June 27, 2010

England vs Germany - Action Points

Just a few things to look out for in todays game which could swing the balance:

1) Milner/Johnson

I think this may be the key to England's victory if we can pull it off.  I think Germany's left-flank is defensively vulnerable and if Milner can deliver some of the service he did vs Slovenia and Johnson back him up then there could be a lot of joy to be hand there.  Also if England do have a lot of joy down the left flank this will more than likely pull Podolski further back up the pitch where he can't do any damage and if Schweinsteiger has to get involve then it opens up the middle more to do some real damamge.

2) Rooney

Plainly put I think if he shows the form he did in the early-mid season for Man Utd England will win and there is no doubt about it.  I don't believe Germany can handle him if he's on top form.  He's been off form so far this World Cup but there's no better place to come back to form and the noise from the England camp is he's up for it.  He also must keep his head.

3) Barry

He's going to have to keep a tight lid on Ozil.  If he doesn't then the german playmaker is going to have a field day.  Barry has been good defensively so far this World Cup but his distribution has been woeful and there's doubts if this goes to Extra time about his fitness in my eyes.  This could very well be a massive point in the game.

4) Terry/Upson

Upson's game saving tackle vs Solvenia and Terry's now famous 3" off the ground attempt at a diving header have shown how much this means and they'll have to be on their game again today.  Klose has a bit of a rep as a bullier of lesser teams, kind of like the rep Peter Crouch has for England, but you can't deny his goalscoring record.  Upson and Terrry will have to be on their guard.

5) The Referee

This is going to be a tense, high emotion game.  We do not want a referee throwing cards around early.  Tackles are going to come flying in and there are going to be hot heads out there.  If the ref starts brandishing cards early it's very likely the game could be spoiled.

So just some points to look for there....and of course this is where Gerrard is the focal point, but whatever.  That's where I think the game will be mostly won/lost.

Posted By Boomer at 01:16 PM


June 27, 2010

England vs Germany - Preview

Well first off comiserations to the US on their defeat against Ghana last night.  From teh 2nd half I though the US deserved to win however sadly football isn't like that and once Ghana scored in extra time it was always going to be a long way back.

And that brings me on to England vs Germany.

This is, certainly, England's biggest game in International Football.  Only the Argentinians come close in rivalry between us and the Germans, be it West Germany, unified Germany or, as it's been since 1966 in major tournaments F***ing Germany!! 

Germany have had the indian sign over us for a long time in major tournaments, however it's usually been either our own stupidity or lack of ability on penalities which has defeated us. 

In 1970 we were 2-0 up and sadly our 2nd choice Keeper had a bit of a mare and then West Germany went throguh 3-2 after extra time. 

In 1990 it was the ignomany of penalities.  I was 7 at the time, in floods of tears like Paul Gascoigne and have never been able to watch the game since.  West Germany went on to win the World Cup, something I also think England would have done becasue Argentina were woeful in that World Cup.

In 1996 England absolutely battered at the door for 120 minutes including Alan Shearer missing from 6 inches but again it was to be decided on penalties and again, obviouisly, the germans won the game and the European Championships, again something I'm sure England would have done.  Hey this is a pattern....

Games in qualification are a different matter and England currently hold the short term advantage in recent memory.  A 1-0 win in the 2000 European Championships which meant nothing in the end, a 5-1 win in Munich and a recent 2-1 win in a friendly but in the games that truly matter....ugh I hate to say it but the Germans are more clinical.  

So...these games are always tight.  I checked Betfair last night and it was the closest to a push I've ever seen a game on there at 2.8/3/3.2 for England/Germany/Draw.  Given the odds on Betfair usually favour England this bascially means nobody knows and that's pretty much always the way it is with England vs Germany.

Looking at the run in both sides have, Argentina, then probably Spain, then probably Brazil you'd have to say even for the winner of this game the odds are totally stacked against them winning this competition.  But then again this is the last chance for many of the England players and for the Germans it's a new team playing without fear.  If you want to be legends a win over the old enemy is a great way to start...

So Come On England and let's have a cracking game...and no penalties please.  I can't handle that again.

Posted By Boomer at 12:20 PM


June 23, 2010

So....Ze Germans huh?

This is going to be a very interesting game and the likelihood is the winner gets Argentina and then Brazil, then probably Spain.....just great.

That said recent history is on England's side, we won the most recent match vs Germany 2-1 and in the last competitive match we spanked them 5-1 and Emile Heskey scored for god's sake.  (It was a long time ago)

I think if both teams play to capacity England are a better side and should win but England haven't hit top form yet and the Germans looked slick tonight vs Ghana. That said the Germans can definitely be beaten and I think if Rooney's not injured and Enlgand play on top form, and there's nothing like a match vs Germany to get you on top form then we can beat this.  Hint of irony that we'll have to go through our 2 biggest international rivals to get to Brazil and the semis but if you're gonna do it, mise well beat everybody.

