Posted by: Paul | June 19, 2010

Even the Pigeon was bored

The Pigeon perched on top of the Algeria net was untroubled all night

“Nice to hear your own fans booing you. That’s what you call supporters.” -Wayne Rooney

Rooney’s evident frustration boiled over as he left the pitch last night as, having put in his worst ever performance for England, he hissed this little nugget of wisdom into the waiting TV camera. Well Wayne, I’m not normally one to advocate the booing of poor teams – I never boo Spurs when I go to see them, no matter the result – but had I been in Cape Town last night, I think I might have joined in.

You see, you can get behind a team when there’s something to get behind – some passion, some spirit, some…hell, even some trying. But when people have travelled six thousand miles to see you, at a cost of several thousand pound in some cases, and you spoiled multi-millionaires play like a pub team after a heavy night at the Coach and Horses, I think they have a right to be a little bit upset.

I don’t want to dwell too much on the negative. I continue to support my country, and the fact is that one win will now see us through. So, were there any positives to take from last night’s game?

I struggled, but I’ve found a few:

Gareth Barry returned. He looked pretty good in the first half before his stamina flagged – understandable considering his six week lay off. He will get better, should we continue in the tournament.

David James looked reasonably solid. I would still prefer Joe Hart (or Paul Robinson for that matter) in goal, but I genuinely didn’t think Capello would drop Rob Green, he surprised me.

There are other options. I’ve no idea what Joe Cole has done to put Capello off playing him. Maybe he ran over his dog or something, but for me, Joe Cole should be in the starting line-up (and should have been last week too). Why pick him otherwise? And with Carragher now out, fifth choice centre back Michael Dawson is edging towards playing – just put him on the pitch, dammit!

I think Capello might get the message now. One of the commentators last night mentioned how few of the England players actually play 4-4-2 for their clubs – not many (though Spurs do, but we have the mix of players to make it work). I expect the tactics to change for our last ditch game against Slovenia. Telling the players who’s in the team just before kick off is clearly not working.

What a difference watching the Dutch this lunchtime. Fist bumps, high fives…they’re playing for each other as much as their country. England, take heed.

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