Friday, 7 March 2014

Lallana and Shaw shine in drab England display

"Expectations have never been lower" for England approaching a World Cup apparently. And after the tame 1-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday night, those expectations are about right.

It was good to get a win. After two 0-2 home defeats, all sorts of records were just waiting to be broken or equalled in the event of another no-scoring home loss.

But let's face it, the performance was uninspiring, insipid, lack-lustre and at time downright boring. There were chances and Denmark's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel made some good saves, but most passes exchanged between England players were probably between Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling, the two centre-backs. Keeping possession is one thing, but doing so deep in your own half is possession that only wastes time and gets you deeper and deeper until you go back to the keeper who (in many cases) smashes it aimlessly forward - to lose possession.

In the World Cup finals better teams will take advantage.

The dearth of English talent is of course the fault of the Premier League and its clubs who have no interest in the England team and pursue foreign talent to fill their ranks. Perhaps the notable exception is Southampton whose Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw were the shining lights as second-half substitutes in an otherwise drab display.