I intend to srs blog tomorrow about something that's really been on my mind recently but for tonight, celebrate the US and England going through, a good England performance and a match with the old enemy to look forward to

And a 59-59 5th set at Wimbledon....what the hell?

Posted By Boomer at 08:46 PM


June 23, 2010

Full Time - Slovenia 0-1 England

Sooooo much better

Milner was top draw, Defoe lethal in front of goal.

ONly downsides, I want to know how fit Rooney is and Barry gave the ball away WAAAAY too much.  We should have won that 3 or 4-0.

I don't mind finishing 2nd, congrats to the US and see you in teh last 16.

This could be the Germans now...then the Argentinians.  Difficult but if we continue to improve then anything can happen.

Posted By Boomer at 03:55 PM


June 23, 2010

Half Time - Slovenia 0-1 England

Much better

The only real downside from that half is that we're not further ahead.  What I have said all along about final delivery, lacking from Walkcot, Lennon, SWP etc was proven perfectly by that baal from Milner, what a cross and he put in another a few minutes later.  When you've got someone who can cross like that strikers love it and you will create chances rather than having to pass through the middle and score a "perfect" goal.

Milner and Defoe, done well.  Barry and Johnson haven't impressed me that much yet and Rooney's a little off pace apart from that Gerrard chance but so far so good.

This is England though.  If we go on to win, come on US.

Posted By Boomer at 02:48 PM


June 23, 2010

Here we go, see you in 45


Posted By Boomer at 01:53 PM


June 21, 2010

43 Hours to Go

Currently on Betfair Slovenia are 7/1 to win and the draw is 11/4.  That seems awfully generous!!

With any luck you'll be able to see OTR and myself doing side by side commentary as England and the US fight for the Last 16.  OTR will hopefully be on his blog and I'll be on Twitter and on here at Half and Full Time.  I'm praying we can both have something to celebrate at about 5pm UK time.

Oh the US are evens to beat Algeria apparently....

Posted By Boomer at 07:35 PM


June 19, 2010

Thank God Zen Doubled my Monthly Download Allowance

No It's Not For Porn you Filthy Minded Person!!!

It's because Mass Effect's on special offer on Steam for like £3 so I thought "meh why not".  The Why Not would be it's a 10 Gigabyte Download....uh oh.

And Dragon Ages is on Special tomorrow?? NO FAIR!!!

And i got Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout 3 for less than £20 too?  Not Fair Ever!!  Although it does mean I can give Ribbo his copy of Oblivion back...if i remember where I put it.


At least it'll distract me from the World Cup.  And yes I buy games years after they've come out...so sue me.  you gotta know a game's decent right?

Posted By Boomer at 05:11 PM


June 18, 2010

Final Whistle (2)

Well I can't defend that.  It was woeful.  I've never seen Rooney play that poorly, Lampard was nonexistant, Gerrard was frustrated, SWP is still a headless chicken, Heskey has no confidence at all and altogether England will be lucky to get out of this group and they've only themsevles to blame if they don't.

Fine we were let down by one howler against he US but there was no excuse for a performance like that.  I have never seen an England side so bad on the ball, some of it defied logic and I'd have been pissed off at a schoolboy side being so careless in possession.  Algeria were far better on the ball than us and tidier, they just have no cutting edge so didn't threaten.

I still do think England will go through becasue, to be frank, they can't play any worse and Capello will have to do SOMETHING.

I just think we're out at the first sign of a decent team, be it Germany, Argentina, or Holland.  We don't have a chance against any of them on this performance.

Bright spots:

Defoe looked lively when he came on and in my opinion probably should have started, or at least come on 10-15 minute earlier.  Heskey was horrible first half and you could see by how he was scared of shooting he has no confidence. 

Gerrard looked better in the center...well duh that's where he's at his best.

That's about it.  The rest of them should be ashamed of turning in that kind of performance in an England shirt.  No pride, no passion no Quality.  And on the plane home if they play like that again.

Posted By Boomer at 08:26 PM


June 18, 2010

Half Time - England 0 - 0 Algeria


The first 20-25 minutes was about the worst I've seen England play under Capello.

We've made Algeria look like world beaters in that half and a better team would have seriously punished us.  England's defense has been ok and Gareth Barry has played well but England look lethargic, 2nd to the ball and flat-footed.  They look like they're waiting for something to happen with the chief culprit in my opinion being Aaron Lennon where a few times I've seen loose balls in his areas of the pitch and he's not been within 20 yards of it.

Heskey's control has been dreadful, Lampard has had one moment where he forced a save and Gerrard and Rooney linked better towards the end of the half but this should be a team we can comfortably beat.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Defoe and, if fit, Joe Cole in the 2nd half.

I imagine Capello will be setting the team on fire at the moment.  We certainly need something otherwise we're going to go into that last game needing to beat the only team in the group with a win and that's unacceptable.

Posted By Boomer at 07:17 PM


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