e-2004
Thursday, June 17, 2004
  What I learned today...
1. Paul Scholes and Michael Owen might be in the worst England form of their careers. Scholes passing was sloppy, and he left his wing too many times. Ashley Cole is weak when attacked directly, he needs cover. What to say about Owen? Good cross, but aside from that, lacking pace, touch and he just seems so harmless.

2. Rooney is comfortably our best player. Gets riled far too easily though.

3. A better free kick from Yakin would have beaten James again... is it finally England's turn to have a really dodgy keeper?

4. The result flattered England enormously. The sending off was unfair, a second yellow for a fairly ordinary foul on the half-way line. I expected a little leniency. Up until that point the two performances were even, Switzerland carrying a reasonable amount of goal threat.

5. Trezeguet's goal should not have been allowed. The hand ball *might* have been accidental (I thought there was enough arm movement to claim intent) but even so, his hand prevented a strong clearance from the keeper. Accidental or not, that's still a foul in my book. Not every mis-timed sliding tackle is intended to scythe a player down, play still gets stopped though.

6. England will have a hard time against Croatia. They aren't an especially quick side, and lack a stand-out player, but they are strong, reasonably technically proficient, and in the latter stages of the France game, played a few beautifully weighted through-balls (Mornar should be slapped about by his fellow players, ditto Tudor). Having their qualification still in their own hands will surely motivate the Croats as much as being 1-0 down to a show-boating France did at half-time today.

Philip
 
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