10 Conclusions: Croatia 2-0 England

Ollie Irish

12th, October 2006

Robbo_1 1 What a depressing performance from England. They barely created a chance and were overrun by Croatia.

2 I predicted before the Macedonia game that when England played 3-5-2 they would look uncomfortable in the new system, and so it proved.

3 I made it to point three without mentioning Paul Robinson! I would have found it funny if it had happened to anyone else, I suppose. Could Gary Neville have played the ball wide of the goal? Could Robbo have taken a touch? I don’t think you can blame Robbo for that, but he was at fault for the first goal when he was stood in no man’s land.

4 Gary Neville is not a wing-back. You could probably count on one hand the number of times he passed the ball forwards.

5 Wayne Rooney is ridiculously out of form. He might be our one special player, but you can’t play him in that form. He struggled to complete simple passes and was always halted by the first defender when he tried to run at players.

6 There was nothing brave about Ashley Cole not making the extent of his injury clear before England’s triple substitution – it was unprofessional. He was a passenger for the last 15 minutes and nearly cost England a third goal.

7 England lacked pace. With no wingers to get down the flanks and only Peter ‘Speed Merchant’ Crouch and Rooney up front, they never looked like getting in behind Croatia until Jermain Defoe came on.

8 Croatia seem to have come a long way since we thrashed them at Euro 2004, and even since the World Cup.

9 How long before the papers start calling for Steve McClaren’s head? I reckon defeat in Andorra in England’s next competitive match would do the trick!

10 I blame the white shorts. England in all white always looks odd.

[Rob Parker]

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