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England 2-0 Wales


Jayden
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Anyone else just seen the game? Thought we played really well. Can't really fault the Welsh but we are a better side and deserved to win like that. Looking at their team I'm not sure they'd get one player in our side and that includes Ryan Giggs (two years ago definitely, now? no). Nice to see us trying to attack someone when we were ahead where usually we go a goal up and get frightened.

 

I was impressed. Ok, I'm not going to pretend we're world beaters just because we've beaten Wales at home, but I thought the performance was pretty much faultless.

 

On a side note(s), Paul Jones was outstanding for Wales. I thought the Rio/Campbell partnership was strong, we looked like we had a goal threat which is often lacking, and Lampard/Beckham both put in strong performances. I've thought for a long time we've needed to play with two up and someone behind them whose name isn't Paul Scholes. Was nice to see it work as well as it did. Would have preferred to see Smith, who has been on form, instead of Owen, who probably doesn't remember what form is but you can't have everything.

 

Now, if we don't top the group after the results so far we've seriously failed. I know the game in Wales will be tough but that's realistically the only difficult game we have left having already played in Poland and Austria.

Edited by Jayden
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Gutted. Not so much because of the result, which was bad enough, but the performance in general. One shot on target, and that was a tame, if well reached header from Speed. We never got into it. Paul Jones was on top form, and Davies looked quite good, (hell of a goal to, shame the whistle had already gone) but nobody took the game by the scruff of the neck. Which brings me to how much Savage was missed today. Now he ablolutely have to beat Poland, anything less and we aint going to Germany, end of story.
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yeah they missed Savage Scouser, no doubt about it. He's their most influential player and was exactly what they needed to give them more energy and to start trying to regain control of the midfield. That said I really think it was just a case of us being better than Wales. If you look at the Wales side who would get into England's? Nobody, except perhaps Giggs on reputation. I don't think you can criticise Wales, or the performance, they just weren't good enough.
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I thought Rooney played superbly behind the strikers today but he was a little greedy at a few points... Most obviously when he should have pulled it back but instead balsted it straight a Paul Jones from an angle where few would score...

 

Was impressed as well with Nicky Butt and I'd rather he was still at Man Utd then Newcastle. Smith did well off the bench as well for the last 20 or so minutes and Lampard tried his best but hopefully the Cole/Bridge left side should be back soon.

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Smith did well off the bench as well for the last 20 or so minutes and Lampard tried his best but hopefully the Cole/Bridge left side should be back soon.

if and when it does lampard should get back into the centre in place of Butt. He's become one of the world's top midfielders over the past couple of years and his performances for Chelsea, and England have been immense. He's perhaps our best midfielder, and that includes Beckham and Gerrard. He certainly holds his own in there. He was the one midfielder we had in the Euro's that looked like he could pass a ball, and get into the box and score goals. He was a huge player for us out there.

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Thats what I mean... If need be I'd drop Gerrard who generally underachieves in the England shirt compared to his form for Liverpool. I'd play Beckham (if he's in form) on the right with Lampard and Rooney in midfield and Rooney placing himself in the old Scholes postion behind the front two and then have Ashley Cole at left midfield with Wayne Bridge behind him.
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It was a fair enough result, perhaps it deserved to be 3-0, or 3-1 or something though. I thought that Beckham's goal was one of the greatest pieces of execution I've ever witnessed.

 

I thought England were just generally very good, with Wayne Rooney being exceptional. He was the danger man, he was the threat, and boy oh boy (pardon the play on words) he was magnificent. And if that was me in his position I wouldn't have passed either.

 

Campbell didn't have as strong a game as Ferdinand, in my eyes, and Neville wasn't very good - Giggs had the better of him. Ash Cole was very solid and the testament to that performance was the fact that Bellamy was moved into centre midfield towards the middle of the second half.

 

Jermaine Defoe was piss-poor compared to Owen though. How anyone can seriously say that Defoe should EVER start ahead of Owen must be a Sun reading bigot or just a footballing fool. The gulf in class between Owen and Defoe was evident and even Defoe would be the first to admit it.

