Well, the World Cup has finally kicked off, after all the hype and all the tension. Teams have played their opening matches. Some have lost and thankfully, no draws just yet, but the one thing that has stood out has been the standard of football shown by all teams. Well, by most teams.
One team however has stood out as lacking the fire power that is needed to win things like the World Cup, and that team has been England. Out of all the teams that have played thus far, England seems to be the one with all the right ideas but not a lot of power where it is needed, at the pointy end of the game; scoring goals from anywhere.
The opener against the Italians showed several things. One of them was that it showed that England can play well on the world stage; that Roy Hodgson’s men can be creative enough, but anyone who sees even the smallest glimpses of the match will see that apart from two chances, all the shots made were from outside the D or even further back.
Manchester United were criticized this last year for playing one style, out wide and looping crosses in. This England performance seemed to opt for the opposite, choosing to run at the opposition, which is commendable, but then when they got to thirty yards out, shoot. It doesn’t matter who shoots so long as you shoot.
Had those efforts gone in, we would be singing and dancing by now, but in the heat of the Amazonian day, when one looks at how the other teams have played their games, one finds that their option has been to run with the ball, pass the ball, work the ball through the defence and then shoot when nearer the six yard line; Benzema’s whack for the third goal for the French being prime example number one.
As such, England’s performance, although good overall, can only be described as woefully inept and ill thought out. If the team try the same thing against Uruguay, it may work, but if their manager chooses to park the bus the same way the Italians did, as is likely, then one result will emerge, either a draw or another loss and then the people that run the game in the UK will be hanging everyone out to dry, which would be wrong, given their performance the other night.
So come on England, let’s even more variety. If one thing you choose to do does not work, adapt, change your attack, confuse the opposition defence and above all, break them down and then we will see the goals where there is more chance of them going in, inside the penalty box!