England the blind...
Rooney had an excellent game, playing deep better than any of our midfielders, and up front better than Owen... lets get that out of the way, I'm not traitor enough to suggest that Rooney is anything other than player of the tournament so far.
However, to suggest that a classic insecure reaction from the Croats, caused by their too-early goal is indication that England were impressive is highly dubious. Beckham and Scholes both again had poor games, though hopefully a goal will gee ginger up a little. Gerrard and Lampard were decent in spells, but dire in others - misplacing easy passes and making poor attacking decisions.
The defense also looked vulnerable, better finishers will flourish against England. France was a test, but both teams played too defensively; you can't afford those tactics in the latter stages, and I fear for England (not really, I'm rejoicing in truth) if Deco, Figo or Ronaldo get so many opportunities to shoot from the edge of the box. For some reason both Croatia and Switzerland spurned these opportunities, but certainly over the past two games, the Portuguese have shown greater willingness to try their luck from 18 yards. And who knows, if we get past them it could be the Czechs next.
All that said, it has been demonstrated before in World Cups, that a single brilliant player can lead a team of no-marks to glory, and if Rooney keeps converting his chances to goals at such a remarkable rate, England might just have the firepower to cover up the many frailties in the rest of the team.
Prediction for Thursday - Whole of England will write off the Portuguese, who will find their form. Neville and Cole to get an absolute roasting from Figo and Ronaldo, and Portugal to run off 3-1 winners.