 

The BBC coverage was pretty slick, although I didn't appreciate the way they just laughed off Wales' efforts at half time. Personally I thought Wales were playing very, very well indeed but only really tailed off in the last 10 minutes.

 

And why were the Beeb so bloody DESPERATE to credit that goal to Michael Owen? Clearly, it was Lampards despite the deflection?

 

As for Wales, well like I said I thought we were very good indeed. Seriously. For a lot of the game we were focussed on taking the game to England and whenever we got the ball we looked the more dynamic whilst England were more concerned with taking the sting out of the game.

 

Paul Jones had the game of his LIFE, but special mention goes out to Danny Gabbidon who I thought went up a level today; his performance was generally outstanding. A Premiership club beckons. I think one of the reasons why Defoe had such a poor game was because Gabbidon was all over him.

 

Gary Speed and Jason Koumas were both full of craft and guile but we did miss old Robbie Savage, not that he would have made much of a difference because he's not that influential ;). Nah, seriously, he's up there but you don't look to a Savage to win you the game. Which brings me to:

 

Giggs, Bellamy and Hartson. Who were so-so. Bellamy was really poor today, and he would be the first to admit it. Ash Cole had himin his pocket and it was only when he went on a couple of surging runs at the end did he look threatening. Hartson was a tank up front, he beat Campbell and Rio every time in the air, but despite that still looked a little sluggish, and his lack of footwork was exposed.

 

Giggs though was the main man for us, along with Simon Davies. Both of these guys were very, very good (although it was clear that Davies struggled with Lampard a few times). Giggs was our Rooney, our dangerman, and didn't Neville know it! He didn't get close to Giggs all afternoon and when Giggs got the ball for us the Welsh got excited. He sent in a few testing crosses and went on some mazy runs and looked very dangerous.

 

Giggs' good performance didn't hide the rubbish game that Bobby Earnshaw had though. The kid didn't get a kick.

 

I was pleased that old Giggsy nutmegged Neville about 5 times though; you can tell they had a sweepstake on that in Man Utd training :D.

 

Cheers!

Edited by Boyo
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Campbell didn't have as strong a game as Ferdinand, in my eyes, and Neville wasn't very good - Giggs had the better of him.

Agreed, Neville is awful and shouldn't be in the England side. His passing is atrocious, his reading of the game for a defender at the level he's supposed to be at is shocking and he's really the weak link in an otherwise solid, and technically gifted back line.

 

Jermaine Defoe was piss-poor compared to Owen though. How anyone can seriously say that Defoe should EVER start ahead of Owen must be a Sun reading bigot or just a footballing fool. The gulf in class between Owen and Defoe was evident and even Defoe would be the first to admit it.

personally I didn't see that at all. Defoe was poor, but given little chance to shine. Him and Owen as a partnership won't work, ever. They are too smiilar. Well they used to be when Owen actualyl had some pace and cutting edge about his game. Nobody plays well with Owen alongside them, least of all someone who is so similar to him. Defoe did not have a good game but I don't think Owen was that good either. Far from a huge gulf in class, just two strikers not playing that well.

 

The BBC coverage was pretty slick, although I didn't appreciate the way they just laughed off Wales' efforts at half time. Personally I thought Wales were playing very, very well indeed but only really tailed off in the last 10 minutes.

Did Wales have any chances? The game I saw had England dominating it for about 70 of the 90 minutes.

 

As for Wales, well like I said I thought we were very good indeed. Seriously. For a lot of the game we were focussed on taking the game to England and whenever we got the ball we looked the more dynamic whilst England were more concerned with taking the sting out of the game.

Did Wales have any chances? The game I saw had England dominating it for about 70 of the 90 minutes.

 

Paul Jones had the game of his LIFE, but special mention goes out to Danny Gabbidon who I thought went up a level today; his performance was generally outstanding. A Premiership club beckons. I think one of the reasons why Defoe had such a poor game was because Gabbidon was all over him.

