September 03, 2010
One might say "Where was that during the World Cup?" if one was being hyprocritcal.Â aside from Walcott and johnson, every member of that team was on the plane to the World Cup and you ask how can a team that was so dismal in the World Cup improve so much.Â Still here's my thoughts
Joe Hart: Showing week after week what a calamity it was he wasn't England's first choice in South Africa.Â This lad has it all, he's brash, confident, athletic, commands his area.Â He's got every tool there is to be one of the great English Goalkeepers.Â Â
Glen Johson:Â Still shaky at the back and gives away rash fouls but you can't deny how potnet of a weapon he is going forward, needs cover though
Phil Jagielka: Solid Enough, Never really under that much pressure
Michael Dawson:Â Horror Injury in the 2nd half and that looks like a potential ACL which would be tragic but by the way they were handling him, that's a serious injury.Â Does look error prone but I imagine will improve, hopefully this injury doesn't scupper him for too long but knee injuries are not good, he could be done for most of the season if it's bad.
Ashley Cole: Started brightly contributing to the first goal and had good linkup with Milner but overall a little quiet
James Milner: Fiine but didn't really get that much into the game.Â Delivery wasn't of his usual high standard either
Stephen Gerrard: Nothing wrong at all, good busy display.Â Looked sharp and focused early and led by example and the rest of the team followed suit.
Gareth Barry:Â I still don't think he's good enough to be in an England Shirt, I think Carrick and Hargreaves and maybe even Rodwell are better options but for now he's got the shirt and he was solid enough.
Theo Walcott: Again another "Why wasn't he on the plane?" Question.Â He looked menacing in the first half, had their left back all over the place.Â 2nd half he petered out a bit and Adam Johnson replaced him.
Wayne Rooney: Much better performance with him playing in that "Hole behind the striker" role where he's devastating becasue he's so hard to pick up.Â Was involved in all 4 goals if I recall correctly and laid 2 of them on a plate for Defoe.Â Only thing missing was a goal but that will come.Â Delightful chip attempt.
Jermaine Defoe:Â Not everyone's first choice but he's a natural goalscorer and bagging a hat-trick tonight will do his confidence the world of good, his 2nd and 3rd goals both with his left (weaker) foot were clinical.Â Looked like he picked up a knock near the end, hope it's not too serious.
Gary Cahill:Â Came on for Dawson, looked ok, got out of position one but Hart bailed him out.Â Almost got on the end of an evil gerrard free kick
Adam Johnson:Â The biggest mystery of South africa to me.Â Why he wasn't there was a travesty.Â Got on the scoresheet and I think he's a top player who will grow.Â Naturally left footed as well, always a great weapon.
Pretty good.Â The 4-4-1-1 formation worked nicely, the players looked sharp and focused.Â Bulgaria looked tidy but only really had 1 golden chance and England were absolutely clinical.Â So looks like a good way to start the campaign.Â Switzerland away next though, very tough game.