England 1 Slovenia 0: job done

englandIt may or may not have been too convincing in the end, but the job in hand was to get a win, and that’s what England did when others, notably the French, haven’t been able to do so.

Salut! Sunderland expects a lot of SAFC fans to reflect on the identity of our scorer, Jermain Defoe, and wonder whether Darren Bent would have done as well with the cross (or, indeed, have made a mark in the earlier, unimpressive England games).

My own feeling is that Milner put in a cross any striker worth his salt would expect to gobble up. Defoe reached it well and though the strike was not great, it was powerful enough to force its way into the net.

As for the match as a whole, Sod’s law prevailed in France. I don’t have Canal+, and the usual option, TF1, was of no use since it showed Algeria v USA game. Kurdistan Goals, or whichever of those iffy internet streams was prepared to give a picture from the England game, did so only sporadically, with two competing commentaries, one of them in English, but both ahead of the stuttering images.

Algeria v USA was unbelievably drab in the first half but came to life in the second, culminating in an exciting and deserved American winner. The USA’s superior number of goals scored even put them top and us second in the group.

Pete Sixsmith’s prediction – England and the USA to go through – is therefore vindicated, and I am sure he’ll be back to gloat if he can interrupt his GCSE marking duties for long enough.

Well done, England. There’s clearly a lot to do, and a lot of improvement to show, if we are going to progress to the semis or the final, but let’s be grateful for now for a job done.
Colin Randall

11 thoughts on “England 1 Slovenia 0: job done”

  1. Keith. The support from the fans was absolutely magificent I thought, and totally disproportionate to anything that the team has offered in the way of football on the field. It was a proper football crowd, noticeably devoid of those plastic trumpets until some time near the end for some reason.

    England had the appearance of an old banger firing on four cylinders and just making it home, down a bloody great hill. I think we all expected a stuttering 1-0 victory at some point in the group. I know I did.

    Apart from the goal which spared English blushes Defoe did precious little. The inability of Rooney to play with a strike partner is coming undone at this level. The excuse is that he isn’t a normal striker and that he should be playing off somebody else. The question is who else?

  2. My group of watchers had just asked on 21 minutes “has Defoe touched the ball yet?” and while me might have, the goal was his first touch of note. Fair do’s to him, he had a couple mored decent efforts on the first half, and England won, so that’s a problem solved. Would Bent have made a more telling contribution? Who can say, but I doubt if he’d have done any worse. It’s all academic now, so let’s have some more goals in the rest of the competition, Mr Defoe! (and Rooney, and Heskey, and Gerrard……..)

  3. Magnificent, a very difficult situation concluded to the satisfaction of everybody. The travelling English fans were great, not one spot of bother and many smiling faces before and after. A cultural shock to many, Charlees shebeen was full of Enlish supporters drinking quarts of Castle out of the bottle and dancing to kweta music. PE opened welcome arms to the English it was the Port where the British settlers first set foot and great to see that that still means something.

  4. Thanks, Tony! I just watched the Germany-Ghana match. Two good, hard-working sides and the Ghanaians are dangerous on the breakaway. England and the USA both face tough games.

  5. After the first two performances, it was a relief for me to see more urgency, sharper passing, better service from the flanks, and more importantly more self belief. Lampard and Gerrard looked better together, although Rooney is still out of sorts. It should have been 3-0 if Gerrard and Rooney hadn’t missed their sitters.

    It could have been a lot worse today, so although the performance wasn’t spectacular, at least we’re through, and looking more like a team.

    It could be our old foe, Germany, in the next round, who always seem to beat us in big tournamments, but England generally perform better against better opposition.

    Dare we hope???

  6. If I may be forgiven for moving this over from the previous posting:

    The big news, though, was in the USA-Algeria game where a clearly superior American side were, for the second game in a row, robbed of a legitimate goal and the lead by inept officiating. But justice finally prevailed in the second minute of extra time, so they won’t be going home claiming, with full justification, “We wuz robbed. Twice.”
    Something must surely be done, though, about these sub-standard officials. We’re told that their performance in every game is monitored. Is it too much to expect that, having made such a crucial mistake in a game, they’re immediately removed from the roster?

  7. A poor performance indeed. For the first 15 minutes we couldn’t even keep possession. Much like a Premier league team we all know and love.

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