By Chris Wright
First rule of goalkeeping: Shut your eyes and hope for the best!
1. Chelsea, meet England. England, Chelsea. Seems we have a new blueprint for nullifying technically superior sides in this country and boy does it work a treat!
2. They’ll be frustrated and narky, but as good as France were on the ball, England were just as good without it. There are two sides to this game mon amis, and we’re not very good at one of them.
3. England’s ‘Helms Deep’ tactics may have been a tad lumpy and unenterprising, but jilted/bored fans must realise that they aren’t actually out there playing for our benefit. That’s just what ‘trying to not lose a match’ looks like – get used to it.
4. James Milner definitely should’ve scored his open goal – we’re not disputing that – but let’s not be too hard on the lad, eh? These things happen when you’re trying to get your duff foot around the ball at pace.
5. Defensively speaking, Lescott, Terry, Gerrard, Parker and – dare we say it? – Glen Johnson were all rock solid but thank heavens for set pieces. Where would England be without them? Not sixth in the world rankings, that’s for damn sure. Splendid arching delivery from Gerrard and a header to match from the big bad Lezzer…
6. Save of the night? Hart from Diarra? Hart from Benzema? Nay, ’twas Danny Welbeck getting an errant thigh to Yohan Cabaye’s shot after an 80th minute corner ricocheted around the area. Kept England in it.
7. It tends to get glossed over due to his phenomenal work elsewhere, but Joe Hart is still worryingly suspect when coming to claiming crosses.
8. Call it nitpicking if you will, but we can’t help thinking Roy Hodgson should’ve utilised a sub or two earlier in the second half. Oxlade-Chamberlain impressed but was completely out of steam after an hour. He had the beating of Debuchy (who also put in a hell of a shift for Les Bleus) on several occassions but didn’t have the legs to careen past him – Walcott would’ve had him in tatters pace-wise and, with half an hour to get something right, may have even managed to roll a couple of crosses through the area.
9. Was the second half a bit dull? Try asking this chap…
€100 well spent.
10. He’d just scored a lovely goal to equalise, so why did Samir Nasri have to go and ruin it with such a dickish celebration? After raising his finger to his lips, he apparently shouted ‘shut your mouths’ at the England bench. All a bit needless.
11. A hearty ‘get well soon’ must go out to England goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence, who severed his Achilles during the warm-up. We’re hearing Clemence has already been flown home for surgery and will miss the tournament entirely. Not nice
Anything to add folks? Let it all hang out…