Dodgy Mexican

25 05 2010

Well, what did you expect?  Amidst the tediously faux-informal presentation style of Adrian Chiles and the irritating ‘let’s make a human England flag in the stands’ malarkey, some football also happened at Wembley last night.  Who benefited, who floundered, who’s now already on the plane.  Our England evaluation from the 3-1 victory over Mexico.

Winners.

Joe Hart

Nothing occurred on the pitch last night to help his cause to be England’s number one, but there is a general feeling that you feel ‘safer’ with him between the sticks than Rob Green.  Casting aside the usual ITV hyperbole that stemmed from Green’s two mundane first half saves, Hart looked the more secure and commanding at the back.  It shouldn’t be forgotten that despite having the excuse of playing behind a woeful defence all year, Rob Green has still had a season littered with errors – hardly surprising, as goalkeepers who are continually picking the ball out of their own net tend not to do maintain a high level of confidence.  Excellent shot-stopper as he is, the West Ham man’s handling error late in the first half could prove to be a premonition for something far graver in South Africa. And, Joe Hart can do this…

Wayne Rooney

More owing to the events around him than anything he actually did.  Competitive spirit is clearly bubbling, and flashes of brilliance showcased just how important he will be.  Should unquestionably be England captain – peerless player who leads by example.

Aaron Lennon

Again, more of a ‘by default’.  In 75 minutes, Theo Walcott again showed why he is more suited to athletics than football.  Still lacks a basic level of decision making when in the final third, too often undermining anything he accomplishes up to that point.  On the other hand, Lennon’s brief cameo showcased a directness and cutting edge that will genuinely concern any left-back at the World Cup.

Scott Parker/Tom Huddlestone

Must surely be given an opportunity against Japan.  The extent of Gareth Barry’s injury will be known by the end of the day, and should he be ruled out, there must be an option available which doesn’t require reverting back to the dark days of Lampard and Gerrard co-existing in the middle of the field.

Peter Crouch

Officially ahead of Emile Heskey in the hierarchy of ‘big men’ to play alongside Rooney.

Losers

Michael Carrick

Dreadful.  How Sir Alex Ferguson must long for Owen Hargreaves.

James Milner

Seemingly not quite as versatile and brilliant as we thought.  Baring in mind that Barcelona have just parted with £35 Million to lure David Villa to the Nou Camp, how can anyone believe that £30 Million + represents good value for Milner.  He is a good player that happens to be English, but this alone should not exaggerate a transfer fee.  Ironically, Milner’s situation at the moment is reminiscent of a pre-Chelsea Scott Parker. Strike off ‘holding midfielder’ as one of the positions covered by Milner.

Ledley King

Looked absolutely shattered after twenty minutes. Difficult to admit, but not very convincing – certainly not enough to threaten John Terry’s place.  Exists in the Premier League now through shear desire to play for the club and fans that he loves, the same spirit doesn’t exist when wearing a England shirt.  Tragically, if his body had not let him down there would be a strong case for him to wear the captain’s armband – but as it is, colossal and inspirational as he is for Tottenham, international football is now unrealistic.

Leighton Baines

Embarrassed by Giovanni Dos Santos. Ashley Cole’s fitness is almost as important as Rooney’s.

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