Coming home?

The 2010 World Cup is starting to look a little like a World War II re-enactment with the French bailing out early, the Yanks firing in late, whilst England are left to deal with the Germans! And then of course, there’s the Italians who were total non-starters and leave the Jules Rimet trophy in Africa as they head for the airport.

A 1-0 win over Slovenia was all it took to send England into a second round tie against the Germans. After a painful and disappointing start, the team started to show glimpses of real class and should have run out 4-0 winners. It seemed to be written in stone however that we’d face the Germans in round two, and as the US secured a late win, England fell into second place. If we’re going to win this World Cup, it won’t be the easy way!

Leeds born, bred and trained, James Milner was the star of the show as he made the right-midfield position his own. There was no trickery or mazy runs like we see from Theo and Lennon. Instead, what we had was a player not dissimilar from David Beckham. Not the quickest, nor the most skilful, but able to pick the precision crosses out that strikers thrive off. And it was one of those precision crosses that sent England through, when he found Jermaine Defoe in the first half who gratefully fired home.

John Terry has received some much deserved criticism over the last few days, but you have to give credit where it’s due. He answered his critics with an impressive performance, leading the defensive line and fearlessly defending David James throughout. I’d have had him on the next plane home after his antics earlier in the week, but Fabio made the right call and Terry thanked him in the right way.

So, it’s the Germans up next, with a possible meeting with Argentina in the quarters. The World Cup has finally come to life, and England are performing again just at the right time. Bring it on!

  • paul oshea

    I think you lot will be out come Sunday, sorry

    • Scratching Shed

      @paulo Not so sure. No one has hit top gear yet and our record against the German’s isn’t actually that bad. Just got to avoid the penalty shoot-outs!

  • paul oshea

    Desperate for some transfer news though

    • TheReaper08

      @paulo We have only just got started, check out our previous record in group qualification.

      Ze Germans are going to get it.

  • TheReaper08

    Milner was a colossus, If I was a full back I would want Milner playing in front of me. Works so hard, tracks back, tackles, puts pressure on the opposition full back and his crosses are verging on perfection. Nearly every ball right where the attackers want it and where the defenders can’t bear to see it go.

  • Scratching Shed

    @TheReaper08 Probability of a penalty shoot-out against them or the Argies will be keeping us awake at night mind!

  • Ørjan

    The winners of world cups, often struggels in the beginning. So lets hope England is up to it, and win the cup.

  • TheReaper08

    If you want to win the World cup you have to play and beat at least some of the very best teams. I am not frightened of the Germans, whilst a great many people were quivering under there ‘mighty’ performance against the Aussies I was busy telling everyone I could that I thought the Rose and Crown would beat the Aussies given the opportunity.

    Player for player we are better than the Germans and this weekend we are going to show we are a better team as well.

    • Colin

      Reaper, i think player for player, we can beat any team. I think it’s not a case of whether Germany are any good or not. It’s which England turn up. England with the same team, same players, same tactics could beat that Germany team 3-0 but also deliver the durge of the Algeria game. I’m not worried about the Germans, but I’m worried about which England turns up :(

      • TheReaper08

        @colin You are absolutely spot on. My optimism is born from the fact we tend to get better as tournaments progress.

        • Craig

          It would have been difficult to have got worse!

    • Craig

      Goodness Reaper, after your pop at the media for getting everything out of proportion you are getting dangerously close to being confident!

      • TheReaper08

        @craig I wouldn’t go too far out of my way to say confident, what I would say is I have taken a lot of time off to watch this World Cup and having seen all the sides play there is no one I am particularly scared of.

        That is providing the real England side turn up as Colin states above.

  • Tim Wilsom

    Hopefully we’ll play em on the same pitch as the Slovenia game, looked similar to Wembley

  • pete

    We have to worry about two players, Ozil and Podolski, who both play on the left side…just tell Barry to stick to Ozil for all he’s worth and get Johnson tracking Podolski, then let Terry deal with Klose

    They have to worry about Milner, Rooney, Defoe and Gerrard. Especially with Mertesacker in defence, he turns as quickly and as gracefully as a stricken supertanker.

  • Matt BB

    Theres always been the theory that England match the side they are playing, namely play a poor side and they play poorly themselves.

    It seems like Capello has done much to address the disquiet in the dressing room, but it must have been a major shock for him to come across such a timid group of players. I wonder what he said to them?

    The major change of course was putting a right winger in the old fashioned mould who puts crosses into the box, and milner was excellent, i cant understand why Aston Villa play him in the centre?

    The game on Sunday will as usual be tense and to be honest I cant see what the outcome is going to be. Germnay are a young side and that will be a challenge for our slow centre backs, but its an invitation for our forwards to use a bit of experience. One of our midfuielders will have to deal with Ozil who feeds podolski and has the ability to score from anywhere. I think thats got to be a job for lampard who is more energetic then Barry, or if not to put barry in a sweepers role.

  • Bill Fox

    I agree with the comment from colin: it’s all about ‘if we turn up’. Same XI will start I assume. Bring on the lunchtime beers, bbq’s and then let’s rip into them.

    Nice to see Sky announce the first two televised games of next season are Leeds and Leeds again. Good job we’re not famous anymore!