. Following on from their South African World Cup debacle, expectations are at an all time low and that may not be a bad thing. I’m hoping we can progress through the Group stages, but to be honest, I’m not expecting any exciting, attacking football. Continue reading
It’s official, Roy Hodgson is England’s new manager. Am I excited by his appointment? No, to be honest. I, along with many other England fans, have been looking forward to Harry Redknapp taking charge and injecting some excitement into the England set up. Of course, we don’t know what’s gone on behind the scenes, but there’s no denying it’s a disappointment and a missed opportunity.
Still, we are where we are. I’ve nothing against Roy Hodgson; he seems to be a thoroughly decent bloke. And he’s respected by his peers. However, I do feel he’ll struggle with the press, especially if things go badly. His time at Liverpool doesn’t inspire confidence. Plus, many big players were championing Harry for the job. They’re bound to be disappointed. Will Roy Hodgson be able to win them round and motivate them?