Friday, June 18, 2010

Statement of Intent and Opportunities Missed

The American media are a bit focused on the disallowed goal that would have earned them a valuable 3 points. Still, they are better than their first half show and a little unlucky as the 2nd came after some sustained pressure.

The Slovenes will also feel they've missed on securing 6 points which would surely have left them with not alot to do against England to qualify. "Stopped" Delo simply reads. The Slovenian public will feel their balloon was burst so close to the finish line.

England play Algeria tonight and after so many big names have faltered in recent days, tonight has to be a signal of the team's ability to punch at a higher weight than the rest. Algeria are definitely without form - they are lesser than the team the nipped past in qualification; Egypt. The victory almost caused a diplomatic fall-out between the maghreb neighbours but of the two sides they are no where near as good or disciplined.

If England don't show it tonight - if they don't win well, not just win, then they will have let an opportunity go by. From most accounts it looks like Gerrard will be switched to the left with Barry coming in. That would be daft. It really would. If he plays behind Rooney then no problems but he is nowhere near as affective on the left and would in fact expose Cole at left back.

Not a big contest, but a big game for England's ambitions.

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