Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sweden 2 England 3

Carl XVI Gustaf, Ingmar Bergman, Anita Ekberg, Britt Ekland, Bo Giertz, Bjorn Borg, Freddie Ljungberg, The Swedish Chef, Abba (well 3 of them not the one who was born in Norway), Anders Celsius, Wallander, your boys took a hell of a beating.

Well not really, England played well and scored three exceptional goals and after all it's not how you get there but the fact that you get there (quarter finals) that counts. We looked much more like a complete team in this game, even if that meant dropping so far back for Swedish freekicks that you were reminded on the 2004 Euros when we ended up defending so deep against the French that David James was actually playing centre forward.

Apart from James Milner, who is the current squad's equivalent of John Barnes in his autumn years, everybody played well. Theo Walcott again showed that he is best used as a sub and even better when he doesn't have to think about anything (I'm still not convinced that he will ever be more than a bit player for club or country), Ashley Cole showed why he is the best left footed defender in the world (see Philip Lahm for the best two footed defender in the world) and Danny Wellbeck once again showed the difference a good club manager can make - see Daniel Sturridge for an example of what happens when the manager doesn't care.

The so-called 'ordinary' Sweden side gave us enough problems to suggest that Spain or Italy won't be quaking in their boots over their quarter final opponents and Rafa Benitez pre-match comments about Zlatan Ibrahimovic not liking physical contact showed why he is currently out of work as Zlatan managed to muscle every English opponent out of the way during the course of ninety minutes.




 

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