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England Fail To Impress Despite Win
Another long night for England fans
Posted Sep 07, 2011 by Chris White
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Ashley Young’s first half goal was the only thing the crowd at Wembley had to cheer about in the Euro 2012 qualifier between England and Wales in what was another underwhelming performance by Fabio Capello’s side.
The Manchester United forward turned in Stewart Downing’s cross in the 35th minute as England took control of the first half without creating too many chances. In the second half, Gary Speed’s side looked the most threatening as England’s Wembley hoodoo threatened to return, having failed to win at their home stadium in their last four matches.
Robert Earnshaw had the chance to extend that run late on but he managed to fire over an empty net from five yards out as England clung on to their slender advantage, all but securing qualification for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine. England need to avoid defeat in their next qualifier, away to second placed Montenegro in order to book their place in the finals.
But is qualification only going to lead to more despair for England fans? On last night’s performance, I would have to say yes. They seemed to be in full flow in Bulgaria on Friday night, winning 3-0 and creating numerous chances. At Wembley, you could count England’s chances on one hand and they seem to have gone back to how they were prior to the Germany game at the World Cup. Doing just enough to beat the so-called “lesser opposition” and then getting beaten and sent home by the first decent opponent they come up against.
The fourth placed ranking in the world, frankly, is a joke. England are above some top class nations and haven’t managed to beat and of them or even convince people that they could beat them. Capello needs to call time on the international careers of the likes of Frank Lampard, who having been recalled to the side, failed to make an impact on the game against Wales.
Should England qualify for the finals in their next fixture, Capello needs to use the rest of the games in the run-up to the tournament getting the players in full flow, like they are for their club sides. Wayne Rooney is at his best when he has someone else around him. Ashley Young should not be that man. He should be out wide running at full backs like he has been for United this season, supplying Rooney, while Lampard is now looking a shadow of his former self.
It’s time to bring in the youngsters or try something else, otherwise England fans, it could be another long summer once the team flies home in the second round.