By Ollie Irish
It’s a familiar story: England go into major tournament with big loaded gun, England shoot hole in own foot with big loaded gun. The media then slates its own national team without mercy, even though the media is part of the problem why players who look great in the Premier League then freeze with the Three Lions on their chest. Beyond frustrating.
Wayne Rooney the best striker in the world? Hell, if the only football you ever saw was in this World Cup, you’d take Lukas Podolski – three goals in the Bundesliga last season – above Rooney, every time. Hell, you’d take most strikers in this tournament over Rooney, who looks a shadow of the player who terrorised defences in a Man Utd shirt last season.
Objectively, a draw against Group C’s second-best team is not such a calamity for the English, who have played worse under Capello. Having watched all 90 turgid minutes of Algeria v Slovenia yesterday, I will confidently say England will win both their remaining Group C matches. As for winning the whole tournament, forget it. A second-round or quarter-final exit awaits, of that I have little doubt. Until then, let’s enjoy the ride.