Posts Tagged ‘England’

Analysis: Wilshere finds England voice with Ljubljana recital

“In August it will be five years since Wilshere made his England debut, aged 18, as a late replacement for Steven Gerrard in a friendly against Hungary, but with injuries having limited his involvement, it has taken him time to find his voice as an international footballer. It took him 26 caps to register his first assist — a raking, 40-yard pass that was headed in by his Arsenal team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during November’s 3-1 friendly win over Scotland in Glasgow — and his goals in the qualifier against Slovenia came at the 28th time of asking. He is not prolific with Arsenal either, having scored only 12 goals in 153 first-team appearances, but when he does find the net, it tends to be in memorable fashion.”

I’ve written a piece on Jack Wilshere’s international coming of age with England and you can read it here.

Analysis: Desperation, déjà vu as England crash again

“A raw squad and a low level of pre-tournament expectation means that [Roy] Hodgson has largely been spared the media savaging visited on some of his predecessors, but at present there are few other consolations. Despite preparations that Hodgson described as “excellent” and a squad packed with in-form players from the country’s biggest clubs, England were simply not good enough. Even more worryingly, for Hodgson, [Greg] Dyke, and everyone else with England’s interests close at heart, it is beginning to seem like the country’s elite players have a chronic inability — emotionally and tactically — to manage the demands of tournament football.”

My final thoughts on England’s sorry World Cup campaign can be read here.

Report: Drab draw leaves Costa Rica top, England last
Reaction: Costa Rica have proved worth – Pinto
Reaction: Hodgson grateful for England support

Analysis: Five things that went wrong for England

“England dominated possession against Uruguay and saw plenty of the ball against Italy, but too often technical deficiencies and unnecessary haste betrayed them. With a team geared exclusively towards attacking at pace, England lacked players capable of drawing the sting from the match by putting a foot on the ball and slowing the pace. At 1-1 against Uruguay, England’s inability to control the game’s tempo proved their undoing. “I just thought when we got the equaliser, we just needed to be a bit more clever, a bit more cute, and a bit more difficult to beat,” admitted Steven Gerrard. “Maybe we should have accepted that going for a point might have been the best option.””

My take for AFP on the reasons behind England’s chastening group-phase exit at the 2014 World Cup can be read here.

Related link: England exit leaves Gerrard heartbroken again

Report: Italy’s Balotelli sinks England in muggy Manaus

“Manaus (Brazil) (AFP) – Mario Balotelli’s second-half header earned Italy a 2-1 victory over an enterprising England side in an engaging World Cup Group D opener in Manaus on Saturday.”

My first World Cup match report for AFP on a captivating encounter at the Amazonia Arena can be read here.

Reaction: Hodgson shields Rooney after opening defeat
Reaction: Prandelli blasts ‘absurd’ lack of time-outs

Feature: Resolute Rooney determined to enjoy World Cup

“Rooney was one of few United players to find form during a disastrous 2013-14 season and he feels that a pre-season pep talk with former manager David Moyes helped him rediscover some of his famous fire. ‘He felt I had lost a bit of aggression out of my game -€“- which I was asked to do, by the way. He said he wanted me to find that aggression back,’ Rooney said of Moyes, who was sacked by United in April. ‘I thought about it a lot. It wasn’t really me. Maybe there are times when you have to try and lift the crowd with a tackle — obviously not a stupid one, but a run back and tackle can lift the fans and even turn a game round.'”

My first AFP dispatch from the 2014 World Cup, on Wayne Rooney’s eagerness not to let another major international tournament pass him by, can be read here.

Report: Mertesacker gives England sinking feeling

“London — Germany procured a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory over England in a friendly at Wembley on Tuesday, consigning their old rivals to successive home defeats for the first time since 1977.”

My AFP match report on England’s final game of 2013 can be found here.

Reaction: Hodgson values England gains above losses

Report: England caught cold by Sánchez and Chile

“London — England’s World Cup preparations began with a whimper on Friday as Alexis Sánchez scored twice to give Chile a 2-0 victory in a low-key friendly game at Wembley Stadium.”

My AFP report on a chastening night for Roy Hodgson’s experimental England side can be read here.

Reaction: Hodgson primes big guns after Chile setback

Report: Rooney, Gerrard send England to Brazil

“London (AFP) – England survived a night of tension to qualify for the World Cup after Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard secured a 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.”

My AFP match report on the night England booked their ticket to Brazil can be read here.

Reaction: Hodgson frets over England World Cup picks

Report: Townsend strike tips England towards Brazil

“London — Tottenham Hotspur’s Andros Townsend crowned his international debut with a fine goal as England beat Montenegro 4-1 on Friday to close on a place at next year’s World Cup.”

My AFP match report on a night of English breakthroughs at Wembley can be read here.

Report: England stay on track despite Ukraine ordeal

“KIEV — England inched closer to qualifying for next year’s World Cup after surviving a number of scares to record a potentially crucial 0-0 draw against Ukraine in Kiev on Tuesday.”

My AFP match report on England’s laborious goalless draw in Ukraine can be read here.

Reaction: Hodgson defends lacklustre England
Related link: Joy, pain for Welbeck as England top group

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