Well No Good Can Come From Being A Lame Duck .
The World Cup has commenced and already the disappointment of seeing one of the favorites underachieve became apparent. In their Group C opening match England took on USA in a highly anticipated game. Along with Slovenia and Algeria making up the group the quartet of teams will fight it for qualifying for the next phase of the competition. This game and the victor would be deemed the favorites to win the group and make their way into the next phase of the tournament . Both England and team USA are viewed as the predetermined favorites to make it out of the group.
Slide show for your perusal.
In what was seen to be coach Fabio Capello’s coming out party for this England team , literally became a nightmare. Having gone up 1-0 early in the fourth minute from a Steven Gerrard goal and with the momentum seemingly going their way. England never seems able to play with any real zeal. The team though having their moments never played with any consistency or urgency and it was aghast to see what would emerge when Robert Green England’s goalkeeper inadvertently mishandled a rather innocuous shot from Clint Dempsey of the US in the fortieth minute. From then on this game was one missed chances, opportunities and rather “unimaginative play” from both sides . And now comes the hard part for both teams because they’re now each in a position wherein their next game within group necessitates a win if they’re to definitely to proceed to the next round of the competition.
Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports
By Barry Hatton , Associated Press Writer
Rustenburg, South Africa (AP)—The United States held England to a 1-1 draw in World Cup Group C opener Saturday, with a stunning blunder by English goalkeeper Robert Green costing his team victory.
An apparently harmless 25-meter (yard) left-foot shot from Clint Dempsey in the 40th minute went straight at Green but the ball bounced off his right glove and trickled over the line for an equalizer.
“It’s one of those that you see and people say, ‘How come that never happens to me,”’ Dempsey said. “Finally, it’s a goal that probably the ‘keeper should have made a save on. They all count the same when they go in.”
Green seemed confident he wouldn’t be scarred by it.
“Mentally we’re strong enough to get over it and as a goalkeeper these things happen,” Green told Sky TV. “You prepare yourself for not letting it affect you.”
England captain Steven Gerrard had given England the lead in the fourth, charging into the area and shooting with the outside of his foot past Tim Howard for his 17th international goal.
England, pursuing its first World Cup title since 1966, created more chances but the Americans held firm under pressure with a string of saves from Howard, who was voted player of the match.
Click on link to read Barry Hatton’s article in its entirety .
For Capello the back pages of the newspapers back in England will be deeply critical of the coach as well as the team and their lackadaisical performance . From my own standpoint in no way did I feel that this team was capable of winning the World Cup ! The team’s core group of players are at best solid but in no way are they supremely talented and good enough to take on the likes of Spain , France , Italy , Brazil or Argentina ! Impressive as their qualifying for the competition may well have been the reality of the situation was that there was so much hype behind Capello’s team that no one took into account the substantive effort need once they had qualified. Instead what we witnessed was a great deal of bravado and the rather idiotic inanity in the belief that England was capable of winning the tournament outright. The odds makers fed that belief by creating what I felt were outrageous odds in the UK ! At 7-2 the team was listed as the third favorites behind Brazil and Spain.
And for Bob Bradley as team USA’s coach there’s a great deal that he can take out of this game but he has to be also worried that the offense of the team wasn’t all that dynamic . Were it not for the Dempsey goal and Green’s mishandling of the shot the game would have ended in defeat for the US. No doubt pleased with the result it has to be said he has to be openly optimistic as to the team’s chances of making it to the next round of competition . The players themselves no doubt pleased with the result now can’t take anything for granted.
Fabio Capello and his team will now feel the wrath of the press and no doubt some of the fans who had expected more of from this team. The disappointment was there to be seen on the faces of the players. But I feel that the players ought to feel extremely embarrassed by this result ! As I alluded to earlier I’m not at all overly impressed with Capello’s roster.Though there’s a preponderance of gifted midfield players on this squad. In terms of offensive fire power and creativity it does leave a great deal to be desired. I can only surmise what the papers will have to say about this all and for the fans back in England I’m sure as rabid as they are with the national fervor for the game of soccer. Another game performance of this ineptitude and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were calling for the head of Fabio Capello and certain members of this team, amongst them goal keeper Robert Green , who immediately becomes persona-non-grata after his poor display.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
In the coming days before England resumes group play I have to say that I now view the team as a lame duck . Going into this game all they needed to do, was to play a solid ninety minutes of mistake free and effective soccer. Instead what they graced their fans with was a complete mess of enormous and far reaching proportions. Another inept performance of this scale and they might as well pack their ags and return home from South Africa. It’s one thing to come into this competition with high expectations but it’s another perform with such ineptitude where it now has everyone questioning the resolve of this team and its coach. The team for all sense and purpose is now but one poor result away from being a lame duck. One which if it were hunting season would be shot on sight and then become part of a rather savory meal . Anyone here like duck ?
NB : Should you at all be interested then click on the following links provided to view my earlier pieces concerning the World Cup.
For the latest World Cup news results and more click on the link provided below.
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………………….
Black Eyed Peas …………………….. ” Meet Me Halfway ”