FIFA World Cup 2014 – Friday 20 June 2014
Not sure where to start really…
Another defeat that wasn’t altogether a surprise. I just curse myself for not doing the obvious and sticking a bet on Suarez to get the first goal. I don’t even feel that disappointed just rather weary, more deflated than devastated. I just hope we are put out of misery tonight and Italy and Costa Rica draw, so that England’s exit is confirmed.
Steven Gerrard has had a wretched end to the season. In the Chelsea game at the back end of last season his mistake planted the seed of doubt about Liverpool’s title credentials, which grew into a massive banana skin at Crystal Palace. Last night, Gerrard was implicated in the two Uruguay goals. His lazy/tired/half-hearted effort at a tackle on the half-way line allowed the ball to be spread wide for the cross that led to the first goal. For the second his lazy/tired/half-hearted effort at a header let in Suarez for the second. That might seem harsh, but at the beginning of the tournament I questioned Gerrard’s place in the side. However, he wasn’t the only one to blame for the goals. Neither Jagielka nor Cahill covered themselves in glory as their positional play was questionable for both the Suarez efforts was poor. And if I’m really being picky, I thought Joe Hart didn’t stay up making himself big enough for the second trike.
Despite the same starting eleven as for the Italy game, the same spark and thrust seemed missing. Sterling too often ran into trouble and the passing in the final third was poor all evening. Rooney was given his wish to be ‘the main man’ and despite his goal did nothing to cement his reputation as England’s leading player. Apart from the European Championships in 1996, Rooney has never lived up to his billing. Top players perform on the big stage and clearly he has failed once again to do that. I hope he’ll do the decent thing and retire from International Football, rather than see him in the European Qualifiers collecting goals against the minnows of San Marino and Lithuania. It’s a disturbing thought that he could become England’s leading scorer when for me he’s not fit to lace the boots of Bobby Charlton.
“We’re going home, we’re going home, England’s going home” (apologies to Baddiel and Skinner).