Euro 2012: England 0-0 Italy (2-4 Pens) – XI Conclusions

Chris Wright

25th, June 2012


By Chris Wright

1. England provided a world class symposium in luck-riding. World. Class.

2. England were desperate to get to penalties, Italy were desperate to win the game – in the end, everyone got what they wanted.

3. When was the last time Wayne Rooney put in an international shift anywhere near on a par with his domestic game? Pies’ pub committee decided it may well have been Euro 2004. The vitality/basic technical competency he displays for Manchester United as a matter of routine seem to abandon him as soon as he pulls on an England shirt. It’s some ‘Space Jam’ hoodoo. His photo will probably be on the Ukrainian milk cartons this morning after that debacle.

4. England are so very strangely submissive, especially as the game starts to wick away. For the first 20 minutes they were on par with Italy. For the remaining 100+ they were Japanese business men in dog collars, nipple clamps and adult nappies.

5. Even with our England-hued bias, we were willing Daniele De Rossi’s 25-yard shot to go in – that thing, slicing across a ball that was arriving high and at pace, was an absolute beaut.

6. Andrea Pirlo held possession for a cumulative four and a half minutes over the course of the game – very nearly double Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard’s sum totals combined – completing 117/131 passes with a 87% success rate. England’s most completed ‘pass’ on the night was Joe Hart to Andy Carroll. Make of that what thou wilt.

7. While we’re on the subject, Joe Hart completed more passes (45) than any other England player last night by virtue of playing a few five-yarders out to the defence and clumping the rest up to Carroll. Therein lies the problem.

8. There’s a school of hindsight-heavy thought emerging this morning that Paul Scholes could, and perhaps should, have been England’s Pirlo at Euro 2012 – but the mere fact that we’re pining for a 37-year old asthmatic who’s already retired once is a damning indictment of England’s nous.

9. Speaking of Pirlo…

So good it just has to be fattening.

10. Just goes to show: an iPad and gargoyle faces are no substitute for intuition and athleticism. We suspect the ‘hundreds of videos’ Joe Hart watched on his computer before the game were really just the one of him farting in a car on endless repeat.

11. Let’s not get beyond ourselves, there’s no need for endless autopsies. The best four sides at Euro 2012 (i.e, none from Groups A or D) have made the semi-finals. England are a first-tier average side and have thereby satisfied all expectations with a run to the quarters.

Any more for any more?

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured, Opinion, Top 10s & lists

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  1. Davy says:

    We were fucking woeful and i wasnt even nervous for the penalties coz we didnt deserve to go through. Don’t get me wrong, had we won I’d have been over the moon but I’m not too bothered…Would have got spanked by Germany in the semi’s anyway!!

  2. Karan says:

    Maybe England would have done better had Chelsea lost the CL.For players hailing from one of the most competitive leagues in the world to play such abhorring,classless football is just saddening.
    Poor management of the Terry-Ferdinand row and some questionable picks (omitting Scholes and Carrick for example) could be partly responsible.
    Frankly,Capello’s England were better;they atleast had the balls to play attacking football once in a while.

  3. Fat Nakago says:

    You pretty much covered it.

    We were punching above our weight for most of Euro 2012, so it should come as no surprise that we finally exit the ring on the wrong end of a TKO.

  4. Mitch K says:

    Think #10’s a bit harsh on Joe – He’s been just as good in front of goal this campaign as he has all season for City. At least he had the commitment to do a bit of homework beforehand, even if it didn’t neccesarily pay off! Let’s be honest though, there’s certainly an element of luck in saving penalties…

  5. Nabz says:

    Would you like some salt with that chip, Mr. Hart

  6. Conor says:

    English media is still going to criticize the team for going out at the Quarters, because for some reason Joe Hart and Ashley Cole decided to say to the media that they’ll win it

  7. Miguel - NYC says:

    England needs to find a football concept and stick with it. Now they play not to lose…but also not to win.
    You win games when your midfield is strong and come on, Milner started.
    I think they would have done better had Barry and Lampard been fit, but still, i am not sure if they would have been that much better.
    Still, if you take a look at the premiership, how many world class english midfielders can you find? Is there any english midfielder that can control the tempo of the game (no, parking the bus chelsea style does not count and clearly does not work all the time: eg, Greece) and make 100+ passes in a game?
    The game may have been created in England, but the game has not progressed there in 30 years (at least).

  8. LeBong James says:

    5 is not a conclusion. Agree with Mitch K that 10 is harsh.

  9. steve cooper says:

    Davy. that is almost word for word what i was going to say.

  10. lisa says:

    that sort of football will always be played under hodgson. 4-4-2…hoof it up to the front if you can. forget a passing game, or any other tactics. he is inflexible and thats how he rolls. i shuddered when he was chosen and he’s not surprised me at all.

  11. Dick van Kundt says:

    Spot on, pies. And all the comments are pretty much dead on as well. A rarity for pies comments.
    England played well enough to get into the quarters and can hang their hat on that for now. The future looks pretty bright despite Wellbeck and Carroll playing like poo. Sturridge, Wilshere and Kyle walker have all got promise so maybe next time lads.

    As for Andrea Pirlo; World. Class.

  12. Hirsty says:

    Following every dismal showing by England I tell myself “Surely now the FA will make drastic changes to the game in England to ensure that English players are bred to be the key players for the top division teams like they are in Spain and France so that we don’t have to rely on mediocre at best players like Downing, Henderson and Milner just to be able to even field a squad of 23 players playing Premier League football.” Probably been saying that since Euro 2004….

  13. Hirsty says:

    I meant Germany not France. But France as well :)

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