Jones was sensational, without him the scoreline would have been much more flattering to England. As for Gabbidon he played well, to be fair whenever I've seen him play for Wales he's looked pretty good though. Not sure whether he'd stand out in the Premiership at all though. I mean, he cuold sign for a club there but I don't see too many teams in the Premiership who dno't already have two centre backs better than him.

 

Gary Speed and Jason Koumas were both full of craft and guile but we did miss old Robbie Savage, not that he would have made much of a difference because he's not that influential . Nah, seriously, he's up there but you don't look to a Savage to win you the game. Which brings me to:

They missed Savage hugely, they needed someone with his energy to try and regain control of the midfield and they didn't have it. I still think you'd have lost with him playing, but you'd have had much more of a chance of making a contest of it. He is their most influential player by a country mile.

 

Giggs, Bellamy and Hartson. Who were so-so. Bellamy was really poor today, and he would be the first to admit it. Ash Cole had himin his pocket and it was only when he went on a couple of surging runs at the end did he look threatening. Hartson was a tank up front, he beat Campbell and Rio every time in the air, but despite that still looked a little sluggish, and his lack of footwork was exposed.

I don't think Bellamy on the right works well at all though. Him and Hartson made an excellent strike partnreship, much like Bellamy and Shearer at Newcastle. The big strong guy who can hold the ball up and is good in the air, and he nippy paceman in and around him. As for Hartson, he did look sluggish, but then he always does. When has he looked any different? As always, good in the air, always a threat and difficult to play against, but always sluggish too.

 

Throughout the qualifiers for the Euro's Hartson and Bellamy, when both fit and playing, looked to have an outstanding partnership going. Bellamy is different class to Earnshaw and I've never understood the logic in playing one of your best players, Bellamy, out of position.

 

I think the scoreline was a fair reflectin of the game. Maybe 3-0 would have been better. Anyone would be hard pushed to say Wales deserved a goal. England defended well without realyl having a lot to do. How many saves did Paul Robinson have to make?

Edited by Jayden
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I agree with you about Bellamy. He hates playing on the wing, and he seemed at a loss as to how to make an impact off the ball when out there. If Savage had been there, Im sure Davies would have been on the wing and Bellamy up front with Hartson. As far as big John goes, Ithought he had a good game. Whenevr the ball came at im by air tere was always one winner. He did the Shearer take it on the chest with back to defender thing extremely well, and always made sure the next pass got to a Welsh shirt. But didn't have the killer pass today which was proably down to no one being there to pass it to.
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I just thought the whole game was so very flat. I mean with all the expectations, and the Welsh team just didn't come out to play or try, I mean how many minutes was it before the first big challenge from a Welshman, to let them know they mean business? They gave England fair too much time on the ball, and far too much respect, and it just killed the atmosphere and crowd. I do think the match in Cardiff will be 100% different, and I think a very different game.
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everything you've said there Jung leads me back to how influential Savage is for them. Could you imagine them looking like that with him in the side?

 

The game in Cardiff will be very different. Yes, we have a better side but that could well count for nothing in front of a Millenium stadium full of screaming Welsh fans. The good thing is that by then I don't think it'll be that important a game for us, however it might just be crucuial for the Welsh after their poor start.

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I was not very impressed with the game at all. There were moments of inspiration from England, including Beckhams goal which was something special, but otherwise it was very flat as Jungy said. The welsh missed Savage, he is a very good player and without him Wales lacked spirit and determination, well at least it seemed that way. The first goal should be Lampards, a deflection never normally counts as a goal, just ask the hundreds of defenders up and down the leagues to which it happens all the time, so Owen had no right to claim it. And finally Beckham showed us that he still has a reckless side, his first challenge on Thatcher was stupid, and he left himself with a dodgy rib, and the second one was even worse and landed him with a booking. He needs to wisen up.
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