Thursday, 14 October 2010

England fail to impress

England once again suffered the indignity of being booed off the pitch by their own fans, after huffing and puffing to a goalless draw against Montenegro. It wasn't just the lack of a victory that will have bothered the England supporters, but the toothless display by the team. There was more than a passing resemblance to the uninspiring performances shown at the World Cup this summer, as England failed to put together more than three passes at a time and created very few chance of any note in a game the Betfairfootball odds suggested they'd win easily.

The only players to come out of the match with any credit at all were Steven Gerrard, Ashley Young, Adam Johnson and Joe Hart. Gerrard once again showed why he should be given the England captaincy ahead of Rio Ferdinand. The Liverpool skipper tried time and time again to inject some sort of life into his side, only for his colleagues to clumsily give away possession. Gerrard should have been made England captain when Beckham stepped down from the role, as the midfielder is the only player in the current squad who can grab a game by the scruff of the neck and single handily change the outcome. Although Ferdinand didn't have a poor game against Montenegro, he was hardly the inspirational leader that England need.

Johnson and Young switched flanks well and caused Montenegro a few problems, without ever really finding the finishing product. Villa's Young looked lively but still looks a bit away from being international class player, although it's no surprise the transfer rumours have linked him with a move to a big club. Johnson once again showed himself to be one of this country's most exciting prospects but was given no real support from his team-mates.

Glen Johnson once again showed a dangerous lack of any positional sense and was guilty of going walkabout on more than one occasion, leaving massive holes on the right hand side of England's defensive line. Joleon Lescott came into replace the injured Terry and did what he had to without too much fuss, although the Man City man doesn't inspire anywhere near the same confidence as the Chelsea captain.
The less said about Wayne Rooney's latest disappointing performance, the better. The striker once again looked a completely different player from the one who scored 40 goals in all competitions last season and nothing he tried came off.

Capello will be looking at the friendly arranged for next month against France as another chance to experiment with his side, before the next round of Euro qualifiers start in the spring.